Quotes That I Have Gathered – G

Gandhi

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in his book on Gandhi, reports Winston Churchill to have described Gandhi as a “seditious lawyer . . . posing as a half‑naked fakir,” who had no right to be negotiating with the British government.

God

For Tillich, God is being‑itself, and that is the only nonsymbolic statement which can be made about God.

Guyton B. Hammond, Man in Estrangement.

For Bultmann, God is the wholly other, the one who radically transcends the world. God so much transcends the world, that God can never be grasped by human thought. That is because human thought is limited to objects within the world, within history, within the grasp of humanity.

Norman Perrin, The Promise of Bultmann

For Fromm, “God is one of many different poetic expressions of the highest value in humanism, not a reality in itself. I wish to make my position clear at the outset. If I could define position approximately, I would call it that of a nontheistic mysticism.”

Erich Fromm, You Shall Be as Gods

There is reason to believe that behind spurious notions and false concepts of God there lies a reality that is God. This is what Paul Tillich meant when he referred to the “god beyond God” and why some sophisticated Christians used to proclaim joyfully, “God is dead. Long live God.”

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Germanica Theologia: “. . . the Perfect cannot be apprehended, known, or expressed by any creature as creature. Therefore we do not give a name to the Perfect, for it is none of these. The creature as creature cannot know or apprehend it, name or conceive it.” [This is in contrast to Eric Fromm’s notion of God as nameless because God is living, a dynamic becoming.]

God and Life

God and Life are one. . . . This persistently creative life of which every individual and every species is an experiment is what we mean by God. God, thus defined, has nothing of the ready‑made; He is unceasing life, action, freedom. Creation, so conceived, is not a mystery; we experience it in ourselves when we act freely.

Durant on Bergson

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives ceased to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.

Dag Hammarskjold, Markings.

God and Man

Joseph Campbell, in The Hero’s Adventure, quotes the zen philosopher, Dr. D.T. Suzuki: “God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature ‑ very funny religion.”

Man is uncertain; his knowledge is fragmentary. In his uncertainty he looks for absolutes that promise certainty which he can follow, with which he can identify. Can he do without such absolutes? Is it not a question of choosing absolutes? Is it not a question of choosing between God that affirms life and idols that negates life?

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

God helps man to change his heart, but never by changing man’s nature, by doing what only man can do for himself.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Mankind cannot abandon God for the simple reason (for faith) that God will not abandon man and continues “to visit” him ‑ by routes which we cannot map in advance.

Edward Schillebeeckx, Jesus

If you consider the Politbureau or the American technocrats you will see that there are those who escape atheism by impiously imagining themselves on the throne of the Almighty.

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

Every man would like to be God, if it were possible; some few find it difficult to admit the impossibility.

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

The paths into which God leads mankind are shrouded in darkness for us. There are only two ground rules. They go together, and each taken by itself is enigmatic. The first is that all sin requires atonement. The secon dis that all progress demands sacrifice, which has to be paid for by the lives of those chosen tobe offered up. We sense this more than we understand it.

Albert Schweitzer

God at the Center

I should like to speak of God, not on the boundaries, but at the center, not in weakness, but in strength; and therefore not in death and guilt, but in a man’s life and goodness.

Bonhoeffer, Christology lectures 1933.

The church stands, not at the boundaries where human powers have given out, but in the middle of the village.

Bonhoeffer, letter to Bethge.

It is his will to be recognized in life, and not only when death comes; in health and vigor, and not only in suffering; in our activities and not only in our sin.

Bonhoeffer.

“I shall think myself blessed only when I see Him in every one of my daily acts; Verily He is the thread, Which supports Muktanand’s life.”

Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth, quoting an acquaintance, Muktanand.

God, cantus firma of life in the world

Bonhoeffer’s letter to Eberhard: “There is always a danger in all strong, erotic love that one may love what I might call the polyphony of life.” He goes on to explain that what he means is that we should love God with all our heart, eternally, and that this provides the cantus firma, to which all the melodies of life can relate as counterpoint. One of those counterpoint themes is earthly affection. “When the cantus firma is plain and clear, the counterpoint can be developed to its limits.” He recognizes the agony Eberhard is experiencing as a result of his separation from Renate, one he himself is experiencing in his separation from Maria. He tries to help Eberhard, and himself, to realize that the desires of earthly love are not gross or to be contrasted with spiritual love. “Eberhard, do not fear and hate the separation, if it comes again with all its dangers, but rely on the cantus firma.”

