Quotes That I Have Gathered – M

Man, and God

A human being is not God but the image of God.

Jung Young Lee, An Emerging Theology in World Perspective

The most fundamental statement of the Bible in regard to the nature of man is that man is made in the image of God.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

“Thou hast made him [man] little lower than God [or gods, or the angels; in Hebrew elohim].”

Psalm 8, quoted by Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Man is to acquire and practice the main qualities that characterize God: justice and love. Micah 6:8 states, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness [or steadfast love], and to walk humbly with your God?” Man is not God, but if he acquires God’s qualities, he is not beneath God, but walks with him.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

The idea that man has been created in the image of God leads not only to the concept of man’s equality with God, or even freedom from God, it also leads to a central humanist conviction that every man carries within himself all of humanity.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Man, as basically good

Schweitzer, when asked whether man’s historical predilection toward warfare belies the concept that he is basically good: “Why should man exist if he is bad? All living things have an elemental goodness, but in mankind, his true nature is often largely submerged, like a log in the river, by the environment he has created about him. But simply because it is submerged does not mean that idealism does not exist and despite times of pessimism I think the day will come when the idealism is allowed its full function and flowering.”

Schweitzer, Best of Playboy Interviews, Dec. 1963

8‑25‑90 Why is man basically good if he does so much that is bad. From a secular point of view, perhaps it can be explained starting from Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of human life as matter aware of itself, the apex of that continuum of self‑awareness, as far as we know. Fromm speaks of the problem of self‑awareness and alienation: the transcendental dilemma. Until we recognize that the very structures that give rise to individual (and even social) being, is dependent upon and related to the universe. When viewed in this way, there is no total independence, but we are all dependent. As matter directing its own energies, what we do effects other matter and other life. If we act AS IF we were independent of the universe, we hurt ourselves by depriving ourselves of the support of that universe, and we hurt the universe by disrupting the mutual relationship. Evil can exist only where there is will that disrupts relationship: sin as separation from the love of God. The good cannot be separated from the evil, indeed our very action is for some good, and for others evil. As Schweitzer noted, his philosophy of “reverence for life” does not mean that we never harm life. To use an antibiotic destroys microbic life. That does not mean that we refuse to act to the save the life of a man, but it must be done recognizing its effect upon other life, and with respect for that life. In the sense of Luther, and more so Bonhoeffer, “Sin and sin boldly, but love Christ more boldly still.” Christ as the messiah, the true messiah, is the bringer of harmonious relationship in the world as the ultimate goal of our lives.

Man, as Nature aware of itself

Fromm sees a basic contradiction within man: “that of being in nature and at the same time of transcending nature by the fact that he is life aware of itself.”

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

See, also, Teilhard de Chardin, in his concept of consciousness in nature deepened with increasing complexity of organization of nature.

Man is beset by the existential dichotomy of being within nature and yet transcending it by the fact of having self‑awareness and choice; he can solve this dicotomy only by going forward.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

To see, to perceive, is more than to recognize. . . . All deliberation, all conscious intent, grows out of things once performed organically through the interplay of natural energies. The distinguishing contribution of man is consciousness of the relations found in nature.

John Dewey, Art as Experience

Man, Autonomy of

Bonhoeffer noted in prison a concept of “man come of age”, occurring about the thirteenth century: “Man has learnt to deal with himself in all important questions without recourse to the ‘working hypothesis’ called ‘God.'” We do not need God to solve scientific problems. “For the last hundred years or so it has become increasingly true of religious questions also; it is becoming evident that everything gets along without ‘God’ ‑ and in fact, just as well as before. As in the scientific field, so in human affairs generally, ‘God’ is being pushed more and more out of life, losing more and more ground.’

Man, awakened

Fromm holds that a fully “awakened” man is possible only as a philosophical and religious insight. “. . . One must keep in mind that any such concept as the art of living grows from the soil of a spiritual humanistic orientation, as it underlies the teachings of Buddha, of the prophets, of Jesus, of Meister Eckhart, or of men such as Blake, Walt Whitman, or Bucke.”

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

Man, foresight

We have to put off the decision‑making process in order to accumulate enough knowledge as a preparation for the future. . . . That is what childhood is about, that is what puberty is about, that is what youth is about. . . . [Example of Hamlet is used.] . .. In man, before the brain is an instrument of action, it has to be an instrument for preparation.

