Quotes from Nancy Pearcey’s book Love Thy Body
Here are 10 quotes from Nancy Pearcey’s book Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality (Grand Rapids: Backer Books, 2018). It’s a really good and timely book.
“A worldview that says human life has no inherent value or dignity will never lead to utopia, no matter how advanced the tools and technology” (Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 101).
The Apostle Paul “would have seen prostitutes on the street and in the doorways of brothels. He probably saw slave auctions, where youths his own age were being sold to local pimps” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 187).
“From the beginning, Christians have not defended ‘traditional values.’ They have stood for truth against prevailing cultural norms” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 188).
“The biblical ethic says our sexual identity has the high honor of being part of the moral structure of the universe” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 189).
“Christians must once again become known as those who honor the whole person. The reason they speak out on moral issues should not be because their beliefs are being threatened or because they feel‘offended.’…. Christians must make it clear that they are speaking out because they genuinely care about people” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 190).
“People must be drawn in by a vision that attracts them by offering a more appealing, more life-affirming worldview. Christians must present biblical morality in a way that reveals the beauty of the biblical view of the human person so that people actually want it to be true. And they must back up their words with actions that treat people with genuine dignity and worth” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 190).
Pearcey quotes Jean Paul Sartre: “There is no human nature because there is no God to have a conception of it…. Man is nothing else but that which he makes himself.” So, in this view, as Pearcey says, “There is no blueprint for what it means to be human…. And if nature reveals no purpose, then it cannot inform our morality” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 206).
“Christianity assigns the human body… much richer dignity and value. Humans do not need freedom from the body to discover their true authentic self. Rather we can celebrate our embodied existence as a good gift from God. Instead of escaping from the body, the goal is to live in harmony with it” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 210-11).
“Those who respect science the most should also be the most pro-marriage” (Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 242). Why? Because “children of unmarried or divorced parents are far more likely to suffer emotional, behavioral, and health problems. They are at higher risk for crime, poverty, depression, suicide, school difficulties, unmarried pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 242).
“Instead of moving out of the state of nature populated by lone, autonomous individuals, we are moving into a state where adults are isolated individuals, connecting with others temporarily and only when it meets their needs. We are regressing to a pre-civilized condition” (Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 248).
Quotes from The Christian Faith by Michael Horton
“A mystery is inexhaustible, but a contradiction is nonsense. For example, to say that God is one in essence and three in persons is indeed a mystery, but it is not a contradiction. Believers revel in the paradox of the God who became flesh, but divine and human natures united in one person is not a contradiction. It is not reason that recoils before such miracles as ex nihilo creation, the exodus, or the virginal conception, atoning death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather, it is the fallen heart of reasoners that refuses to entertain even the possibility of a world in which divine acts occur” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, 101).
“Faithful reasoning neither enthrones nor avoids human questioning. Rather, it presupposes a humble submission to the way things actually are, not the way we expect them to be. Faithful reasoning anticipates surprise, because it is genuinely open to reality. If reality is always exactly what we assumed, then the chances are good that we have enclosed ourselves in a safe cocoon of subjective assertions. Unbelief is its own form of fideism, a close-mindedness whose a priori, untested, and unproven commitments have already restricted the horizon of possible interpretations” (Horton, The Christian Faith, 102).
“Ethical imperatives are extrapolated from gospel indicatives. The gospel of free justification liberates us to embrace the very law that once condemned us” (Ibid., 640).
“In the Greek language we must differentiate between the indicative mood, which is declarative (simply describing a certain state of affairs), and the imperative mood, which sets forth commands). For example, in Romans Paul first explains who believers were in Adam and their new status in Christ (justification) and then reasons from this indicative to the imperatives as a logical conclusion: ‘Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life…’ (Ro 6:13). He concludes with another imperative (command), but this time it is really an indicative: ‘For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace’ (v.14)” (Ibid., 649).
“Where most people think that the goal of religion is to get people to become something that they are not, the Scriptures call believers to become more and more what they already are in Christ” (Ibid., 652).
