quotations found here are from a variety of sources, and most of
them have something to do with history, church history, or the church
in Thailand. While the titles I have assigned to each quotation
are in alphabetical order, there is otherwise no particular rhyme
nor reason to the order. They are simply statements that I find
meaningful, insightful, or even just worth a chuckle, and I hope
you too will find meaning in some of them and maybe get a smile
out of some others. Enjoy!
while I have your attention, this is a good place to pound the pulpit
about the proper use of the words "quotation" and "quote."
The word "quotation" is a noun; "quote" is a
verb. It is a sloppy, lazy, ignorant, and irreverant usage of the
English language to use "quote" when "quotation"
is meant. On the day when all the creatures in the Garden were named,
God gave the divine name of "quotation" to a "passage
that is quoted" ( American Heritage Dictionary ).
God did not, most particularly, call "quotation" by that
ugly, benighted misnomer,"quote." This section of herbswanson.com
, therefore, does not contain "quotes" because "quote"
is an action, not a thing. We do not, that is, quote quotes but
The aim of the Church is not to win the world, but rather to identify with the world, even to loose itself in the world, in such a way as to bring nearer the kingdom in which the distinction of Church and world will be lost. What is important is the manifesting and propagating of Christ's self-giving love, and the awakening of this in ever wider areas of human society.
Principles of Christian Theology, 393.
|Nothing is so delicate and fugitive by its very nature
as a beginning.
Teilhard de Chardin
The Phenomenon of Man (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1959), 120.
|It seems to be a good book; strange that the white
people are not better after having had it so long.
Quoted in William G. McLoughlin, The Cherokees and Christianity,
1794-1870 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994),
|The frontiers of a book are never clear-cut: beyond
the title, the first lines, and the last full stop, beyond its
internal configuration and its autonomous form, it is caught
up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other
sentences: it is a node within a network. And this network of
references is not the same in the case of a mathematical treatise,
a textual commentary, a historical account, and an episode in
a novel cycle; the unity of the book, even in the sense of a
group of relations, cannot be regarded as identical in each
case. The book is not simply the object that one holds in one's
hands; and it cannot remain within the little parallelepiped
that contains it: its unity is variable and relative. As soon
as one questions that unity, it loses its self-evidence; it
indicates itself, constructs itself, only on the basis of a
complex field of discourse.
The Archaelogy of Knowledge and The Discourse on Language
Translated by A. M. Sheridan Smith. (New York: Pantheon Books,
|For a Christian there is nothing peculiarly difficult
about Christmas in a prison cell. I daresay it will have more
meaning and will be observed with greater sincerety here in
this prison than in places where all that survives of the feast
is its name. That misery, suffering, poverty, loneliness, helplessness
and guilt look very different to the eyes of God from what they
do to us, that God should come down to the very place which
we usually abhor, that Christ was born in a stable because there
was no room for him in the inn--these are things which a prisoner
can understand better than anyone else.
Letter, dated Advent Sunday, 28 November 1943. In Letters
and Papers from Prison (New York: Macmillan, 1962), 77-78.
|I am heartily sick of trying to do good among persons of high rank in Siam. My business it seems to me is properly with the poor and the helpless.
Dr. Dan Beach Bradley
"Journal of Doct. Bradley at Bangkok," Missionary Herald
33, 4 (April 1837): 141.
|Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires.
Edward W. Said
"Orientalism 25 Years Later," Counterpunch.org
website, 4 August 2003.
|It is worth keeping firmly in mind that we almost
always wish to say more than the available evidence actually
allows. These are urges which, if not resisted, will almost
surely lead our studies astray.
Jonathan A. Silk
"What, If Anything, is Mahayana Buddhism? Problems of
Definitions and Classifications," Numen 49, 4
(October 2002), 367.
|A great Empire and little minds go ill together.
In an address to the House of Commons, March 1775. Quoted
in Don Cook, The Long Fuse: How England Lost the American
Coloniess, 1760-1785 (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press,
|History is replete with irony, at least for historians
with ironic sensibilities.
American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon.
(New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003), 106.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action? Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
Rabindranath Tagore in Gitanjali
I go to Asia, 'you are there!' I go to Africa,
to the Americas, to Europe, 'you are there!' I visit the New
York Harlem Children's Hospital's AIDS ward. Among these suffering
little ones, 'you are there!' I go to the Sing Sing Prison
north of New York City along the Hudson River, 'you are there!'
