01 February 2006

It's time to play... Mystery Quotations!

by Dan Phillips

These quotations all come from the same source. Who do you think said them? When? Where?

First:
Let us not fear the opposition of men; every great movement in the Church from Paul down to modern times has been criticized on the ground that it promoted censoriousness and intolerance and disputing.
Second:
Mysticism unquestionably is the natural result of the anti-intellectual tendency which now prevails; for mysticism is the consistent exaltation of experience at the expense of thought. But in practice mysticism is seldom consistent; indeed it cannot possibly be consistent if it seeks to explain itself to the world. The experience upon which it is based, or in which it consists, is said to be ineffable; yet mystics love to talk about that experience all the same.

Third:

The depreciation of the intellect, with the exaltation in the place of it of the feelings or the will, is, we think, a basic fact in modern life, which is rapidly leading to a condition in which men neither know anything nor care anything about the doctrinal content of the Christian religion, and in which there is in general a lamentable intellectual decline.

Fourth:

Facts, in the sphere of education, are having a hard time. The old-fashioned notion of reading a book or hearing a lecture and simply storing up in the mind what the book or the lecture contains--this is regarded as entirely out of date. A year or so ago I heard a noted educator give some advice to a company of college professors--advice which was typical of the present tendency in education. It is a great mistake, he said in effect, to suppose that a college professor ought to teach; on the contrary he ought simply to give the students an opportunity to learn.

This pedagogic theory of following the line of least resistance in education and avoiding all drudgery and all hard work has been having its natural result; it has joined forces with the natural indolence of youth to produce in present-day education a very lamentable decline.

Fifth:

...nothing makes a man more unpopular in the controversies of the present day than an insistence upon definition of terms. Anything, it seems, may be forgiven more readily than that. Men discourse very eloquently today upon such subjects as God, religion, Christianity, atonement, redemption, faith; but are greatly incensed when they are asked to tell in simple language what they mean by these terms. They do not like to have the flow of their eloquence checked by so vulgar a thing as a definition.

Have fun. Bunch of smart cookies like you, I bet someone will nail it. And no fair Googling! Then I'll unveil the source in the Comments section, after you've played with it awhile. (This will form the basis for a later post, DV.)

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35 comments:

Cedric said...

Sounds eerily modern. The more things change, the more they stay the same. But I'm gonna guess....George Muller? (A total shot in the dark)

Chuck said...

Ooh ooh! Me first! Before I Google it and find the real answer, my guess is...Gordon Clark or John Robbins. Clark was always harping on Van Til and Frame about how he couldn't even begin a basic dialogue because their terms were too vague and wishy-washy.

mxu said...

CS Lewis?

DJP said...

>> chuckle <<

(Good guesses, though!)

Steve said...

I haven't read these comments before, so apparently I've missed this book.

I'll toss out a real wild guess: Warfield?

My second choice would be Chesterton.

Chris Pixley said...

Machen? Christianity and Liberalism?

Vermigli said...

This is FJ De Angelis, and while it has been awhile I believe they are the words of J. Gresham Machen in his work, What Is Faith?

How did I do?

candyinsierras said...

Martin Lloyd-Jones?

Chuck said...

I think it could be Machen, since he and Clark's view on faith were nearly identical, if not in fact identical.

Gordon Cloud said...

I am also going to jump on the Machen bandwagon. It sounds like his work.

Screaming Pirate said...

rick warren??? uhh.. brian mclarin
oooo i know Kennith Hagin had to be him...
ill take a really un-educated guess MacArthur

Libbie said...

It's got to be Joseph Smith, he he..

Daniel Portela said...

benny hinn?

:-)

the machen machine of course!

is it really now?? uhhhmmmmm....

Jeremy Weaver said...

Sounds Phillip Johnson-esque.

BugBlaster said...

Augustine of Hippo?

Samuel Jack said...

I'd go for Martin Lloyd-Jones as well.

Jim Crigler said...

I dunno. I haven't read a lot of these folks, but I'm guessing ... Spurgeon. Probably utterly wrong.

DJP said...

I'm enjoying the responses 'way too much to end the suspense yet. You all are great!

Castusfumus said...

Could this be D.A. Carson???

Jay said...

