When the Bible speaks of beauty it largely downplays physical beauty in favor of inner beauty. According to the Bible, a beautiful woman is not one who is perfectly proportioned (by whatever society determines to be perfect) or one whose face is stunning. Rather, a beautiful woman is one who is genuinely godly, who reflects “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.” The beauty the Bible commends is a beauty of character more than a beauty of appearance.
– Tim Challies, Letting Herself Go
The way Francis Chan talks about approaching the Bible in this video is incredibly helpful. I think this video could rightly be titled “The Attitude With Which You Are To Read Your Bible.”
I think this quote from the video (starting at 3:30) is absolutely fantastic:
“When we begin an argument with, ‘Well I wouldn’t believe in a God who would…’ Who would what, do something that you wouldn’t do, or think in a way that’s different from the way you think. Do you ever even consider the possibility that maybe the Creator’s sense of justice is actually more developed than yours? And that maybe His love and his mercy are perfect, and that you could be the one that is flawed? When we make statements like, ‘Well God wouldn’t do this, would He?’ do your understand that at that moment you’re actually putting God’s actions in submission to your reasoning. You’re in essence saying, ‘Well God wouldn’t think that way or act that way ’cause I wouldn’t act that way or think that way.'”
‘The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums… That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can’t act believe in themselves; and debtors who won’t pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one’s self is a hysterical and superstitious belief…’
– G.K. Chesterton, talking to a “prosperous publisher” who maintained that belief in one’s self was a good thing; in Orthodoxy.
Human marriage has always been only penultimate. No marriage is or can be a final experience. And every human marriage is truest to itself when it points beyond itself, representing something of Christ and the church in their perfect union.
– Ray Ortlund, God’s Unfaithful Wife, New Studies in Biblical Theology, Ed. D.A. Carson (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 159.