Edwin Robertson, The Shame and the Sacrifice

God, changing images through history of art

According to Andre Malraux, a French art critic, God’s figure as the subject of Western art changes as the periods go by. First, God was depicted in the Byzantine period as a mysterious glimmering symbol hovering over the universe as a transcendent and an almighty judge. Second, in Western art the figure of a God changes to take on an anthropomorphic form. Third, in Romanesque cathedrals, God is usually portrayed as the Christ who takes the human form. Fourth, in the Gothic art of the thirteenth century, although the Christ figure is increasingly depicted as that of an earthly human being, it still retains the theme of king and victor. Fifth, in the fourteenth century, the Christ figure changes into one in which distress and agony are accentuated. Sixth, in the fifteenth century, Jesus is portrayed as a man in actual historical situations of the time of the artists. Seventh, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the figure of Christ gradually disappears from the canvas and the general human figure appears. Eighth, in the next stage, the inner thoughts of the artist find expression in abstract forms rather than in a human form.

Suh Nam‑Dong, Minjung Theology

God, Doctrine of Negative Attributes

Moses Maimonides (1135 ‑1204) held that it was inadmissible to use positive attributes to God’s essence, although it is permissible to imply attributes of actions with regard to God. . . . Hence it is clear that He has no positive attribute whatever. The negative attributes, however, are those which are necessary to direct the mind to the truths which we must believe concerning God; for on the one hand, they do not imply any plurality, and on the other, they convey to man the highest possible knowledge of God.” . . . [Maimonides concluded with Psalm 4:4, “Silence is praise to Thee.”

Erich Fromm, You Shall Be as Gods

God, evolution of the biblical concept

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods, (beginning note, p. 3) describes the evolution of the biblical concept of God:

1. God as absolute ruler, counterbalanced by man as God’s potential rival, which would have been achieved had man eaten both from the tree of knowledge and from the tree of life.

2. By the First Covenant God agrees not to be absolute ruler, but man and God become partners in a treaty. God lost his freedom to be arbitrary.

3. The Second Covenant between God and the nation of men, the Hebrews, calls Abraham from his own country and kindred with the promise of God making him a great nation by which “all the families of the earth will bless themselves.” This is an expression of universalism.

4. The next phase is reached in God’s revelation to Moses. All anthropomorphic elements have not disappeared. What is new is that God reveals himself as the God of history rather than the God of nature. Most important the distinction between God and an idol finds its full expression in the idea of a nameless God. The logical consequence of Jewish monotheism is the absurdity of theology. If God has no name there is nothing to talk about.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

As theism begins to crack and die, we c an see ever more clearly the process of “God creation” that we human beings have always pursued.  The attributes we have claimed for God are nothing but human qualities expanded beyond human limits.  Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, p. 49.

It was Freud’s contention that theistic religion was born as the means of dealing with the trauma of self-conscious existence.  It was born as a tool designed to keep our hysteria in check.  The theistic definition of God as a personal being with expanded supernatural, human, and parental qualities, which has shaped every religious idea of the Western world, came into existence not through divine revelation, Freud argued, but out of human need.  Today this theism is collapsing.  The theistic God has no work to do.  Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, p. 54.

Karen Armstrong, in her insightful book A History of God, has demonstrated that Jews, Christians, and Muslims were all at one time accused of being atheists when their ideas began to challenge the popular religious wisdom of their day.  Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, p. 58.

Spong notes that the ancient Hebrew word for God included urach (wind), nephesh (breath), and rock (1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 18:2; Ps. 18:31; 1 Cor. 10:4).  If something as impersonal as the wind, one’s breath, or a rock could be used by our forbears to conceive of God, then surely we might be more courageous and break our of our personalistic images and begin to contemplate new meanings and radically different figures of speech in our quest for God.  Spong, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, pp. 60, 61.