J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Man, hope for

Bertrand Russell was asked about his old age and what he had not achieved:

Since boyhood, my life has been devoted to two different objectives which for a long time remained separate . . . One has been to discover whether anything could actually be known; this was a matter of philosophical inquiry. The other has been to do whatever I could to help create a happier world. . . . It is easier to have an immense effect if you dogmatically preach a precise gospel such as communism. But I do not believe that mankind needs anything dogmatic. I think it essential to teach a certain hesitancy about dogma. Whatever you believe, you must have reservations. You must envisage the possibility that you may be wrong. I have lived in pursuit of a vision, both personal and social, noble, beautiful, . . . gentle, . . . insight, . . . imagination, . . . attainable society in which hate and greed and envy would die because there is nothing to nourish them. These things I still believe. So you can see that the world, for all its horrors, has left me unshaken.

Best of Playboy Interviews, March 1963

Man, in estrangement

Concept of estrangement: man’s separation or alienation from something with which he “ought” to be united.

Hammond on Tillich’s method of theology, Man in Estrangement.

Fromm sought to combine the “science of man” with a philosophical perspective with roots in Rennaisance, Enlightenment, and 19th century existentialist sources.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

Hegel noted man’s original unity of “life”, including God, nature and man. This life loses its “immature” unity as it develops, becoming differentiated into various oppositions: man and nature, master and slave, duty and inclination, divinity and humanity. These opposites persist as estrangements until life in the one discovers life in the other, through love.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

Feurbach (1804‑1872) maintains that man (as “nature” a natural being) projects his own essence into objectivity and view it as God. Estrangement for Feurbach becomes a movement within man’s self‑consciousness rather than God’s.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

For Marx, man’s loss of himself in the objects which he creates is the primary alienation; religious estrangement is merely a reflection in consciousness of this alienation in real life. . . . Marx’s criticisms of Hegel and Feurbach are essentially the same: both view estrangement abstractly as a movement within consciousness rather than concretely as a movement which has an objective reality. . . . For Marx, man creates the world in which he lives; he “produces” nature itself The external world becomes alien to man when man’s own productive activity with regard to the world is alienated activity.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

For Tillich, estrangement is the separation of a being from its “essential nature,” as an alienation of existence from “essence.” This is reminiscent of both Hegel and Plato. Sartre, on the other hand, is usually interpreted as having rejected the idea that man has a fixed nature.

Tillich essentially reproduces the Hegelian understanding of man’s separation from and reunion with God: “man discovers himself when he discovers God; he discovers something that is identical with himself although it transcends him infinitely, something from which he is estranged, but from which he never has been and never can be separated. . . . This is what is meant in Tillich’s usage by the term self‑estrangement: man is separated from his own true being.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement

Man, Self‑determination

Man is never fully conditioned in the sense of being determined by any facts or forces. Rather man is ultimately self‑determining ‑ determining not only his fate but even his own self for man is not only forming and shaping the course of his life but also his very self. . . Man is not only responsible for what he does but also for what he is, inasmuch as man does not only behave according to what he is but also becomes according to how he behaves.

Philomena Agudo quoting Victor Frankl, Affirming the Human and the Holy

We are not computers that follows routines laid down at birth.

J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

Man, Nature of Man

The secret of Man does not lie in the early stages of his embryonic (ontogenetic or phylogenetic) life which he has now passed beyond; it lies in the spiritual nature of his soul. But this soul which is a synthetic unity in action, escapes the grasp of Science, whose work is essentially that of analyzing things in their elements and their material antecedents; only intuition and philosophical reflection can discover it.

Nicolas Corte quoting Teilhard, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: His Life and Spirit


Marriage is a relationship. When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in relationship.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Marriage is not a love affair. A marriage is a commitment to that which you are. You and the other are one.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

The Puritans called marriage “the little church with the Church.” In marriage, every day you love, and every day you forgive. It is an ongoing sacrament ‑ love and forgiveness. Sacrifice in marriage is not to the other, but to the relationship.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Matter, and Spirit

There are two traditions of explanation that march side by side in the ascent of man. One is the analysis of the physical structure of the world. The other is the study of the processes of life: their delicacy, their diversity, the wavering cycles from life to death in the individual and the species. And these traditions do not come together until the theory of evolution.

J. Bronowski, The Ascent of Man

“The cosmic Sense and the Christly Sense definitely coexisted in my heart and irresistibly drew towards each other.” In later life Teilhard wrote, “In fact, and even at the highest point of my spiritual trajectory, I only find myself completely at ease when bathed in an ocean of Matter.”

