The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon
421. GOD AND EVIL “There seems to be no good way to account for a transcendent standard of objective good — the moral rules that are violated by people who commit the evil in question — without the existence of a transcendent moral rule maker.
If there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe, then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God, then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.
A morally perfect God is the only adequate standard for the system of scoring that makes sense of the existence of evil to begin with. Since God must exist to make evil intelligible, evil cannot be evidence against God. The complaint commits Infanticide.
Ironically, evil does not prove atheism. It proves just the opposite. There can only be a problem of evil if God exists. It is a problem only a theist can raise, not an atheist. When an atheist voices the concern, he gets caught in a suicidal dilemma.”
Excerpt From: Koukl, Gregory. “Tactics.”
422. GREENER GRASS “As Dr. Dobson says, “The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it still has to be mowed.”
Excerpt From: Jerry B. Jenkins. “Hedges.”
423. PROVIDENCE “You can’t connect the dots looking forward.” — Steve Jobs
424. POLITICS “Frederick Douglass’s ideas about politics:
“I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance: “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people.” This constitutes my politics—the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.”
Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”
425. EDUCATION IN AMERICA “Propelled by his belief that teaching was among the most valuable but underpaid professions, Andrew Carnegie made an extraordinary gift to provide pensions for teachers in America. On April 28, 1905, the New York Times headline regarding his contribution read:
In Carnegie’s Letter of Gift, he made it clear that any religious schools requiring students to adhere to a statement of belief or under a religious governance structure would be excluded from his foundation’s grants. Especially for schools facing financial challenges, the economic incentive caused administrators to put a dollar value on their church relationships and historical Christian identity. Often, money won.
Brown University, the first college founded by the Baptists, led the way in severing ties with its Baptist affiliation to receive funding. Other elite colleges like Dartmouth soon followed.
One university to sever denominational ties and receive funding was Oberlin College—where Charles Finney, the renowned evangelist of the Second Great Awakening, resided as the college’s president several decades earlier.
Carnegie’s funding advanced secularism at an alarming pace throughout the country. Author of Andrew Carnegie, David Nasaw, writes, “It is doubtful that he had any idea, in doing so, of the unintended consequences of his action. . . . Carnegie pensions would, in a relatively short time, change the face of higher education in America.”
Excerpt From: Peter Greer, Chris Horst & Anna Haggard. “Mission Drift.”
426. A. LINCOLN HUMOR “Lincoln knew that humor and story could influence better than humiliation and shame. He was even attacked for his leniency on his enemies. One woman told him that he should destroy his enemies. He answered, “Isn’t that what I do when I make them friends?”
Excerpt From: Simmons, Annette. “The Story Factor.”
427. HEAVEN AND HELL “In both heaven and hell people sit around a big table loaded with a feast, each person holding a fork six feet long. In hell they starve because they can’t get the fork to their mouths. In heaven they use the long forks to feed each other.” — Unknown
428. DON’T HOLD BACK “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. This is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fears, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Nelson Mandela
429. IRONY “The politician Aneurin Bevan once said, “Never use irony in politics. Whenever I have done so it has got me into trouble. A lot of your hearers always take you literally.” He added, “It makes no difference how heavy your irony is, and how obvious it is to you. It is not obvious to them.”
Excerpt From: Johnson, Paul. “Socrates.”
430. THE GOSPEL “The gospel’s content is “his Son” (v 3). The gospel centers on Jesus. It is about a person, not a concept; it is about him, not us. We never grasp the gospel until we understand that it is not fundamentally a message about our lives, dreams, or hopes. The gospel speaks about, and transforms, all of those things, but only because it isn’t about us. It is a declaration about God’s Son, the man Jesus.”
Excerpt From: Keller, Timothy. “Romans 1-7 For You.”
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