Favorite quotes curated over the years...”

Theologians have done more to hide the Gospel of Christ than any of its adversaries.  

— George MacDonald 

God hides himself 

Most of the time, God remains somewhat hidden from us. Why? For one thing, God in immanence is already too close to us, to intimate, too much at one with us to be a clear-cut object, and God in transcendence is too great to be apprehended. 

— Dr. Gerald G. May 

no surprises 

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. 

— Albert Camus 

Ghandi's rebuke 

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

— Mahatma Ghandi 

on atheism #1

The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyle.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. 

— Brennan Manning 

on atheism #2

A man is nearer to the truth to believe in no god than to believe in a wrong god. 

— George MacDonald 

on atheism #3

Now it is our preference that decides against Christianity, not arguments.   

— Friedrich Nietzsche

on arguing  

No one ever converted to Christianity because they lost the argument.  

— Philip Yancey 

the terror of God 

The terror of God is but the other side of his love; it is love outside the house that would be inside - love that knows the house is no house, only a place, until love enters - no home, but a tent, until the Eternal dwells there. 

— George MacDonald 


May my imagination always be the flower, not the root. 

— George MacDonald 

small things 

Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies. 

— Mother Teresa 

on death 

How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset. 

— George MacDonald

a painful irony 

God often conquers our enemies by conquering us. 

— A. W. Tozer 

why there is evil 

In fact, if any person can be removed from the possibility of sin, he or she can only be some kind of robot run by pulleys, wheels, and push buttons. A person morally incapable of doing evil would be, by the same token, morally incapable of doing good. A free human will is necessary to the concept of morality. I repeat: If our wills are not free to do evil, neither are they free to do good. 

— A. W. Tozer 


To be specific, the self-sins are self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them.  They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our nature until the light of God is focused upon them.  The grosser manifestations of these sins - egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion - are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. 

— A. W. Tozer 

the nature of self 

Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can be removed only by spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We may as well try to instruct leprosy out of our system. 

— A. W. Tozer 

not one but two 

The regenerate man often has a more difficult time of it than the unregenerate, for he is not one man but two. 

— A. W. Tozer 

what to be like 

By all means aim for heaven but be like Jesus... and take a thief with you. 

— William Booth 


He who kneels before God can stand before any man. 

— Leonard Ravenhill 


Hell is one's freely chosen identity apart from God on a trajectory into infinity. 

— Timothy Keller in "The Reason For God" 


To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bible's teaching is offensive to you assumes that if there is a God he wouldn't have any views that upset you. 

— Timothy Keller 

cause and effect 

Love through me, Love of God, 
Make me like Thy clear air 
That Thou dost pour Thy colors through, 
As though it were not there. 

— Amy Carmichael 


The hallmark of Christian theology is paradox. 

on arguing 

If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. 

— G. K. Chesterton 

well, hello? 

If there is a God, it's going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed. 

— Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion"

atheism exposed 

If there were no God, there would be no atheists. 

— G.K. Chesterton

2 kinds of people 

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way." 

— C. S. Lewis 

heaven & earth 

Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither. 

— C. S. Lewis 

true or false? 

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one can come to the Father but through me. 

— Jesus of Nazareth 

the greatest commandment 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 

— Jesus of Nazareth, when being tested by a religious scholar 

the will 

It was not for our understanding, but for our will that Christ came... for the will is the deepest, the strongest, the divinest thing in man. 

— George MacDonald 

the greatest sin 

The greatest sin of all is to think you are not sinning at all. 

— Fenelon


Thou art my life - I the brook, thou the spring. Because thine eyes are open, I can see. Because thou art thyself, 'tis therefore I am me. 

— George MacDonald

who wins  

Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win. Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins.  

— Dizzy Gillespie 

music and art  

[Musicians] talk of nothing but money and jobs. Give me businessmen every time. They really are interested in music and art.  

— Jean Sibelius, explaining why he rarely invited musicians to his home. 

an artist's job  

The job of an artist is always to deepen the mystery.  

— Francis Bacon 


A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.  

— Kenneth Tynan 

half-filled house  

Flint must be an extremely wealthy town: I see that each of you bought two or three seats.  

— Victor Borge, playing to a half-filled house in Flint, Michigan 


In opera, there is always too much singing.  

— Claude Debussy  

perks of music  

One of the perks of being an unemployed musician is that you get to play much less bad music.  

— Jack Daney 

a critic's purpose  

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of the critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.  

— D. H. Lawrence  

on christian art  

Christian art? Art is art; painting is painting; music is music; a story is a story. If it’s bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject. If it’s good art – and there the questions start coming, questions which it would be simpler to evade.  

— Madeleine L'Engle  

feed the lake  

All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.  

— Madeleine L'Engle

on usefulness  

When I consider how my light is spent  
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,  
And that one talent which is death to hide,  
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent  
To serve therewith my Maker, and present  
My true account, lest He returning chide,  
'Doth God exact day labor, light denied?'  
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent  
That murmur soon replies, 'God doth not need  
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best  
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state  
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,  
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;  
They also serve who only stand and wait.'  

— "On His Blindness" by John Milton 


Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society.  

— Aristotle  

on not knowing  

What you don't have you don't need right now, what you don't know you can feel it somehow...  

— Bono, from the song "Beautiful Day" by U2 

the music business  

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.  There's also a negative side.  

— Hunter S. Thompson 

an artist's plan  

Each artist should confine himself exclusively to working out his own plan. He appears to have his own plan somewhat stamped upon himself and his work is rigidly to reproduce himself.  

— Henry Drummond 

good music  

What I want to use music for is a way of making things happen to me. I want to make things that create emotional or mental conditions for me, and one of the most important conditions is surrender. My yardstick for what constitutes good music is that it changes me.  

— Brian Eno  


Anything more than three choruses and you're just practicing.  

— Charlie Parker

a prayer  

God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises by your people on earth; and grant them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled forevermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

— A traditional anglican prayer.  

majority rule  

In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.  

— Mahatma Gandhi

on the nature of satan

Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce and dost not know the Garment from the Man. Every Harlot was a Virgin once nor can thou ever change Kate into Nan. Tho thou art Worshipd by the Names Divine of Jesus and Jehovah: thou art still the Son of Morn in weary Nights decline, the lost Travellers Dream under the Hill. 

from "The Gates of Paradise" by William Blake


Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline.  

— Julia Cameron 

art and morality  

Art, like morality, consists of drawing a line somewhere.  

— G. K. Chesterton 


Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is 'finding his place in it,' while actually it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build in him a sense of being really at home on earth, which is just what we want.  

— Uncle Screwtape to his young protege Wormwood (via C. S. Lewis in the "Screwtape Letters") 


The plans are man's but the odds are God's.  

— Aley Shear  


Heaven is that remote music that we are born remembering.  

— C.S. Lewis


This is the Race that Jesus ran  
Humble to God Haughty to Man  
Cursing the Rulers before the People  
Even to the temples highest Steeple  
And when he Humbled himself to God  
Then descended the Cruel Rod  
If thou humblest thyself thou humblest me  
Thou also dwellst in Eternity  

— from "The Everlasting Gospel" by William Blake 

on atheism  

Atheism is a peculiar state of mind; you cannot deny the existence of that which does not exist.  I cannot say, "That chair is not there," if there is no chair to say it about.  

— Madeleine L'Engle 

return of christ  

The first thing we shall say when Christ returns is 'why you were here all along!'  

— Oswald Chambers  


Show the world the fruits of Christianity and it will applaud; show it Christianity and it will oppose it vigorously.  

— Watchman Nee