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The Naked Sun
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To Live with Christ
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Jan 16, 2023 07:27AM

The Warden and th...
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See all 7 books that Tom is reading…
Book cover for The Power and the Glory
Now that he no longer despaired it didn’t mean, of course, that he wasn’t damned—it was simply that after a time the mystery became too great, a damned man putting God into the mouths of men: an odd sort of servant, that, for the devil.
G.K. Chesterton
“It seems to me a very real problem, to which I have never seen an answer even such as I shall attempt here, why a democracy should produce fads; and why, where there is so genuine a sense of human dignity, there should be so much of an impossible petty tyranny.”
G.K. Chesterton, The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books]

Andy Crouch
“Over time, the active verbs of the Shema-recite,
walk, talk, lie down, rise, bind, fix, write, all in the service of love-become too much for us to imagine, let alone perform.
Our search for superpowers has created many of the most pressing problems of our time.

The defining mental activity of our time is scrolling
Our capacities of attention, memory, and concentration are diminishing; to compensate, we toggle back and forth between infinite feeds of news, posts, images, episodes - taking shallow hits of trivia, humor, and outrage to make up for the depths of learning, joy, and genuine lament
that now feel beyond our reach.

The defining illness of our time is metabolic syndrome, the chronic combination of high weight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar that is the hallmark of an inactive life. Our strength is atrophying and our waistline expanding, and to compensate, we turn to the superpowers of the supermarket with the aisles of salt and fat convincing our bodies’ reward systems, one bite at a time, that we have never been better in our life.

The defining emotional challenge of our time is anxiety, the fear of what might be instead of the courageous pursuit of what could be. Once, we lived with allness of heart, with a boldness of quest that was too in love with the good to call off the pursuit when we encountered risk. Now we live as voyeurs, pursuing shadowy vestiges of what we desire from behind the one-way mirror of a screen, invulnerable but alone.

And, of course, the soul is the plane of human ex-
istence that our technological age neglects most of all. Jesus asked whether it was worth gaining the whole world at the cost of losing one's soul. But in the era of superpowers, we have not only lost a great deal of our souls-we have lost much of the world as well. We are rarely overwhelmed by wind or rain or snow. We rarely see, let alone name, the stars. We have lost the sense that we are both at home and on a pilgrimage in the vast, mysterious cosmos, anchored in a rich reality beyond ourselves. We have lost our souls without even gaining the world.

So it is no wonder that the defining condition of our time is a sense of loneliness and alienation.

For if human flourishing requires us to love with all
our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, what happens
When nothing in our lives develops those capacities? With what, exactly, will we love?”
Andy Crouch, The Life We're Looking for: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World

Martin Luther
“The number of books on theology must be reduced and only the best ones published. It is not many books that make people learned or even much reading. It is, rather, a good book frequently read, no matter how small it is, that makes a person learned in the Scriptures and upright. Indeed, the writings of all the holy Fathers should be read only for a time so that through them we may be led into the Scriptures. As it is, however, we only read them these days to avoid going any further and getting into the Bible. We are like people who read the signposts and never travel the road they indicate. Our dear Fathers wanted to lead us to the Scriptures by their writings, but we use their works to get away from the Scriptures. Nevertheless, the Scripture alone is our vineyard in which we must all labor and toil.”
Martin Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation

G.K. Chesterton
“One of the actual and certain consequences of the idea that all men are equal is immediately to produce very great men.”
G.K. Chesterton, The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books]

Bo Giertz
“Anders, it is not your sins that separate you from God, but your virtues. Or more properly: it is that you need to have something to bring before you step before God. This is why God has allowed you to be stripped of the shroud of holiness that you wore in Fröjerum. Not because you were zealous and pious. God grant that all priests would be as zealous as you! But because you made it into an article of faith and into your righteousness and put it between you and Christ. Now you are poor, destitute, and naked—like the prodigal son. Now the heavenly Father stand and waits for you. Now he wants to fold you in his arms and clothe you with the most precious garment, which is called Christ’s righteousness, in which not a single thread is spun by your hands, but for just that reason it lasts forever.”
Bo Giertz, Faith Alone: The Heart of Everything

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