Machen - What is Faith?

James Spurgeon said...

If I have to guess I'm going to say Machen or Lloyd-Jones.

But, whatever, you do, please don't tell me that after you rip off that over-shirt you're going to do a Hulk Hogan and rip off the one underneath as well.

;>)

Rick Jr. said...

Sounds like Machen but I would guess that it's an early reformer...Luther? Calvin?

DJP said...

James S --

No promises.

(c;

seth said...

paul crouch. i remeber these from "Praise the Lord" last week.

Doug said...

I confess, I googled. But I won't tell. Needless to say, I am shocked!!!

Highland Host said...

Machen? Some of them would fit with Spurgeon, but only Machen could have said all of them. Besides, I think I recognise the brain behind them.

DJP said...

I'm just a little torn. I am so enjoying every one of the responses, that I'm tempted not to pull back the curtains. On the other hand, the Magic Number in my brainium was 20, and we're past that. I don't want to end it before anyone else weighs in, but don't want to drag it out interminably for others....

(Yes, I do this with every decision and yes, it does drive my poor wife nuts. So, having said that:)

cedric, you made my day by getting the ball rolling with "Sounds eerily modern." That was exactly my main point. Comment sections sometimes take on a life and focus of their own, unrelated to the original essay, but yours nailed it in one. But no, not George Muller. (c8

It could be Clark or Lewis, moonlight blogging -- but isn't; probably the prose isn't impenetrable enough for Warfield, steve, though he'd doubtless have agreed.

Love the guesses of Joseph Smith, Benny Hinn, and Paul Crouch, libbie and daniel and seth. Sadly, I doubt any TBN person has ever heard of this writer. But I'm sure MacArthur has, screaming pirate -- and so probably has Rick Warren (go figure).

Castusfumus said...

Pyro T-shirts the hot treat this year @ the conf?

DJP said...

So here's the truth of the matter:

chris pixley first got the right author: the great J. Gresham Machen.

And vermigli got the right book: What Is Faith?

Honorable mention also to Moonlight Blogging, Gordon Cloud, Daniel Portela ("the Machen machine" -- love it), jay, james spurgeon, and highland host.

Among the remarkable things about this book is that it came out in 1925, a full 81 years ago -- yet his observations are so trenchant, up to date, and on-target that they literally could have been written yesterday.

Machen wasn't a man without his faults, of course; but the course he took in wrestling through the issues raised in the aftermath of Schleiermacher and Tubingen gave him a clear-eyed vision whose relevance stands for the decades.

Can't you just see some modern trend, wave, controversy, malady, touched on by each of those? Yet of course Machen was much villified in his day. It'd be nice if he could come back long enough to say, "Yeah, well -- told you."

DJP said...

candyinsierras -- I actually could see Lloyd-Jones saying something like that. Good call. Wonder whether he was much of a Machen fan.

DJP said...

Aigh! I'm sorry, in my hustle I committed one of my own pet peeves -- not sourcing my quotations! I apologize, and here they are, from the Eerdmans edition of What Is Faith?

First: p. 41

Second: p. 35

Third: p. 23

Fourth: p. 15

Fifth: pp. 13-14

And if you who guessed Machen would like to share how you came to that, I'd love to hear it.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I can't believe Phil has been plagiarizing Machen!
(see my first comment)

Chris Pixley said...

And if you who guessed Machen would like to share how you came to that, I'd love to hear it.

Mostly gut-feeling. I sensed that the quotes best fit either Machen or Lloyd-Jones (I actually had a stronger premonition about Lloyd-Jones being the source!), but landed on Machen based on the American English spelling of "practice" in quote #2. Had Lloyd-Jones been the source of this quote the word probably would have instead been rendered "practise", after the more British spelling.

Chuck said...

It sounded just like a book I just read by Gordon Clark, "What is Saving Faith?" Then when someone mentioned Machen, I remembered that Clark kept referring to Machen's book. Putting those two together, I realized the structure and writing was much like "Christianity and Liberalism."

pilgrim said...

"chris pixley first got the right author: the great J. Gresham Machen.

And vermigli got the right book: What Is Faith?"

Okay--so I have the book, but I haven't read it yet--or I may have got it.