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
- ATHEIST DELUSIONS “The darkening of intellect is a topic that is picked up in the New Testament, when Paul describes how rejection of God ultimately has a negative effect on the mind. He speaks of those who, although they knew God … did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools… (Romans 1:21–22).
The mention of “thanks” here is pivotal. Saying “thank you” to someone indicates a certain dependence upon them. Expressing gratitude to God is likewise an acknowledgment of indebtedness and dependence upon him. It is here that humans in their pride tend to go wrong. They will not acknowledge that they are dependent upon someone higher than themselves. We have no masters, is their cry.
Paul claims that rejection of God has a detrimental effect on reason. Many atheists, who think that their position is an oasis of reason and clear-headedness, would loudly protest. It is important for me to say that I am not suggesting that atheists cannot think. Some, however, particularly those of the “New Atheist” brand, make a great fuss of what they think is the damage that belief in God does to the mind. Their descriptions of religious belief (like “virus of the mind”) are not uncommon. It does not seem to occur to them that the shoe could be on the other foot.
When it comes to thinking about God, why do some otherwise rational, intelligent people seem unaware that they become irrational? For instance, some of them persist in claiming that Jesus never existed, even though the overwhelming weight of ancient historical scholarship is to the contrary. They insist on offering the public a choice between God and science, when elementary logic should tell them that theology and science are not alternatives but complementary.”
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- MERCY JOB “Now to have an honest and lawful employment, in which you do not dishonour God in benefiting yourselves, is no small mercy. But if it is not only lawful in itself, but suited to your genius and strength, there is a double mercy in it. Some poor creatures are engaged in callings that eat up their time and strength, and make their lives very uncomfortable to them. They have not only consuming and wasting employments in the world, but such as allow them little or no time for their general calling, and yet all this does but keep them and theirs alive. Therefore, if God has fitted you with an honest employment in which you have less toil than others, and more time for heavenly exercises, ascribe this benefit to the special care of Providence for you.”
Excerpt From: Flavel, John. “The Mystery of Providence.”
- PRAYER POWER “Our passionate prayers move the heart of God. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Prayer does not change God’s nature; who he is will never be altered. Prayer does, however, impact the flow of history. God has wired his world for power, but he calls on us to flip the switch.”
Excerpt From: Lucado, Max. “Outlive Your Life.”
- REVOLVING INTEGRITY “No matter which way you turn, or what situation you’re in that turns you, people will see that you have the same integrity in every situation.”
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”
- FREEDOM “Nothing brings more pain than too much pleasure; nothing more bondage than too much liberty.” –Benjamin Franklin
“The greatness of a nation, its true civilization, is measured by the extent of its obedience to the unenforceable.” –Lord Moulton
- AMERICA DECIDE “History is asking this last question of America now: What kind of a people do you Americans think you are? We are now nearly eight decades after the Great Depression, seven decades after Pearl Harbor and World War II, four decades after the tumultuous and influential sixties, two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the bipolar world, one decade after September 11 and in the midst of two of the most revealing and fateful presidencies in American history. The sifting of America has come to a head, and the question “Who are you?” or “What kind of a people do you think you are?” or “What kind of society do you want America to be” is now the central question Americans must answer.”
Excerpt From: Guinness, Os. “A Free People’s Suicide.”
- WISDOM “Knowledge can be Googled, but wisdom comes from above.”
- TV “Most people, as they deepen their lives, watch less television. An active and interesting life is far richer and more exciting than almost any television.”
- PERSPECTIVE “We see the parade through a knothole in the fence-our Lord directs it from the grandstand. Our culture celebrates the overnight success. But in God’s eyes, there is no such thing. –Unknown
- INVISIBLE “As a Jew, I am pleased that the Western world has not forgotten the Holocaust. But why has there been almost a total lack of sympathy or even interest in the more than forty million Russians, Ukrainians, and others murdered by the Soviet Communists?
The answer leads us back to the question of visibility. We have many photos and films of Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps, some of them taken by Allied soldiers liberating the camps. (During the war, when no such visible images existed, there was little concern in the West for the Nazis’ victims.) Yet, because the Soviets were on the victorious side in World War II, there were no photographs or films of the Soviet labor and death camps (the Gulag Archipelago) shot by liberating troops.
To regain some balance in the sympathy we apportion to those who suffer, we must become conscious of our natural tendency to care more about the suffering of those whom we see, and consciously sensitize ourselves to concern ourselves with the suffering of those whom we cannot see. One way to begin achieving this is by not relying on television news, especially of international events. The more one relies on television for one’s perceptions of the world and its evils, the more skewed one’s perceptions of human suffering will be.”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
Free CrossExamined.org Resource
Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.