Christ, in His Divine innocence, said to the Woman of Samaria, “Ye worship ye know not what” — being apparently under the impression that it might be desirable, on the whole, to know what one was worshiping. He thus showed Himself sadly out of touch with the twentieth-century mind, for the cry today is: “Away with the tedious complexities of dogma — let us have the simple spirit of worship; just worship, no matter of what!” The only drawback to this demand for a generalized and undirected worship is the practical difficulty of arousing any sort of enthusiasm for the worship of nothing in particular.
~ in Creed or Chaos? (p. 19)
For we let our young men and women go out unarmed in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects.
~ from “The Lost Tools of Learning” in Douglas Wilson’s book Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1991.
If spiritual pastors are to refrain from saying anything that might ever, by any possibility, be misunderstood by anybody, they will end–as many of them do–by never saying anything worth hearing.
~ in Creed or Chaos? (p. 11)
Paradoxical as it may seem, to believe in youth is to look backward; to look forward, we must believe in age.
~ in Creed or Chaos? (p. 57)
The Church names the sixth Deadly Sin Acedia or Sloth. In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in Hell it is called Despair. It is the accomplice of the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and the only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for.
~ in Creed or Chaos? Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 1949 [1995 reprint], (page 108)
The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him “meek and mild,” and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.
~ in Creed or Chaos? Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 1949 [1995 reprint], (page 6)
There is a popular school of thought (or, more strictly, of feeling) which violently resents the operation of Time upon the human spirit. It looks upon age as something between a crime and an insult. Its prophets have banished from their savage vocabulary all such words as adult, mature, experienced, venerable; they know only snarling and sneering epithets, like middle-aged, elderly, stuffy, senile, and decrepit. With these they flagellate that which they themselves are, or must shortly become, as if abuse where an incantation to exorcize the inexorable….It is the vicious and desperate fury of a trapped beast; and it is not a pretty sight.
~ in Creed or Chaos? (p. 56)
There is also one excellent reason why the veriest amateur may feel entitled to have an opinion about education. For if we are not all professional teachers, we have all, at some time or other, been taught. Even if we learned nothing–perhaps in particular if we learned nothing–our contribution to the discussion may have a potential value.
~ from “The Lost Tools of Learning” in Douglas Wilson’s book Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1991. page 145.
“Why doesn’t God smite this dictator dead?” is a question a little remote from us. Why, madam, did he not strike you dumb and imbecile before you uttered that baseless unkind slander the day before yesterday? Or me, before I behaved with such cruel lack of consideration to that well meaning friend?
~ in Creed or Chaos? (pp. 12-13)
Doctrine is not boring! Dogma is the drama!
Man is never truly himself except when he is actively creating something.