“Although we cannot work for our own salvation, we can and must work out that salvation in all areas of our daily practice. When God calls, ‘Adam, where are you?’ the Spirit leads us to answer, ‘In Christ’ (Ibid., 662).
“It is crucial to remind ourselves that in this daily human act of turning, we are always turning not only from sin but toward Christ rather than toward our own experience or piety” (Ibid., 663).
10 Quotes from John Piper’s book, Future Grace
“The commandments of God are not negligible because we are under grace. They are double because we are under grace” (John Piper, Future Grace, 168).
“The way to fight sin in our lives is to battle our bent toward unbelief” (Piper, Future Grace, 219).
“The faith that justifies is a faith that also sanctifies… The test of whether our faith is the kind of faith that justifies is whether it is the kind of faith that sanctifies” (Ibid., 332).
“The blood of Christ obtained for us not only the cancellation of sin, but also the conquering of sin. This is the grace we live under—the sin-conquering, not just sin-canceling, grace of God (Ibid., 333).
“The problem with our love for happiness is never that its intensity is too great. The main problem is that it flows in the wrong channels toward the wrong objects, because our nature is corrupt and in desperate need of renovation by the Holy Spirit” (Ibid., 397).
“The role of Gods Word is to feed faith’s appetite for God. And, in doing this, it weans my heart away from the deceptive taste of lust” (Ibid., 335)
“It is this superior satisfaction in future grace that breaks the power of lust. With all eternity hanging in the balance, we fight the fight of faith. Our chief enemy is the lie that says sin will make our future happier. Our chief weapon is the Truth that says God will make our future happier. We must fight it with a massive promise of superior happiness. We must swallow up the little flicker of lust’s pleasure in the conflagration of holy satisfaction” (Ibid., 336).
“There are no closed countries to those who assume that persecution, imprisonment and death are the likely results of spreading the gospel. (Matthew 24:9. RSV)” (Ibid., 345).
“Perseverance in faith is, in one sense, the condition of justification; that is, the promise of acceptance is made only to a persevering sort of faith, and the proper evidence of it being that sort is its actual perseverance” (Piper, Future Grace, 26 quoting Jonathan Edwards).
“Humility follows God like a shadow” (Ibid., 85).
10 Quotes from Jonathan Pennington’s book, Jesus the Great Philosopher
I appreciated Pennington’s book. He did a good job showing that “Christianity is more than a religion. It is a deeply sophisticated philosophy” (Jonathan T. Pennington, Jesus the Great Philosopher: Rediscovering the Wisdom Needed for the Good Life, 159).
Here are 10 quotes that stuck out to me:
“When we try to live without knowledge of physics and metaphysics—how the would is and how works—then we are foolish, not wise, living randomly, haphazardly, without direction or hope for security, happiness, or peace” (Pennington, Jesus the Great Philosopher, p. 23).
“The Bible is addressing precisely the same questions as traditional philosophy” (p. 53).
“The Old and New Testaments teach people to act in certain ways, knowing that cognitive and volitional choices not only reflect our emotions but also affect and educate them” (p. 120-21).
“Without intentional reflection, we will live our lives without direction and purpose. Or worse, we will live with misdirected and distorted goals” (p. 124).
“Relationships aren’t an add-on to life, they make up our life” (p. 134).
“Jesus himself emphasized that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). This does not mean Christians are free to ignore this world, but instead it frees Christians to relate in a gracious and humble way, knowing their citizenship is ultimately something more and greater and different” (p. 166-67).
“The reason Jesus was so infuriating to both religious and government leaders was not because he was taking up arms and trying to overthrow governments but because his radical teachings were so subversive to society. Jesus was subversive because he sought to reform all sorts of relationships. In his teachings and actions, Jesus continually subverted fundamental values of both Jewish and Greco-Roman society” (p. 172).
“Christianity is a deeply intentional and practical philosophy of relationships” (p. 173).
“Unlike sitcom relationships, the reality is that our lives are broken through sin—the brokenness not only of sin that has corrupted creation itself but also of personal acts of evil, foolishness, and harm. Thus, the Christian philosophy’s vision for relationships within God’s kingdom is not naive or idealistic” (p. 181).