Quotes and Illustrations VWXYZ


Video & Video Games

It is estimated that 95 to 97 percent of our youth are playing video games of one sort or another. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 124.

There are cases where young people in South Korea; gaming halls have been found dead, slumped over their gaming keyboards. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 124.

This has led to a new phenomenon in young men called “failure to launch,” and gaming addictions are a large contributor. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 125.

“Smartphone fidgeting: seems to be the new dating style.  The phenomenon has been coined absent presence, meaning that someone uses their phone to check their messages, play video games, or play with apps while they are with someone else. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion, p. 159.


As the Irish orator John Philpot Curran had it: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, 2003), p. 57.

Virgin Birth

Israeli pastor Asher Intrater points out how the word for virgin in Isaiah 7:14 is the Hebrew alemah.  It is not the normal word for virgin, which is betulah.  He mentions how this word is used only four times in the Old Testament with three of those times being significant for us (Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; Isaiah 7:14).  In these three cases we realize that alemah can speak of a virgin.

In Isaiah 7 it speaks of a virgin who is in the state of betrothal.  The state of betrothal was a legal state (it had to be broken by a divorce).  Therefore, because Mary was in a state of betrothal and a virgin as well, her child could be born of the Holy Spirit, but would also be able to be the heir of David’s line through his legal father.  Asher notes how this word has its root in the word for mystery. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZyMVFubqBk&list=PLrQIjPM4N0r2FFYWlwO2eu0yUT4sNkLJG&index=33


Gregory Spencer list several important virtues that are the quiet ones: Discernment, innocence, authenticity, modesty, reverence, contentment and generosity.  Gregory Spencer, Awakening the Quieter Virtues (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2010), p. 7.

Samuel Adams said, “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.  While the people are virtuous, they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” Loren Cunningham, The Book That Transforms Nations (Seattle: YWAM Publishers, 2007), p. 140.


The Youth…by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended;

At length the Man perceives it die away,

And fade into the light of common day.

William Wordsworth, Intimations of Immortality from recollections of early childhood.

Helen Keller, a woman born deaf and blind and whose story was told through the stage and film presentation of The Miracle Worker, was asked what would be worse than being born blind.  She answered, “To have sight without vision.” James Emery White, Life-Defining Moments (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2001), p. 69.

Voice of God

It should be remembered that a voice from heaven was well known during the period.  Sometimes an echo voice, referred to in rabbinic texts as a daughter voice, bat kol, was likened to the sound of a chirping bird or the cooing of a dove. Brad Young, Jesus the Jewish Theologian (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), p. 19.


While there had long been a tsunami-warning system in place in the Pacific Ocean, where tsunamis are more common, no such system existed in the Indian Ocean.  Interestingly, two weeks  prior to the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, a British schoolgirl named Tilly Smith had been taught all about tsunamis – how to spot them, what to do to protect yourself from one, and so forth – by her geography teacher at Danes Hill School.

Tilly and her family were touring Thailand when the earthquake shook.  Soon thereafter, she saw the eerie symptoms she and her classmates had just studied – frothy bubbles on the surface of the sea, dramatically receding waters in a phenomenon known as “disappearing sea” – and immediately alerted her parents.  They in turn alerted the staff at the beachfront hotel where they were staying, who alerted the more than one hundred other tourists who were playing and sunning on the beach.  That beach was one of the few beaches across the region that reported no casualties as a result of the tsunami that did, in fact, overwhelm the area.  And it was all because a little blond eleven-year-old chose to speak up when the stakes were high. Jack Graham, Unseen: angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, and Winning the Battle for Eternity (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 2013), p. 237.

Wave/Particle Duality

The wave/particle duality that Einstein had discovered in light, Louis de Broglie extended to matter. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. 38.

Quantum mechanics asserts that every object in the universe— an electron, a chair, you and me, the planet Earth, and the entire universe itself— is simultaneously both a particle and a wave. Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Christianity (NY: Doubleday, 2007), p. 7.

