Source VirtueOnline. Some nifty ideas to ponder…
The basic question. The nature of man (i.e. what it means to be human) is arguably the basic political issue of the twentieth century. It is certainly one of the chief points of conflict between Marx and Jesus, and therefore between the East and the West, namely whether human beings have any absolute value because of which they must be respected, or whether their value is only relative to the community, for the sake of which they may be exploited. More simply, are the people the servants of the institution, or is the institution the servant of the people? — John R.W. Stott
Suppose the reformer begins to say that God is like a good woman. Suppose she says that we might just as well pray to Our Mother which art in heaven as to Our Father. Suppose that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female form. Suppose the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called Daughter of God as Son of God. Suppose finally that the mystical marriage betwixt ‘Christ and his Church’ were reversed, that the Church became the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as priest. If all those supposals were ever carried into effect, we should be embarked on a different religion. — Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.
The paradox of humanness. It is part, I think, of the paradoxical nature of our humanness that we are both breath of God and dust of earth, godlike and bestial, created and fallen, noble and ignoble. That seems to be why we both seek God and run away from him, both practise righteousness and suppress the truth in our unrighteousness, both recognize the claims of the moral law upon us and refuse to submit to it, both erect altars in God’s honour and need to repent of our ignorance and sin. — John R.W. Stott
Self-denial and self-discovery. We are the product on the one hand of the fall, and on the other of our creation by God and re-creation in Christ. This theological framework is indispensable to the development of a balanced self-image and self-attitude. It will lead us beyond self-acceptance to something better still, namely self-affirmation. We need to learn both to affirm all the good within us, which is due to God’s creating and re-creating grace, and ruthlessly to deny (i.e. repudiate) all the evil within us, which is due to our fallenness. Then, when we deny our false self in Adam and affirm our true self in Christ, we find that we are free not to love ourselves, but rather to love him who has redeemed us, and our neighbour for his sake. At that point we reach the ultimate paradox of Christian living that when we lose ourselves in the selfless loving of God and neighbour we find ourselves (Mk. 8:35). True self-denial leads to true self-discovery. — John R.W. Stott