I sit in the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur among Muslims,
'you are there!' I sit among the faithful in the Royal Temple
of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, 'you are there!' I visit
the graveyard inside the 'township' in South Africa to say
my prayer for the little children whose lives were snatched
away by the evil apartheid policy, 'you are there!' I go to
a Tokyo maternity hospital to say a word of joy to a woman
who just became a mother, 'you are there!' Even in the Nazi
Auschwitz camp 'you are there!' says the survivor Elie Wiesel
(NIGHT). In astronomy 'one light year' means the distance
of 6 trillion miles. You are the creator of the universe of
many billion light-years. But at the same time you 'formed
my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother's womb'
(Ps. 139:13). What an awesome surprise!
Keynote Address, Programme for Theology & Cultures (PTCA) Consultation, Chiang Mai, 10-18 January 2000.
Gravity doesn't care.
C. J. Cherryh
Defender (New York: Daw Books, 2001),
Go out into the world in peace; have
courage; hold on to what is good; return no one evil for evil;
strengthen the faint-hearted; support the weak; help the suffering.
Honor every person that you meet. and Love and Serve the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Adapted from the Presbyterian Worship
Book and the Bible. Used as interim pastor at St. John
United Church, Columbia, Maryland.
Neither Catholic nor Protestant mission
work should be judged by the number of their nominal converts
but by their imponderable and far-reaching influence. The
expenditure of energy, time and money are obviously far out
of proportion to the tangible results.
Virginia Thompson, Thailand: The New Siam (New York:Macmillan Company, 1941), 672.
We were willing to do all we could for the bodies of the people and to advance their temporal interest. But still all the king's money would not have induced us to come here for any other purpose than to teach Christianity.
From the Records of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, McGilvary to Irving, 24 March 1870, v. 3.
Christianity here in Thailand should be more Asian, more Thai, and it should show more respect for Thai culture.
In a comment to The International Conference on Religion & Globalization, Payap University, July 27 - August 2, 2003.
It appears that postmodernism increasingly
represents the cultural air that we breathe. The challenges
before the church are becoming clearer. It will either learn
to contextualize the gospel and church into this new cultural
setting, or it will find itself increasingly marginalized
and irrelevant to the next generation. While generational
adjustments have always been somewhat normative for the church,
it appears that the scope of change in the present shift is
calling for some fundamental rethinking of how we understand
both the gospel and the church.
Craig Van Gelder
"Postmodernism and Evangelicals: A Unique Missiological
Challenge at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century," Missiology
30, 4 (October 2002): 492.
We know the Presbyterians are tough
because their way of life is rough;
they know that sin and death are fated
and all their acts predestinated.
Quoted by Edmund W. Starling, Starling of the White House (New York : Simon and Schuster, 1946).
We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.
Buddhadasa, Christianity and Buddhism , 2nd ed. (Bangkok Life Mission, 1977), 15. Quoted in Peter A. Jackson, Buddhadasa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Press, 2003), 93.
The sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstructions in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought so far to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind. And though these researches may appear painful and fatiguing, it is with some minds as with some bodies, which being endowed with vigorous and florid health, require severe exercise, and reap a pleasure from what, to the generality of mankind, may seem burdensome and laborious. Obscurity, indeed, is painful to the mind as well as to the eye; but to bring light from obscurity, by whatever labour, must needs be delightful and rejoicing.
An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles.
Quoted in Wesley Ariarajah, "Religious Diversity and Interfaith Relations in a Global Age," a Paper delivered to the International Conference on Religion and Globalization, Payap University, Chiang Mai, July 2003.
David Pollock, Executive Director of Interaction, Inc., defines a "TCK" as "an individual who, having spent a significant part of developmental years in a culture other than that of his/her parents' develops a sense of relationship to all cultures while not having full ownership in any?" a Third Culture Kid. This condition often caused me to feel separated, so different that it was embarrasing. Yet, as I matured, and, finally, now I can say that there is a transcendent relationship, a condition giving meaning, foundation, energy, and peace with who I am."
Helen Knox Murphy
Common Nobility: A Family Story
(Houston: Kitchen Table Top Publishers, 2002), vii. The author
is the daughter of H. Gaylord & Lela Knox, missionaries
to Thailand, 1920-1941, 1947-1961.
Truth of any kind is food for the soul.
Rev. Jesse Caswell
letter dated 1 October 1841, printed in Missionary
Herald 38, 7 (July 1842): 281.