Saturday, March 15, 2008

Man -

The true measure of a man is the height of his ideals, the breadth of his sympathy, the depth of his convictions, and the length of his patience.

There are two types of people -- those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!' and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are.' -

Mutim dan tara ne. Man only ever scores nine out of ten. - Hausa proverb, Nigeria, reflecting an Islamic theology, for only God is perfect.

he test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man that it forms. -- Henri Frederic Amiel

According to Scripture the essence of man consists in this, that he is the image of God. As such he is distinguished from all other creatures and stands supreme as the head and crown of the entire creation. LOUIS BERKOF

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. Ps. 39:6 NIV

Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow. Ps. 144:4 NIV

This autonomy of man, this attempt of the Ego to understand itself out of itself, is the lie concerning man which we call sin. The truth about man is that his ground is not in himself but in God -- that his essence is not in self sufficient reason but in the Word, in the challenge of God, in responsibility, not in self-sufficiency. The true being of man is realized when he bases himself upon God's Word. Faith is then not an impossibility or a salto mortale [mortal leap], but that which is truly natural; and the real salto mortale (a mortal leap indeed!) is just the assertion of autonomy, self-sufficiency, God-likeness. [It is] through this usurped independence [that] man separates himself from God, and at the same time isolates himself from his fellows. Individualism is the necessary consequence of rational autonomy, just as love is the necessary consequence of faith.... Emil Brunner, The Word and The World [1931]

The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image. Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932) "The Marrow of Tradition," 1901.

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. --Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) _Orthodoxy_ [1908], "The Logic of Elfland"

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other."--Charles Dickens

The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he's too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.- Fyodor Dostoevsky "The Brothers Karamazov"

The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...............The solution of this problem lies in the heart of humankind.
Albert Einstein(1879-1955) Speech to US National Commission of Nuclear Scientists, 24 May 1946

The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man. --Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

It is not enough to understand what we ought to be, unless we know what we are; and we do not understand what we are, unless we know what we ought to be. Thomas Stearns Eliot

I have found little that is good about human beings. In my experience, most of them are trash. - Sigmund Freud (1856 &endash; 1939)

But possibly the most important discovery we have made about ourselves is that Man is a Wild Animal. He cannot be tamed and remain Man; his genius is bound up in the very qualities which make him wild. With this self-knowledge, bleak, stern, and proud, goes the last hope of permanent peace on Earth; it makes world government unlikely and certainly unstable. [...] Not even the H-bomb could change our inner nature. We learned most bloodily that the H-bomb does nothing that the stone axe did not do -- and neither weapon could tame us. Man can be chained but he cannot be domesticated, and eventually he always breaks his chains. --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Third Millennium Opens", _Expanded Universe_

Animals can learn, but it is not by learning that they become dogs, cats, or horses. Only man has to learn to become what he is supposed to be. -- Eric Hoffer

We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity. -- Herbert Hoover

Man is the only creature in the animal kingdom that sits in judgment on the work of the Creator and finds it bad--including himself and Nature.
Elbert Hubbard, _Notebook_

Faults and defects every work of man must have. -- Samuel Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

Man is a transitory being, and his designs must partake of the imperfections their author. -- Samuel Johnson: Idler #4

Never, never pin your whole faith on any human being: not if he is the best and wisest in the whole world. There are lots of nice things you can do with sand; but do not try building a house on it. --Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) _Mere Christianity_ [1952], Book 4, Chapter 7

Mankind, in the gross, is a gaping monster, that loves to be deceived, and has seldom been disappointed. --Henry MacKenzie

For one restraint, Lords of the World besides. John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i 32

I have seen no more evident monstrosity and miracle in the world than myself. --Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592) _Essays_, Book III [1595], Ch. 11

To know oneself is to disbelieve utopia. MICHAEL NOVAK

What a chimera then is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, depository of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe. --Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) _Pensees_ [1670], Number 434

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

Thus nature gives us (let it check our pride)
The virtue nearest to our vice ally'd:
Reason the byas turns to good from ill,
And Nero reigns a Titus, if he will.
The fiery soul abhorr'd in Catiline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine:
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And makes a patriot as it makes a knave.
This light and darkness in our chaos join'd,
What shall divide? The God within the mind.
That virtue only makes our bliss below;
And all our knowledge is, ourselves to know.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Everything is good when it leaves the hands of the Creator; everything degenerates in the hands of man. --Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) _Emile; or, On Education_ [1762]

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. -- Carl Sagan

We thus know something wonderful about man. Among other things, we know his origin and who he is --he is made in the image of God. Man is not only wonderful when he is 'born again' as a Christian, he is also wonderful as God made him in His image. Man has value because of who he was originally before the Fall.
I was recently lecturing in Santa Barbara, and was introduced to a boy who had been on drugs. He had a good-looking face, long curly hair, sandals on his feet and was wearing blue jeans. He came to hear my lecture and said, 'This is brand new, I've never heard anything like this.' So he was brought along the next afternoon, and I greeted him. He looked me in the eyes and said, 'Sir, that was a beautiful greeting. Why did you greet me like that?' I said, 'Because I know who you are --I know you are made in the image of God.' We then had a tremendous conversation. We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them o the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin--who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is something wonderful.-Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape from Reason Chapter 2 The Reformation and Man p 21

The fact that man is fallen does not mean that he has ceased to bear God's image. He has not ceased to be man because he is fallen. He can love, though he is fallen. It would be a mistake to say that only a Christian can love. Moreover, a non-Christian painter can still paint beauty. And it is because they can still do these things that they manifest that they are God's image-bearers or, to put it another way, they assert their unique 'mannishness' as men.
So it is a truly wonderful thing that, although man is twisted and corrupted and lost as a result of the Fall, yet he is still man. He has become neither a machine nor an animal nor a plant. The marks of mannishness are still upon him-love, rationality, longing for significance, fear of non-being, and so on. This is the case even when his non-Christian system leads him to say these things do not exist. It is these things which distinguish him from the animal and plant world and from the machine.-Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape From Reason p.89

I love mankind.....It's PEOPLE I can't stand!!........" - LINUS in Peanuts by Charles Schulz

To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Without God man has no reference point to define himself. 20th century philosophy manifests the chaos of man seeking to understand himself as a creature with dignity while having no reference point for that dignity. R. C. SPROUL

Our anthropology is intimately bound up with our theology. If God is dead, man is too. If we are not accountable, then we do not count. R. C. SPROUL

Once man ceases to recognize the infinite value of the human soul...then all he can recognize is that man is something to be used. HELMUT THIELICKE

The picture of fallen man as given in Scripture is that he knows God but does not want to recognize Him as God. CORNELIUS VAN TIL

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. --Bern Williams

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