Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Thomas Sowell Eleventary

1. People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.

2. If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.

3. Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.

4. Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.

5. The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.

6. The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.

7. The real minimum wage is zero.

8. What multiculturalism boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

9. In liberal logic, if life is unfair then the answer is to turn more tax money over to politicians, to spend in ways that will increase their chances of getting reelected.

10. People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.

11. Elections should be held on April 16th—the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Bah Humbug: As Far As the Curse Is Found

1. Humbug is an old word of indeterminate etymology meaning “spectacle” or “hoax” or “jest,” often referring to some unjustified reputation or publicity.

2. Of course, the word is most often associated with Ebenezer Scrooge, a character created by Charles Dickens in The Christmas Carol. He famously dismissed Christmas declaring, “Bah! Humbug!” Interestingly, variations of the term make appearances in any number of European languages:

3. Humbug may well be derived from the Old Norse words hum, meaning “night” or “shadow” or “dark air,” and bugges, a variant of bogey, meaning “apparition” or "ghost."

4. In Icelandic, húm means “twilight.”

5. In Faeroese, hómi means “unclear.”

6. Humi in Swedish means “dark suspicion.” This word may well be derived from the Old Swedish verb hymla, still in use, which means “to conceal," "to hide," or "to evade the truth.”

7. In Old English and Anglo Saxon, hum means “to deceive.” And bugges is a word that appears in Wyclif’s earliest translation of the English Bible meaning “specter.” And that may well be derived from the much older Celtic word bwg, meaning “scarecrow.”

8. But, it could also be derived from the Early Italian, uomo bugiardo, which literally means “lying man.”

9. Uim-bog is supposed to mean “soft copper” in Ancient Gaelic—still used in Ireland as slang for “worthless money.”

10. In other words, “Bah! Humbug!” may very well be an apt declaration for Christmas (much to the chagrin of Scrooge): it is the declaration that Christ has come to expose the fraudulence, the impotence, the bugaboo nonsense of this poor fallen world; but even more, He has come to replace the dark specters, the apparitional hoaxes of sin, the evasions of the truth at the heart of sin.

11. Thus: He has come to make His blessings flow as far as the curse is found.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chalmers on the Disciplines of Time

“O God, may I number my days so as to apply my heart to wisdom. Grant me the guidance of Thy Spirit and the joys of salvation.”

“Time is short; and as the years revolve over me, may I learn to prize as the truest of all wisdom, the wisdom of the Gospel. I am in Thy hand, O God.”

“O God, may I grow every day in faith and charity.”

“O God, impress upon me the value of time, and give regulation to all my thoughts and movements.”

“The Bible should be the daily exercise of those who have decidedly embarked in the business.”

“Teach me the act of exacting piety from everything around me. Accept O God, my gratitude for the peacefulness of Thy Sabbaths. Give me light and comfort in prayer. Settle me in the principles of the knowledge of Christ.”

“May I be strong in faith, instant in prayer, high in my sense of duty, and vigorous in the execution of it.”

“Let me never cease to pray for the Spirit to make good my sanctification.”

“My business is to never relax a single sentiment founded on Scripture and to steer myself by the guidance of conviction and the Divine Spirit through all that can oppose itself to the interests of the Gospel.”

“Help our unbelief, O God; dissolve our hardness; enter into our hearts. May Christ be our all and, under the influence of that which availeth faith working by love, grant that He may be to us power and wisdom and sanctification and complete wisdom.”

“O God, grant Thy Spirit to work in me the work of faith with power.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Jerry Bridges Eleventary

I've been reading Jerry Bridges (1929-2016) for nigh on four decades. Ever since the release of The Pursuit of Holiness by NavPress in 1978, I have eagerly awaited each of his new books. I've never been disappointed. Indeed, he became one of the chief influences on my life.
 It was really difficult to choose, but Here is my selection of the best of his best:

The Pursuit of Holiness (1978)
Respectable Sins (2007)
The Practice of Godliness (1983)
The Discipline of Grace (1994)
Transforming Grace (1991)
Trusting God (1988)
Growing Your Faith (2004)
The Transforming Power of the Gospel (2012)
The Fruitful Life (2006)
Is God Really in Control? (2006)
The Gospel for Real Life (2002)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

An Umberto Eco (Ex Caelis Oblatus) Eleventary

"I love the smell of book ink in the morning." 

“There is nothing more wonderful than a list, that instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.”

“A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection—not an invitation for hypnosis.”

"Only publishers and television people believe that people crave easy experiences."

"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom."

"Translation is the art of failure."

"The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else."

"Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another's fear." Umberto Eco

"When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything."

"I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed."

"Books always speak of other books, and every story tells a story that has already been told."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Justice Scalia Eleventary

"Day by day, case by case, the Supreme Court is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize."

"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

"To allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation."

"A right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children is among the ‘unalienable Rights’ with which the Declaration of Independence proclaims ‘all men are endowed by their Creator.'"

"Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society."

"Bear in mind that brains and learning, like muscle and physical skill, are articles of commerce. They are bought and sold. You can hire them by the year or by the hour. The only thing in the world not for sale is character."

"For in order for capitalism to work — in order for it to produce a good and a stable society—the traditional Christian virtues are essential."

"As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to do what the people want, instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically."

"The body of scientific evidence supporting creation science is as strong as that supporting evolution. In fact, it may be stronger. The evidence for evolution is far less compelling than we have been led to believe. Evolution is not a scientific 'fact,' since it cannot actually be observed in a laboratory. Rather, evolution is merely a scientific theory or 'guess.' It is a very bad guess at that. The scientific problems with evolution are so serious that it could accurately be termed a 'myth.'"

"A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless."

“Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Dr. King Eleventary

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”