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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Peter Kreeft

No sane person wants hell to exist. No sane person wants evil to exist. But hell is just evil eternalized. If there is evil and if there is eternity, there can be hell. If it is intellectually dishonest to disbelieve in evil just because it is shocking and uncomfortable, it is the same with hell. Reality has hard corners, surprises, and terrible dangers in it. We desperately need a true road map, not nice feelings, if we are to get home. It is true, as people often say, that "hell just feels unreal, impossible." Yes. So does Auschwitz. So does Calvary.

Dictators do not come into the human race from without, from Mars. They erupt from within, like hemorrhoids, from an infected body, from the one fact no secularist ever dares to face: original sin.

Suffering leads to wisdom in the long run but not in the short- run, and short-range folly is a price worth paying for long-range wisdom.

A God who did not abolish suffering--worse, A God who abolished sin precisely by suffering--is a scandal to the modern mind.

If you don't believe there is a benevolent Mind guiding all of human existence, suffering is just a pointless and meaningless accident.

...God in his wisdom deliberately allows bad times, troubles, trials and temptations precisely to hammer out saints on the anvil of suffering in the furnace of wickedness. a great attention-grabber; it is a solid, sound, secure and indisputable fact; and it slaps us in the face with our own wretchedness, our utter helplessness before the loss of everything. It is our obvious problem, and Christ claims to be the answer.

One of the few things in life that cannot possibly do harm in the end is the honest pursuit of the truth.

The closer we are to God, to divine attributes — such as absolute truth, goodness, and beauty — the more we wonder. When we separate ourselves from truth, goodness, and beauty, we lose wonder and become cynical. The Enlightenment was basically the narrowing of our vision to a purely scientific, empirical, rationalistic worldview, screwing down the manhole covers on us so we became squinting underground creatures.

Many roads lead up the single mountain of religion to God at the top. It is provincial, narrow-minded, and blind to deny the validity of other roads than yours.

The unproved assumption of this very common mountain analogy is that the roads go up, not down; that man makes the roads, not God; that religion is man's search for God, not God's search for man. C. S. Lewis says this sounds like "the mouse's search for the cat". 

Christianity is not a system of man's search for God but a story of God's search for man. True religion is not like a cloud of incense wafting up from special spirits into the nostrils of a waiting God, but like a Father's hand thrust downward to rescue the fallen. Throughout the Bible, man-made religion fails. There is no human way up the mountain, only a divine way down. "No man has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." 

If we made the roads, it would indeed be arrogant to claim that any one road is the only valid one, for all human things are equal, at least in all being human, finite, and mixtures of good and bad. If we made the roads, it would be as stupid to absolutize one of them as to absolutize one art form, one political system, or one way of skinning a cat. But if God made the road, we must find out whether he made many or one. If he made only one, then the shoe is on the other foot: it is humility, not arrogance, to accept this one road from God, and it is arrogance, not humility, to insist that our manmade roads are as good as God's God-made one. 

But which assumption is true? Even if the pluralistic one is true, not all religions are equal, for then one religion is worse and more arrogant than all others, for it centers on one who claimed, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man can come to the Father but by me."

Guilt is a warning in the soul, analogous to pain as a warning in the body.

The difference between love and "luv" is the difference between the prophetic model of religion and the therapeutic model. In the prophetic model, God commands us to be good. In the therapeutic model, people use religion to make themselves feel good.

...the concept of tolerance reveals a presupposition of moral objectivism, for we do not tolerate goods. We only tolerate evils in order to prevent worse evils. The patient will tolerate the nausea brought on by chemotherapy in order to prevent death by cancer. And a society will tolerate bad things like smoking in order to preserve good things like privacy and freedom

“Progress” seems to be our name for Juggernaut, the Hindu god that trampled his worshipers to death like a runaway elephant. Between Juggernaut and Moloch, the old gods are making a remarkable comeback in our secular society.

The new paganism is the virtual divinization of man, the religion of man as the new God. One of its popular slogans, repeated often by Christians, is "the infinite value of the human person." Its aim is building a heaven on earth, a secular salvation. Another word for the new paganism is humanism, the religion that will not lift up its head to the heavens but stuffs the heavens into its head.

[Nietzsche]....was a very important thinker because he shows to modern western civilization its own dark heart and future...[Nietzsche]...let the cat out of the bag.

In an age of relativism, orthodoxy is the only possible rebellion left.

Reason alone cannot give you a whole steak, but it sure helps with identifying bologna.

Moral stupidity comes in two different forms: relativism and legalism. Relativism sees no principles, only people; legalism sees no people, only principles.

If we do not see desperate cases, we are simply not part of the audience Christ came to save.


T.H. White

Perhaps man was neither good nor bad, was only a machine in an insensate universe--his courage no more than a reflex to danger, like the automatic jump at the pin-prick. Perhaps there were no virtues, unless jumping at pin-pricks was a virtue, and humanity only a mechanical donkey led on by the iron carrot of love, through the pointless treadmill of reproduction.



JC Ryle

Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all

Be very sure of this,-people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it only too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment.


Unity and peace are very delightful; but they are bought too dear if they are bought at the expense of truth.


Does any one ask me, What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? – I answer in one word, ‘The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.’ We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: ‘Search the Scriptures.’ (John 5:39) If we want a weapon to wield against the devices of Satan, there is nothing like ‘the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.


Greg Koukl

Some say Christianity is just a crutch. But let's turn the question on its edge for a moment. Is atheism an emotional crutch, wishful thinking? The ax cuts both ways. Perhaps atheists are rejecting God because they've had a bad relationship with their father. Instead of inventing God, have atheists invented non-God? Have they invented atheism to escape some of the frightening implications of God's existence? Think about it.


There is no neutral ground when it comes to the tolerance question. Everybody has a point of view she thinks is right, and everybody passes judgment at some point or another. The Christian gets pigeonholed as the judgmental one, but everyone else is judging, too, even people who consider themselves relativists. 

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