What does our age of constant diversion, distraction, and dissipation lack? It lacks meaningful discipline: self-denial for a cause greater than the self. But this alone gives meaning and truth to the self, which is otherwise derelict in its own finite absorption.
— Douglas Groothuis, from theconstructivecurmudgeon.blogspot.com
How, then, it may be asked, can we either reach or avoid Him? The avoiding, in many times and places, has proved so difficult that a very large part of the human race failed to achieve it. But in our own time and place it is extremely easy. Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.
— C. S. Lewis, from Christian Reflections, kindle location 2963
Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things.
— Blaise Pascal, quoted in Without a Doubt by Kenneth Richard Samples, kindle location 808
God has been abolished by the media pundits and other promoters of our new demythologized divinity. We continue to insist that change is progress, self-indulgence is freedom and novelty is originality. In these circumstances it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Western man has decided to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down. Having convinced himself that he is too numerous, he labours with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer, thereby delivering himself the sooner into the hands of his enemies. At last, having educated himself into imbecility and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over, a weary, battered old brontosaurus, and becomes extinct.
— Leslie Fiedler, quoted in The End of Christendom by Malcolm Muggeridge, p. 20
Traditional interpretations of morality (based on biblical guidelines and nature) are considered passé. Today’s translation: Morality is relative.
The definition of the good life has changed. From Old Testament times until this century, the good life was understood to mean a life of intellectual and moral virtue. Happiness was understood as a life of virtue, and the successful person was one who knew how to live life well according to the creative design of God. Today’s translation: The good life means material success and public notoriety. Continue reading
Is there a higher moral authority above your libido? That is the basic question our culture has to answer, and most Americans say no.
— Douglas Groothuis, from Developing an Apologetic Mind Part 1 at 47:03
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
— Isaiah 5:20, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Superficiality is the curse of our age,” writes Richard J. Foster. “The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” This is what Thomas Kelly wrote so profoundly of in A Testament of Devotion, noting that we are to live life on two levels: the level of hurried activity and then the life of the interior world. The dilemma is that many of us only choose to inhabit the first level. The frantic race through life becomes the only plane of existence in which we operate or from which we draw. It is a very shallow well.
— James Emery White, from Serious Times, p. 81