Simply look through your fingers as you carefully squeeze them together.  Just before you extinguish the light coming through, you will see a series of alternating light and dark bands.  These bands are called an interference pattern.  They can only be produced by light waves, not particles.  The alternation of light and dark is due to waves of light interfering with each other. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap (Grand Rapids: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 48.

When they are forced to travel through a very narrow space, such as the space between your two fingers, these waves bend into each other.  The pattern of light and dark is a result of this bending. Fred Alan Wolf, Taking The Quantum Leap, p. 49.


Recently a pilot was practicing high-speed maneuvers in a jet fighter.  She turned the controls for what she thought was a steep accent-and flew straight into the ground.  She was unaware that she had been flying upside down. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (Rediscovering our hidden life in God),( San Francisco: Harpers, 1998), p. 1.


Ancient Jewish wisdom shows us that the only route to wealth is in serving other human beings.  Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Business Secrets From The Bible, (Hoboken: Wiley, 2014), p. 138.

NFL players – Within 3 years after retirement 70 percent of players will be divorced, bankrupt or homeless.  The statistics for all professional sports players is 60 percent. Interview with Luther Elliss on the Huckabee Show 8/28/10.

As Christianity Today’s Ted Olsen noted in 2006, only half of American Pentecostalists report having spoken in tongues – but 66 percent agreed with the premise that “God grants believers wealth…Crucially though, it isn’t just Pentecostalists who think this way.  The same survey found that 43 percent of “other Christians” – white and black, Catholic, Mainline, and Evangelical alike – concurred that the Almighty showers riches on believers. Ross Douthat, Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics (New York: Free Press, 22012), p. 194.

Lenny Dyksrtra was a star baseball player for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1985 until 1986.  He earned more than $36 million during that period, opened a chain of car washes, and emerged as an investment guru with frequent appearances on cable TV giving us kids financial advice.  Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in July 2009 with less than $50,000 in assets and somewhere between $10 million and $50 million in debt.  By the next month, he was living out of his car and sleeping in hotel lobbies.  Then he was charged with federal bankruptcy fraud and arrested for grand theft auto and possession of a controlled substance. Zac Bassonnette, How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than your Parents (New York: Penguin, 2012), p. 4.

Knox College psychologist Tim Kasser surveyed thousands of people, asking them questions about how interested they were in acquiring goods, and how much they were concerned about how they were perceived by other people, and how happy they were.  He reported that “the more materialistic values are at the center of our lives, the more our quality of life is diminished.”…Lisa Ryan and Suzanne Dziurawiec surveyed people in Australia and found that those who were more materialistic were “less satisfied with life as a whole.”…Princeton economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that the ability of income to increase happiness capped out at $75,000 per year.  After that, increasing income stops making you happier…Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, author of Stop Acting Rich, surveyed people based on their brand of watch and asked them to measure their overall satisfaction with life on a five-point scale.  There was no statistically significant difference in levels of happiness among people wearing Rolex, Seiko, or Timex. Zac Bassonnette, How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than your Parents, pp. 13-14.

Wichita, Kansas. – Authorities say two brothers accidentally blew up their house after celebrating a $75,000 winning lottery ticket by purchasing marijuana and meth.

Wichita police Sgt. Bruce Watts says one of the brothers was taken to a hospital and the other to jail after Friday’s explosion. The Wichita Eagle reports that the injured 27-year-old brother is in serious but stable condition with second-degree burns on his hands, arms and chest.

Watts says the explosion happened after one of the brothers went to the kitchen to refuel the butane torches they planned to use to light their bongs. The brother emptied a couple large cans of butane lighter fluid, leaking butane into the air.  Eventually, butane vapor reached the pilot light in the furnace, causing the blast.Brothers blow up house while celebrating lottery win with drugs.” Published February 18, 2013, Associated Press.


A 2006 survey by Harris Interactive reported that 43 percent of US teens have experienced some form of cyberbullying in the past year. Archibald D. Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd, The Digital Invasion (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2013), p. 122.


Pastor Jeremiah Steepek…transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then dismissed service until next week.
Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.


For each person who finds a job two other people sign up for food stamps. Lou Dobbs, Upheaval (New York: Threshold Editions, 2014), p. 161.