God, forgiveness of man

We find in the Bible, and still more so in the Talmudic tradition, a marked emphasis on forgiveness, mercy, and on man’s capacity to “return.” While God threatens punishment to the third and fourth generation, love and compassion are promised to the thousands of generations, and thus God’s compassion far outweighs his sense of punishment. But even this punishment of children for the sins of their fathers is denied in another verse of the Bible, which says that “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers” (Deut. 24:16). Isaiah succinctly states God’s compassion, “I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me”. (Is. 65:1).

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

Master Eckhart on sin: “But if a an rises completely above sin and turns away from it absolutely, then God, who is faithful, acts as if the sinner had never fallen into sin. . . . God is a God of the present. He takes you and receives you just as he finds you, not as the person you were, but as what you are.”

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

See also “Sin” and “Repentance”

God, grandeur of

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shookfoil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toils;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the block West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs –

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with oh! bright wings.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion, citing Poems of Gerard Hopkins

Tillich seldom uses the word of “God,” perhaps because it has been so much bleared and smeared. In fact, some protested against his appointment to the chair of philosophy at Dresden because of his association with religious socialists and atheists.

James Luther Adams, Paul Tillich’s Philosophy of Culture, Science and Religion

God, leading humankind

Teilhard notes in a letter concerning his palaeolithic find impacting on prehistory: “All in all, it seems to me that the good Lord has really led me by the hand this last three months.” He says he went to China to better speak of the “mighty Christ” in Paris.

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

God, of history

God’s role in history is to send his messengers, the prophets; they have a fourfold function:

1. They announce to man that there is God, and that man’s goals is to become fully human; and that means to become like God.

2. They show man alternatives between which he can choose, and the consequences of these alternative.

3. They dissent and protest when man takes the wrong road. But they do not abandon the people; they are their conscience, speaking up when everybody else is silent.

4. They do not think in terms of individual salvation only, but believe that individual salvation is bound up with the salvation of society. Their concern is the establishment of a society governed by love, justice, and truth.

Eric Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods

God, of reality

Only when one knows himself to be addressed by God in his own life does it make sense to speak of God as the lord of reality.

Norman Perrin on Bultmann, The Promise of Bultmann

God in Creation

When you see that God is creation, and that you are a creature, you realize that God is within you, and in the man or woman with whom you are talking as well.

God, in history

We do not believe in an invalid God who was carried piggy‑back to Korea by the first missionary. He was here working in our history before the missionaries came.

D. Preman Niles quoting Hyun Young‑hak, Minjung Theology

God, knowledge of

In the tradition from the Bible to Maimonides, knowing God and being like God means to imitate God’s actions and not to know or speculate about God’s essence.

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

God, nameless

The Hebrew word “Eheyeh” is the first person of the imperfect tense of the Hebrew verb “to be”. It says that God is, but his being is not completed like that of a thing, but is a living process, a becoming. A free translation of God’s answer to Moses would be: “My name is Nameless; tell them that “Nameless” has sent you.” The living God cannot have a name.

Erich Fromm, You Shall Be as Gods

God, one

The first missionaries, good men imbued with the narrowness of their age, branded us as pagans and devil-worshipers, and demanded of us that we abjure our false gods before bowing the knee at their sacred altar. They even told us that we were eternally lost, unless we adopted a tangible symbol and professed a particular form of their hydra-headed faith.

We of the twentieth century know better! We know that all religious aspiration, all sincere worship, can have but one source and one goal. We know that the God of the lettered and the unlettered, of the Greek and the barbarian, is after all the same God; and, like Peter, we perceive that He is no respecter of persons, but that in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to Him.

Charles A. Eastman (Dr. Eastman, born Ohiyesa, Santee Indian in 1854), in his Foreword to The Soul of the Indian

God, power of

When I came home they told me the physician said he did not expect Mr. Meyrick would live till the morning. I went to him, but his pulse was gone. He had been speechless and senseless for some time. A few of us immediately joined in prayer (I relate the naked fact): before we had done his sense his speech returned. Now he that will account for this by natural causes has my free leave; but I choose to say, This is the power of God.

