confusion central
if you’re here, you are SO lost.


C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain

  • Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.

  • Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment.
  • God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
  • God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.
  • Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.
  • I call this Divine humility because it is a poor thing to strike our colours to God when the ship is going down under us; a poor thing to come to Him as a last resort, to offer up “our own” when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were proud He would hardly have us on such terms: but He is not proud, He stoops to conquer, He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him, and come to Him because there is “nothing better” now to be had.
  • If He who in Himself can lack nothing chooses to need us, it is because we need to be needed.
  • My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
  • [Christians] believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else. And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing — not even a person — but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.
  • I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
  • Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling… Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go… But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from “being in love” — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriage) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God… “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
  • If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.oves
  • To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
  • Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: “We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.” Need-love says of a woman “I cannot live without her”; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection — if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.
  • Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
  • Friendship arises out of mere companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
  • All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.
  • If we cannot “practice the presence of God,” it is something to practice the absence of God, to become increasingly aware of our unawareness till we feel like man who should stand beside a great cataract and hear no noise, or like a man in a story who looks in a mirror and finds no face there, or a man in a dream who stretches his hand to visible objects and gets no sensation of touch. To know that one is dreaming is to no longer be perfectly asleep. Bur for news of the fully waking world you must go to my betters.

Josh Billings

  • As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.
  • About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
  • Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.
  • I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.
  • If there was no faith there would be no living in this world. We could not even eat hash with any safety.
  • It is much easier to repent of sins that we have committed than to repent of those that we intend to commit.
  • It’s not only the most difficult thing to know one’s self, but the most inconvenient.
  • Learning sleeps and snores in libraries, but wisdom is everywhere, wide awake, on tiptoe.
  • Love is said to be blind, but I know some fellows in love who can see twice as much in their sweethearts as I do.
  • Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.
  • Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.
  • The best time for you to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust.
  • The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.
  • There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
  • There is nothing so easy to learn as experience and nothing so hard to apply.
  • There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together.
  • Wisdom has never made a bigot, but learning has.
  • Woman’s influence is powerful, especially when she wants something.
  • Words are often seen hunting for an idea, but ideas are never seen hunting for words.Gregory A. Boyd: Is God to Blame? Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering.
  • [God] can’t intervene more than he does not because he lacks power, but because the kind of world he created prevents him from doing so.
  • Insofar as God has granted agents freedom, he has chosen not to allow himself to violate that. Neither free decisions nor their effects can be halted by God because they are not in line with his will.
  • The mystery of the particularity of evil is simply one manifestation of the mystery of every particular thing.

  • We can pray with confidence, knowing that our prayer is heard and makes a difference. But we can’t pray with certainty that the difference our prayer makes will have the precise outcome we desire. In that sense, we can’t be certain that our prayers will be answered.

  • …To explain in any exhaustive sense why a particular event took place just the way it did, we would have to know the entire history of the universe.

  • There is so much we do not understand there is no question as to why we experience life as mostly ambiguous and highly arbitrary. When all is said and done, the mystery of why any particular misfortune befalls one person rather than another is no different than the mystery of why any particular event happens the way it does. Every particular thing we think we understand is engulfed in an infinite sea of mystery we cannot understand

  • I came to realize that when I long to do my Father’s will, I must be content making just the difference he calls and empowers me to.

  • We pray and God responds in the context of an unfathomably complex creation racked by cosmic war.

  • Prayer makes a difference…but so do the countless choices of multitudes of free agents, and the necessary stability of the world that God must respect. This means that we really have no way of knowing how the power of our prayers intersects with these other variables.


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