West Bank (Judea & Samaria)

Under Israeli management, economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza surged for some twenty years at a rate as high as 30 percent in 1979, averaging 25 per-cent per year, and the number of Arabs grew from roughly 1 million to almost 3 million in some 261 new towns, while the number of Jews in the territories rose merely to 250 thousand, settled on land not exceeding 2 percent of the area of the West Bank. George Gilder, The Israel Test (US: Richard Vigilante Books, 2009), p. 26.

During these twenty years under Israeli management until the First Intifada of 1987, the West Bank and Gaza comprised one of the most dynamic economies on earth, with a decade of growth at a rate of roughly 30 percent per year from 1969 to 1979.  Annual investments in constant dollars soared from under $10 million in 1969 to some $600 million in 1991, rising from 10 percent GDP to around 30 percent in 1988. George Gilder, The Israel Test, p. 49.

During the 1970s, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest growing economy in the world…with percapita GDP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991…Life expectancy rose from 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000…By 1968, 92.8 percent of the population…had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967…Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. [From zero in 1967] by the early 1990s, there were seven [universities] boasting some 16,500 students.” George Gilder, The Israel Test, pp. 49-50.

In 1993-1997 real private investment is estimated to have declined by an average of 10 percent per year and private investment’s share in GDP to have declined from 19 percent of GDP in 1993 to 10 percent of GDP in 1997.  What went wrong? George Gilder, The Israel Test, p. 50.

Arafat over time shifted the Palestinian economy from its growth dynamic led by entrepreneurs complementing Israel next door to a dynamic of terror and foreign aid led by the PLO.  George Gilder, The Israel Test, p. 51.

By the estimate of the World Bank, the economy of the territories had shrunk by some 40 percent in the first half decade of the new century. George Gilder, The Israel Test, p. 54.


Wikipedia – Its 15 million articles draw in 75 million visitors every month. Tim Challies, The Next Story, Life and Faith after The Digital Explosion (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), p. 162.

Wikipedia had just 1,742 administrators tasked with overseeing more than three million English articles; tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of articles may be changed on any given day. Tim Challies, The Next Story, Life and Faith after The Digital Explosion, p. 165.

The wiki model levels authority structures, assigning no value to age, experience, or education…It redefines truth…The most dangerous problem is that the wiki model gives us a whole new understanding of truth….truth is what the majority determines it to be…it tells us that all sources are equal in authority… Tim Challies, The Next Story, Life and Faith after The Digital Explosion,  p. 166.

The consensus tells us that humans are essentially good, that the Bible is a human construct, and that human life begins sometime after the moment of conception.  In all these things, the consensus is directly opposed to God’s truth. Tim Challies, The Next Story, Life and Faith after The Digital Explosion, p. 167.

Will of God

“It has been said, “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.” Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersby Bible Commentary, NT (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), p. 883.

Wisdom of God

A single consciousness, an all-encompassing wisdom, pervades the universe. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (New York: The Free Press, 2001), p. xi.

That all existence may be the expression of information, an idea, a quantum wave function, is not fantasy and it is not some flaky idea. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 4.

As the “clay” of matter is energy, so the building block of energy is information, wisdom.  The universe is the expression of this wisdom.  The universe is the expression of an idea. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 24.

Science may be approaching the realization that the entire universe is an expression of information, wisdom, an idea, just as atoms are tangible expressions of something as ethereal as energy. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth , p. 28.

The more matter is probed, the more bizarre it seems. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth,  p. 38.

The opening word, usually translated as “in the beginning,” is Be’reasheet.  Be’reasheet can mean “in the beginning of,” but not “in the beginning.”  The difficulty with the preposition “of” is that its object is absent from the sentence: thus the King James translation merely drops it.  But the 2100-year-old Jerusalem translation of Genesis into Aramaic takes a different approach, realizing that be’reasheet is a compound word: the prefix Be’, “with,” and reasheet, a “first wisdom.”  The Aramaic translation is thus “With wisdom God created the heavens and the earth.”  The idea is paralleled repeatedly in Psalms: “With the word of God the heavens were formed:” (Ps. 33:6).  “How manifold are your works, Eternal, You made them all with wisdom” (Ps. 104:24).  Wisdom is the fundamental building block of the universe, and it is inherent in all parts.  In the processes of life it finds its most complex revelation.  Wisdom, information, and idea, is the link between the metaphysical Creator and the physical creation.  It is the hidden face of God. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 49.