John Wesley

God’s will

The best and highest use of your mind is to learn to distrust yourself, to renounce your own will, to submit to the will of God, and tobecome as a little child. It is not of doing difficult things that I speak, but of performing the most common actions with your heart fixed on God, and as one who is accomplishing the end of his being. You will act as others do, except that you will never sin. . . . We are neither austere, nor fretful, nor scrupulous,but have within ourselves a principle of love that enlarges the heart and sheds a gentle influence upon everything . . .

Francois Fenelon

God within

My conclusion [concerning the superficial judgments of others, even our friends] is that wemust listen to the voice of God inthe silence of our souls, and pronounce for or against ourselves whatever this pure light may reveal to us at the moment when we thus endevor to know ourselves. We must often silently listen to this teacher within,who will make known all truth to us, and who, if we are faithful in attending to him, will often lead us to silence. When we hear this secret,small voice within, which is the sould of our soul, it is a proof that self is silent, that it may listen to it. This voice is not a stranger there. God is in our sould, as our souls are in our bodies. It is something that we cannot distinguish exactly,but it is what upholds and guides us. This is not a miraculous inspirationwhich exposes us toillusion and fanaticism. It is only a profound peace of the sould that yields itself up to the spirit of God, believing His revealed Word and practicing His commands as declared in the Gospel.

Francois Fenelon

God’s Work in the World

God works in the world as it is to bring us to what it can be.

Marjorie Suchocki

There is no difference between God’s work and the work of this world. The merchants, industrialists, scholars, and workers are all doing the work of God. Our daily occupations serve God.

Choo Chai‑Yong quoting the novelist, Yi Kwang‑su, Minjung Theology

God’s Judgment

God judges so that there may be transformation.

Good

“Good” for the humanistic conscience is all that furthers life; “evil” is all that arrests and strangles it.

Erich Fromm, You Shall Be as Gods

Gospel, and Twelve Steps

Friar Richard Rohr, “Breathing Under Water”, Twelve Steps and Spirituality, uses the phrase “preferential option for the poor” in relation to the twelve steps: “Until we recognize, love, forgive and embrace the poor part of yourself, you will not hear the gospel.” . . . The Church rediscovers Christ in the “least of these.” ‑ the only description Christ gave of the end days says we will be judged on the extent in which we saw Christ in “the least of these.” . . . We must discover the “hole in the sole (soul) where we are powerless/life is unmanageable, “I cannot do it.” What is not received is not redeemed. Until the hole in the soul is recognized, named, and owned, we cannot be redeemed.

Gospel, and Humanism

Divine Truth should not be divorced from human values and social ideology. A Christ‑centered Humanism is integral to the gospel and has its own evangelistic dimension. If theology is Christologically oriented, it need not be opposed to anthropology.

M.M. Thomas quoted in Minjung Theology

Grace

The Western doctrine of Grace, derived from St.   Augustine, leans heavily towards the notion of a wholly transcendent God imposing this partial favors on the world.

Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

A person is open to the workings of grace only when he or she has a deep sense of appreciation for his or her identity.

Philomena Agudo, Affirming the Human and the Holy

There is a force, the mechanics of which we do not fully understand, that seems to operate routinely in most people to protect and to foster their mental health even under the most adverse conditions. . . . In the ordinary course of things we should be eaten alive by bacteria, consumed by cancer, clogged up by fats and clots, eroded by acids. It is hardly remarkable that we sicken and die; what is truly remarkable is that we don’t usually sicken very often and we don’t die very quickly.

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. . . . Costly grae is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift whichmust be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to payfor our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[Is this not what we are called to ‑ to be the hands and feet of God. Is that not what the incarnation is about ‑ God’s love made concrete? When we act in love, are we not then the incarnation of God? RW 4‑1‑92]

Gratitude

An individual’s capacity to be sincerely grateful is a function of that person’s appreciation and gratitude for his or her own being and selfworth. . . . Appreciation of self results in a habitual attitude of gratitude for what one is, for what one has, and for one’s positive interaction with others.

Philomena Agudo, Affirming the Human and the Holy

Guilt

Jesus gives the gift of guilt, but takes away the shame. . . . Shame is the fear of contempt of others, fear that we will be thought of as nothing. We must name the demon: I am what I am, what I am, what I am.

Friar Richard Rhor, “Breathing Under Water”, Twelve Steps and Spirituality

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/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/

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