What's a Cult? (58k). Cartoon with an interesting perspective on the question

Short Stories and Lengthy Quotes from Larger Works

The Celestial Railroad by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Excerpt from "People of the" Lie Concerning Leadership, by M. Scott Peck

Objectivity in Journalism, by David Brooks

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

I Pushed Him Off, by Emo Phillips

The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss
The Old Man and the White Horse, by Max Lucado
Citations from "Church History in Plain Language," by Bruce Shelley
Seven Ways to Help your Pastor Avoid "Burnout"  From the newsletter of the Denver Seminary

Shorter Quotes

Irving Kristol
When we lack the will to see things as they really are, there is nothing so mystifying as the obvious. (Cited by Jonan Goldberg, National Review, 2015)

Thomas L Martin

It should be clear to even the casual observer that the United States is not suffering from too many problems. No, we are suffering from an overwhelming excess of solutions. If the politicians would just stop inventing solutions, our problems would largely go away. And if the communications media would just stop telling us about the proposed solutions, national confusion would largely disappear.
(Malice In Blunderland, 1973)

Ronald Reagan

Anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we're always "against" things—we're never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.
(A Time for Choosing, October 27, 1964)

Babs (from the movie "Chicken Run", 2000)

I don't want to be a pie.

Albert Camus

Again and again there comes a time in history when the man who dares to say that two and two make four is punished with death.
("The Plague")

Winston Churchill

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

Steven R. Covey

The single most important principle in the field of interpersonal relations is this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Most people listen, not with the intent to understand, but with the intent to reply. ("Seven Habits of Highly Effective People")

Geoffrey Chaucer

“And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach”

“The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people.”

H.A. Dorfman/Karl Kuehl
‎"To focus on matters beyond our control is to misdirect energy, waste time, and doom us to frustration and failure." ("The Mental Game of Baseball")

William Graham Sumner

The State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man. (from The Forgotten Man, 1916.)

Thomas Sowell

Too often the past has been twisted to fit the visions and agendas of the present. ("Black Rednecks and White Liberals," p. 247)

Anton Ego (from the movie, "Ratatouille", 2007)

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends.

Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Robert J. Lifton

The one-sided exploitation of existential guilt is thought reform's trump card, and perhaps its most important source of emotional influence over its participants. Revolving around it are issues most decisive to thought reform's outcome. ("Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism", pp. 77-78)

Mark Twain

"When I was fourteen, my father was a complete fool. When I was 21, he was an intelligent man. I was surprised at how much he had learned in seven years."

Blaise Pascal

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

C. S. Lewis
"When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than to say he is not a Christian."
(Mere Christianity, 1952)


"There comes a time in the history of any project when it becomes necessary to shoot the engineers and begin production."

D. A. Carson

"Damn all false antitheses to hell, for they generate false gods, they perpetuate idols, they twist and distort our souls, they launch the church into violent pendulum swings who oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ." (Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, 2005)

Andrew Carnegie
"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do."

Lord Acton
"Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Scotty Bowman
"Statistics are for losers."

Joe Clark (from the movie "Lean on Me," 1989)
"I don't have to do nothin' but stay black and die!" 

The Serenity Prayer (Anonymous)
"God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

God hates visionary dreaming; it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others, and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, sets up his own law, and judges the brethren and God Himself accordingly. He stands adamant, a living reproach to all others in the circle of brethren. He acts as if he is the creator of the Christian community, as if his dream binds men together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes, first an accuser of his brethren, then an accuser of God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.
(Life Together)

Eugene Peterson

We've all met a certain type of spiritual person. She's a wonderful person. She loves the Lord. She prays and reads the Bible all the time. But all she thinks about is herself. She's not a selfish person. But she's always at the center of everything she's doing. "How can I witness better? How can I do this better? How can I take care of this person's problems better? It's me, me, me disguised in a way that is difficult to see because her spiritual talk disarms us.
(Interview with Mark Galli, Christianity Today March 2005)

George W. Bush

The proper response to difficulty is not to retreat. It is to prevail. (9/21/04, United Nations)

Mike Ditka

I'll always be a Bear fan. You don't just cut off part of your heart because things don't work out the way you want them to.
(9/22/04 Chicago Tribune)

Henri Nouwen

Jesus's first temptation was to be relevant: to turn stones into bread. Oh, how often I wished I could do that! ....

The second temptation to which Jesus was exposed was precisely the temptation to do something spectacular, something that could win him great applause. "Throw yourself from the parapet of the temple and let the angels catch you and carry you in their arms." But Jesus refused to be a stunt man. ...

You all know what the third temptation of Jesus was. It was the temptation of power. "I will give you all the kingdoms of this world in their splendor." ...

What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people. ...

One thing is clear to me: the temptation of power is greatest when intimacy is a threat. Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire-builders have been people unable to give and receive love. (In the Name of Jesus)

Copyright © 2006 John Engler. All rights reserved.

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