And then most bizarre of all, that these waves might actually be representations of something as intangible as information, as wisdom. Gerald Schroeder, The Hidden Face of God, How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth, p. 185.


Here’s my scale of religions terms as they rank on the “easy-to-say” through “hard-to-say” scale, beginning with the easiest:


Belief system



The Divine



The Spirit

The Holy Spirit



My Savior

Hugh Hewitt, The Embarrassed Believer (Nashville, Word Publishing, 1998), p. 29.

A bowl symbolizes material provision.  If all we’re living for is to meet our needs and the needs of our family, we are putting our light under a bowl.  We’re living for materialism and not letting our light shine.

Jesus also said not to put our lamp under a bed.  The bed is a symbol for ease.  If all we’re living for is to be comfortable, to avoid getting into any situation where we are ill at ease, then we are hiding the light of Christ.  Loren Cunningham, The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible To Change Any Country (Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 2007), p. 32.

The longer a person attends church, the fewer evangelistic discussions they engage in with family members and friends.  Fewer presentations of the life-changing plan of salvation are given, and fewer invitations to events that attractively present the message of Christ are offered, mostly because Christ-followers have fewer friends outside the faith to whom to offer them.  (Hybels presents a graph showing such contacts drop from 20 to 10 from the first to the second year, from 10 to 6 the third year.  They drop about one contact each year after that and bottom out at 0 the 8th year.  They then remain at 0 for the remainder of life.  Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across the Room, Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), p. 61.


Hearing the word: “The story is told of an unbeliever who wanted to see 18th century evangelist George Whitefield preach but did not want to listen to his message.  Deliberately putting fingers in both his ears, he watched the great preacher without listening to a word he said.  But a stubborn fly landed on his nose, and no matter what he did, he could not shake him off.  He unplugged his ears long enough to shoo the fly away, and in those brief seconds, Whitefield proclaimed loudly, ‘Him who has ears to hear, let him hear!’  The amazing timing of it so intrigued the man that he listened to the rest of Whietfield’s sermon and was saved.” Charisma Magazine, Feb. 2006.

John Wheeler has said that the universe and all existence may be founded on an expression of information, and expression of an idea or of wisdom. Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p. 85.

This may remind one of the claim that “in the beginning was the Word (Logos).” Dean L. Overman, A Case For The Existence of God (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p. 86.


The First Amendment is 45 words;

The Lord’s Prayer is 66 words;

The Gettysburg Address is 286 words.

There are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence,

But the government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words – National Review

Jon M. Huntsman, Winners Never Cheat (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009), p. 77.

Work & Works

Someone said we worship work; we work at our play; and we play at our work.

Works not rooted in God are splendid sins [Augustine]. A.R. Faussett, The Epistle of Paul The Apostle to the Hebrews, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews.html

The Christian is the workshop of God.  F.B.Meyers, The Way Into The Holiest (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1951), commentary on Hebrews 13:2-21. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/meyer/into_holiest.i.vi.html

This picture of future judgment according to works is actually the basis of Paul’s theology of justification by faith. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: Harper, Collins, 2008), p. 139.

There was no clash between present justification by faith and future judgment according to works. N. T. Wright, Surprised By Hope, Rethinking Heaven, he Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, p. 140.

A sign on Doe Fund’s Harlem Center for Opportunity reads, “Work is love made visible.” Arthur C. Brooks, The Conservative Heart (New York, Broadside Books, 2015). p. 87.

World, End Of

The visions of the destruction of the Earth in the Bible were predicted to occur in the “near” future- within decades or centuries instead of billions of years. Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Christianity (NY: Doubleday, 2007), p. 45.

