Thoughts to drive us

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V

The image of God carries with it the right to not be mistreated or harmed.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

For lovely things would simply not be unless they were from thee. They come to be and they pass away, and by coming they begin to be, and they grow toward perfection. Then, when perfect, they begin to wax old and perish, and, if all do not wax old, still all perish. Therefore, when they rise and grow toward being, the more rapidly they grow to maturity, so also the more rapidly they hasten back toward nonbeing. This is the way of things. This is the lot thou hast given them, because they are part of things which do not all exist at the same time, but by passing away and succeeding each other they all make up the universe, of which they are all parts.
-Augustine, Confessions

If you have been assigned the goods of this world by God and you don’t share them with others, it isn’t stinginess, it is injustice.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

Evil is a parasite, not an original thing.
-C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

O thou, Omnipotent Good, thou carest for every one of us as if thou didst care for him only, and so for all as if they were but one!
-Augustine, Confessions

The gospel, in short, must be used to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
@DailyKeller (multiple sources)

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
-C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Jesus thinks I can get everything done today about as much as He thought His disciples could feed 5000 with a boy’s lunch.
-Louie Giglio, @louiegiglio

I remember one of my parishioners responding to one of my sermons… “All the poor people in my part of town have nice TV sets. They aren’t starving,” he said. But (Jonathan) Edwards says that this hardheartedness is not in accord with the Biblical command to love your neighbor as yourself. We don’t wait until we are in “extremity” before doing something about our condition, he argued, so why should we wait until our neighbor is literally starving before we help?
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

We all want to help kind-hearted, upright people, whose poverty came upon them through no foolishness or contribution of their own, and who will respond to our aid with gratitude and joy. However, almost no one like that exists.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

If physical objects please you, praise God for them, but turn back your love to their Creator, lest, in those things which please you, you displease him.
-Augustine, Confessions

Die before you die, there is no chance after.
-C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Paul teaches that the money we have is as much a gift of God as the manna was a gift to the Israelites in the desert. Though some are more able “gatherers”-that is, some are better at making money than others-the money you earn is a gift of God. Therefore, the money you make must be shared to build up community. So wealthier believers must share with poorer ones, not only within a congregation but also across congregations and borders. (See 2 Corinthians 8:15 and its context.) To extend the metaphor – money that is hoarded for oneself rots the soul.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice
(emphasis mine)

The gleaning laws enabled the poor to be self-sufficient, not through getting a handout, but through their own work in the field.
How can business owners follow the same principles today? They should not squeeze every penny of profit out of their businesses for themselves by charging the highest fees and prices to customers and paying the lowest possible wages to workers. Instead, they should be willing to pay higher wages and charge lower prices that in effect share the corporate profits with employees and customers, with the community around them. This always creates a more vibrant, strong human community. How could a government follow the gleaning principle? It would do so by always favoring programs that encourage work and self-sufficiency rather than dependency.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

What if you aren’t poor in spirit? That would mean you don’t believe you are so sinful, morally bankrupt, and lost that only free grace can possibly save you…Even though the Bible doesn’t use the term, by inference we can say that you are “middle-class in spirit.”
…My experience as a pastor has been that those who are middle-class in spirit tend to be indifferent to the poor, but people who have come to grasp the gospel of grace and become spiritually poor find their hearts gravitating toward the materially poor. To the degree that the gospel shapes you self-image, you will identify with those in need.
-Tim Keller, Generous Justice

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