Teilhard quoted by Nicolas Corte, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: His Life and Spirit

Corte says Teilhard first studied geology and geography. There Teilhard found “the primacy of Matter ‑ Matter expressing itself in Mineral and Rock.” Later he developed interests in Palaentology and then in Prehistory. And then to physics. “On each side of Matter stood Life and Energy: the three pillars of my vision and happiness.”

Nicolas Corte, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: His Life and Spirit

Teilhard said of his development of the notion of evolution: “just at the right moment, like a seed sprung from In don’t know where.” This notion, says Corte, was stirred by Bergson’s Creative Evolution, 1906. It is much broader than that of Darwin and Lamarck, more like, as Corte describes it “the very law of the Universe created in Space‑Time.”

Nicolas Corte, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: His Life and Spirit

In a letter to Abbe Breuil, Teilhard noted that despite his absorption in Science, he continually, on reflection, comes back to the clear realization and conviction “that the Science of Christ in all things, that is the true science of mysticism, is the only one that matters . . . As I pray, I gradually work out a bit better my “Mass on Things.” It seems to me that in a sense the true elements that have to be consecrated every day are the growth of the world that day: the bread symbolizing appropriately what creation manages to produce, the wine (blood) what it loses, through exhaustion and suffering in its labor.”

See also “Duality” and “Evolution”


Meekness in itself is nought else, but a true knowing and feeling of a man’s self as he is.

The Cloud of Unknowing

Messiah, and hope

The rabbinical literature gave warning again and again against trying to “force the messiah.” The attitude required is neither one of rash impatience nor of passive waiting; it is one of dynamic hope. This hope is, indeed, paradoxical.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Messiah, false messiahs

The US inherits and perpetuates the doctrines of manifest destiny, the exploitative mentality. The message of minjung theology to North Americans may be a warning against the evil consequences of arrogating to ourselves a messianic role. The message about true messianic zeal also contains a warning about false messiahs.

Robert McAfee Brown, An Emerging Theology in World Perspective.

Messianic politics

The 1973 Korean Christian Declaration states:

Jesus the Messiah, our Lord, lived and dwelt among the oppressed, poverty‑stricken, and sick in Judea. He boldly confronted Pontius Pilate, a representative of the Roman Empire, and he was crucified while witnessing to the truth. He has risen from the dead, releasing the power to transform and set the people free. We resolve that we will follow the footsteps of our Lord, living among our oppressed and poor people, standing against political oppression, and participating in the transformation of history, for this is the only way to the Messianic Kingdom.

Choo Chai‑Yong, Minjung Theology


Speculative extension beyond direct observation spells some trust in metaphysics, however vaguely these metaphysical notions may be entertained in explicit thought. Our metaphysical knowledge is slight, superficial, incomplete. Thus errors creep in. But, such as it is, metaphysical understanding guides imagination and justifies purpose. Apart from metaphysical presupposition there can be no civilization.

Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

Millennianism, and the Messiah

Jesus is the true messiah, but he did not actualize the Messianic Kingdom while he was on earth. Its actualization is implicit in his second coming. Minjung theologians, therefore, stress the second coming of Christ. [They also stress the Holy Spirit over a christology, succession of Holy Spirit after Holy Son ‑ is this the incarnation of the second coming of Christ, in process now and every day?]

Jung Young Lee, An Emerging Theology in World Perspective

Millennianism, vs. Kingdom of God

Suh Nam‑dong argues a difference between biblical symbols of the Millennium and the Kingdom of God: While the Kingdom of God is a heavenly and ultimate symbol (the place the believer, individually, enters when he dies), the Millenium is a historical, earthly, and semi‑ultimate symbol (a point at which history and society are renewed, securing the salvation of the whole social reality of humankind.) Consequently, while the Kingdom of God is used in the ideology of the ruler, the Millennium is the symbol of the aspiration of the minjung.

Suh Nam‑Dong, Minjung Theology


Like the soil, mind is fertilized while it lies fallow, until a new burst of bloom ensues. The instant is more than the recognition of a mere point in time. It is the focal culmination of long, slow processes of maturation, the past.

Thomas Dewey, Art as Experience


Minjung is a theology of the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

James H. Cone, Introduction to Minjung Theology

Minjung theology is the theology of han. Christ came to relieve the minjung from their han.