A new survey by pollster George Barna finds only 9 percent of born-again Christians hold a biblical worldview… The denominations that produced the highest proportions of adults with a biblical worldview were non-denominational Protestant churches, with 13 percent, Pentecostal churches, with 10 percent, and Baptist churches with 8 percent…”If Jesus Christ came to this planet as a model of how we ought to live, then our goal should be to act like Jesus,” said Barna. “Sadly, few people consistently demonstrate the love, obedience and priorities of Jesus. The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus…Among the most prevalent alternative worldviews was postmodernism, which seemed to be the dominant perspective among the two youngest generations. The Barna Research Group, Ltd., December 3, 2003.

The danger is that if Christians do not consciously develop a biblical approach to the subject, then we will unconsciously absorb some other philosophical approach. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity (Wheaton IL: Crossway Books, 2004), p. 44.

The purpose of a worldview is to explain the world- and if it fails to explain some part of the world, then there’s something wrong with that worldview. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 111.

The purpose of a worldview is to explain our experience of the world – and any philosophy can be judged by how well it succeeds in doing so.  When Christianity is tested, we discover that it alone explains and makes sense of the most basic and universal human experiences. Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, p. 396.

No man can live without a world view; therefore, there is no man who is not a philosopher. Francis A. Schaeffer, He Is There And He Is Not Silent (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1972), p. 4.

Those early believers grasped something we need to understand.  Every worldview is in essence a story, a metanarrative that attempts to answer the real questions of our existence.  As it has often been said by a wide range of authors, whoever tells the most believable story wins the age. Rice Broocks, God’s Not Dead, Evidence For God In An Age Of Uncertainty (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2013). p. xiv.


According to Barna surveys:

The biweekly attendance at worship services is, by believers’ own admission, generally the only time they worship God.

Eight out of every ten believers do not feel they have entered into the presence of God, or experienced a connection with Him, during the worship service.

Half of all believers say they do not feel they have entered into the presence of God or experienced a genuine connection with Him during the past year.

George Barna, Revolution, (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2005), pp. 31-32.

The greatest definition of worship I ever read was given by William Temple, a late Archbishop of Canterbury: “For to worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open up the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.” Warren Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), p. 729.

[Seraphim] Covering the face and covering the feet were acts of worship.  The remaining two wings were used for flying, which was service.  In heaven there is twice as much emphasis on worship as on service. Derek Prince, War in Heaven (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2003), p. 123.

Worship Music

David Wells analyzed hundreds of modern hymns and praise songs in relation to classic hymns.  He concluded that recent worship lyrics express a “postmodernist spirituality” that emphasizes the individual over the church, felt needs over God’s requirements and power over truth. Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000), p. 272.

Sadly much postmodernist spirituality expressed in music never addresses God as God at all, let alone reveling in his attributes and praising his person. Douglas Groothuis, Truth Decay, p. 273.


There is a line, by us unseen,
Which crosses every path,
Which marks the boundry between
God’s mercy and His wrath.  –  Joseph Addison Alexander


Concerning Yahweh, Rabbi Nosson Scherman wrote: ‘The four-Letter Name of HASHEM indicates that God is timeless and infinite, for the letters of this Name are those of the words … He was, He is, and He will be. Rabbi Nosson Scherman, Tanach, The Stone Edition  (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1996), p.  xxv.

Young people

In 2005, forty years after this uncanny anticipation of reality television, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton conducted a long investigation into the religious lives of American teenagers, and discovered exactly the kind of therapeutic theology that Rieff had seen coming. [Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: The Uses of Faith After Freud, 232] had predicted “In the emergent culture, a wider range of people will have “spiritual” concerns and engage in “spiritual” pursuits.” Ross Douthat, Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics (New York: Free Press, 2012), p. 232.

[Smith & Denton study] The defacto creed of America’s youth has five main premises.

  1. “A God exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
  2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

3.”The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”

  1. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
  2. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”

Smith and Denton dub this theology Moralistic Therapeutic Deism…God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist. pp. 232-233. Smith & Denton say: If there is an essential aspect of living a moral life in therapeutic faith, they conclude, it’s the obligation to always persist in “feeling good about oneself.”  Ross Douthat, Bad Religion, How We Became A Nation of Heretics, p. 233.

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