Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

“And so it is altogether relevant to a Christian understanding of this world to ask, How does the best parental love express itself in its influence upon the environment in which children are able to grow up?

I think it is clear that a parent who loves his children, and wants them to become the best human beings that they are capable of becoming, does not treat pleasure as the sole and supreme value. Certainly we seek pleasure for our children, and take great delight in obtaining it for them; but we do not desire for them unalloyed pleasure at the expense of their growth in such even greater values as moral integrity, unselfishness, compassion, courage, humour, reverence for the truth, and perhaps above all the capacity for love.” (J. Hick)

“But man is a very complex creature. He has many organs. He performs many acts at once, and he experiences his performance of these acts in one highly complex life of consciousness. As the next feature of his life we all observe that he can at the same time shun one object and grasp at another. In this way he can have at once present to him a consciousness of good and a consciousness of ill. …His whole inner state is one of tension; and he is either making a secondary experience of evil out of his estimate of a primary experience of good… or else he is making a secondary experience of good out of his primary experience of evil…” (J. Royce)

“For where a life is divided into different compartments there is bound to be some degree of rivalry among the various interests involved. Each attempts to capture more of the self and, in so far as the self is a divided self, the more the self is taken by one interest the less is left for the others. We have carried this so far in modern life that we live by the clock and divide ourselves into parts which we measure by hours, minutes, and even by seconds.” (S. Thompson)

“From whence come wars, and fightings, and factions? whence but from the body and the lusts of the body? For wars are occasioned by the love of money, and money has to be acquired for the sake and in the service of the body; and in consequence of all these things the time which ought to be given to philosophy is lost.” (Plato)

“If one who lives in a Christian culture goes up to God’s house, the house of the true God, with a true conception of God, with knowledge of God and prays— but prays in a false spirit; and one who lives in an idolatrous land prays with the total passion of the infinite, although his eyes rest on the image of an idol; where is there most truth? The one prays in truth to God, although he worships an idol and the other prays in untruth to the true God and therefore really worships an idol.” (S. Kierkegaard)

“Man desires to possess God; he desires a continuity in space and time of possession of God. He is not content with the inexpressible confirmation of meaning, but wants to see this confirmation stretched out as something that can be continually taken up and handled, a continuum unbroken in space and time that insures his life at every point and every moment. Man’s thirst for continuity is unsatisfied by the life-rhythm of pure relation, the interchange of actual being and of a potential being in which only our power to enter into relation, and hence the presentness (but not the primal Presence) decreases.

He longs for extension of time, for duration. Thus God becomes an object of faith. At first faith, set in time, completes the acts of relation; but gradually it replaces them.” (M. Buber)

by email: mustardseedfaith@outlook.com