Jung Young Lee, An Emerging Theology in World Perspective

Minjung theology belongs to the church, not to the university, and accordingly its purpose is to respond appropriately to the situation rather than to supply systems that are intellectually satisfying chiefly to the creators.

John B. Cobb, Jr., An Emerging Theology in World Perspective

There are three types of minjung. The first type is those who have been brain‑washed by the intellectual apparatus of the system and the rulers to being subservient. The second is those who see and know what is really happening. Of this group some become opportunistic and serve the ruler, other pretend to serve the ruler. The third type is those who are conscious of what is happening and are ready to act when the occasion calls for it. They become activists and revolutionaries.

Suh Kwang‑Sun David, Minjung Theology

Minjung, messianic politics and self‑transcendence

The minjung are the permanent reality of history. Kingdoms, dynasties, and states rise and fall; but the minjung remain as a concrete reality in history, experiencing the comings and goings of political powers. . . . The minjung transcend the power structures which attempt to confine them through the unfolding of their stories. Power has its basis in the minjung. But power as it expresses itself in political powers does not belong to the minjung.

Kim Young‑bock quoted by Suh Kwang‑Sun David, Minjung Theology


Melvin Nida defines miracle: when the eye of faith sees the hand of God at work.

Perception of the miraculous requires no faith or assumptions. It is simply a matter of paying full and close attention to the givens of life. . . . We are part of a finely balanced ecosystem in which interdependency goes hand‑in‑hand with individuation. We are all individuals, but we are also parts of a greater whole, united in something vast and beautiful beyond description. Perception of the miraculous is the subjective essence of self‑realization, the root from which man’s highest features and experiences grow.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled


For me, missionary work in itself is not primarily a religious matter. Far from it. It is first and foremost a duty of humanity never realized or acted upon by our states and nations. Only religious people, only simple souls, have undertaken it in the name of Jesus. . . . We are robber states. And were are the people in our civilized states who will undertake long‑term selfless labor to educate other peoles and bring them the blesings of our culture? Where are the workmen, tradesmen, teachers, professors, and doctors who will go to these countries and work there to achieve the blessings of culture? What efforts does our society make inthat direction? None at all. . .

. . . .

. . . True religion is also true humanitarianism. So the missions stepped in the breach for our culture, for our civilization, for our society ‑ and they did for other people what all the other agencies should have done.

Jesus has welded religion and humanity so close together that religion no longer exists as a separate entity; without true humanity, there is no religion. And the challenge of true humanity can no longer be heard without religion.

Schweitzer, Sermon, “The Call to Mission”, 1905

Once, in the mid‑nineties, Professor Lucius, a devoted friend of missions who died tragically at a young age, was lecturing about the hstory of missions on a summer afternoon . .. It was very hot, and barely a half dozen students were present. In his words that day I heard, for the first time, the idea of atonement. It was so strange. Dogmatics and New Testament exegesis found it difficult to explain why Jesus died for the sins of the world. Everything we had been told about the crucifixion was cut and dried, lifeless. And we could tell that those who lectured on the subject were not too confident about its meaning themselves. But now, as a call to service in Jesus’ name, the significance of missions became alive. The word cried so loudly that we could not escape understandig and graspig it. And from that day on, I understood Christianity better and knew why we must work in the mission field.

And now, when you speak about missions, let this be your message: We must make atonement for all the terrible crimes we read of inthe newspapers. We must make atonement for the still worse ones, which we do not read about in the papers, crimes that are shrouded in the silence of the jungle night. Then you preach Christianity and missionary work at the same time. I implore you to preach it.

Schweitzer, Sermon, “The Call to Mission”, 1905


Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Mythology is the song. It is the song of the imagination inspired by the energies of the body.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Myth is a manifestation of symbolic images, in metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body in conflict with each other. This organ wants this, this organ wants that. The brain is one of the organs.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

To see life as a poem and yourself participating in a poem is what the myth does for you.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Myth is incarnation: it is the celebration of the “Ideal” in the concrete by way of symbolism; it is the celebration of truth, the sacred, in our personal lives through a generalized story that we recognize as our own story. It recognizes that truth, reality, although not coextensive and limited to our own existence, is contained within this existence, and it thereby validates our experience. 8‑10‑90

Myth, as false religious belief

There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that these opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.

Bertrand Russell’s Best, edited by Robert E. Egner

Myths, need for them

We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Adventure

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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