The Crown of Grace

“To think that having ‘all grace’ except for persevering grace is somehow reassuring is to have a wildly skewed sense of priorities. ‘Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?’ How is God’s withholding of perseverance not a refusal of grace? If we say that the grace was forfeited by those who subjectively resisted his work in their lives ‘too much,’ then why did God withhold from them the gift of ‘not resisting too much?’” (Against the Church, p. 187).

Whose Interpretation Is Being Gored

“A hermeneutical rule of thumb (and quite a good one, I might add) is that unclear verses should be interpreted in the light of the clear ones. But however wise this is — and it is wise — we also have to distinguish between verses which are unclear, and verses that are excruciatingly clear but which conflict with the received interpretation” (Against the Church, p. 185).

Echoing Scripture

“Not only do we speak biblically when we call the baptismal font the laver of regeneration (which it certainly is), we also speak biblically when we say of multitudes who have been presented at that very same font, that they are vipers, sons of the devil, unwashed pigs, whitewashed tombs, blind guides, tares planted by the enemy, unfruitful branches and clouds without rain — in short, unregenerate” (Against the Church, p. 183).

Converging on the Intersection

“Suppose the Great Eschaton is ten thousand years off. It remains a stubborn but persistent fact that my launch into that Eschaton is no more than fifty years off . . . The eschatological scythe harvests every individual long before it harvests the world” (Against the Church, p. 163).