Thursday, August 13, 2009

Matthew Henry quotes

Quotes from Matthew Henry

I have a brand new Matthew Henry commentary on the Bible ("Nelson's Super Value Series!") which I got from Borders this summer.

From Romans:

"And we all know how soon a man will contrive, against the strongest evidence, to reason himself out of the belief of what he dislikes"

From Exodus:

"It is a sign of guilt to be angry at reproof."

"Sometimes the Lord suffers the rod of the wicked to lie very long and very heavy on the lot of the righteous."

About our attitude towards the church and the foibles of its members: "But we must take heed of being set against the ways and people of God, by the follies and peevishness of some persons that profess religion."

On Moses faithful mother and his little reed boat, "And if the weak affection of a mother were thus careful, what shall we think of Him, whose love, whose compassion is, as himself, boundless? Moses never had a stronger protection about him...than now, when he lay alone, a helpless babe upon the waves. No water, no Egyptian, can hurt him. When we seem most neglected and forlorn, God is most present with us."

Genesis and Dysfunctional Families

The kids and I just finished Genesis in the mornings, and we noted the following repeating themes coming down through the generations of God's people, starting with Cain and Abel and moving on down through the ages. Faith marks this family -- many of them have great faith in acting as God commands, and following His commands to move great distances, but there are some markers of dysfunction we took as a warning for all of us today.

* Brothers as rivals and competitors
* Jealousy and/or favoritism, as a partial cause of the above, and always simmering under the surface
* Trickiness! "Parsing" words
* Marital infidelity

Monday, August 3, 2009

Escape from Presence

Here is an amusing and insightful excerpt from an old Cary Tennis column in Salon. It is about the increasing inability of all of us -- in this virtual world -- to achieve Absence. (And here I am, blogging on it. Rich.)

...The problem is compounded by the fact that the very definitions of presence and absence have changed; absence has become contingent; presence has become inescapable. No matter where we are, our virtual selves remain under surveillance.

Until recently, one could actually achieve absence. One could go somewhere and be gone. The traveler would send postcards. The postcards would have pictures of beaches or statues. They would be eagerly awaited and gratefully received. Absence was simple. It was an absolute condition, soon relieved by presence. Presence was also an absolute condition.

No more.

Now absence and presence are contingent and variable, matters of degree and form. A person may cease responding to e-mail and achieve a sort of absence although he or she remains in place. Or a person may go to India and yet be as present as always.

A version of us is always present. We are over-connected. We spy on each other from afar.
The quality of our absence is thus degraded. Absenceness is a precious resource we are fast running out of. Soon there will be nothing but presence. We will wish we could go away but will not be able to. The pain of constant presence will be too much for some to bear; it will be a torture like that of sleep deprivation. There will be a rash of virtual suicides, in which people disconnect themselves and appear to be dead. We will have virtual funerals for them. This will all come in time...