Themes and Thoughts
Food From Thought


“C. S. Lewis described hell as ‘a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance and resentment.’ That sums up Twitter nicely”. – Freddy Gray, The Catholic Herald, 19 January 208, p. 19.


A new prisoner “…had gone to the doctor complaining of depression (no one uses the word unhappiness these days, all deviation from the state of permanent bliss being considered an illness), and his doctor had prescribed him antidepressants, as doctors almost always do these days in these circumstances.” – Theodore Dalrymple, The knife went in. Murder and the decline of our culture. Memoirs of a prison doctor and psychiatrist, London, Gibson Square, 2017, p. 86.


“The deep cultural forces that have been separating the West from God for centuries will not be halted or reversed by a single election [eg. that of Donald Trump as US President], or any election at all.” (p. 99) and “Ideology is the enemy of joyful community life, and the most destructive ideology is the belief that creating utopia is possible” (p. 139) – Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option. A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, New York, Sentinel (Penguin Random House), 2017.


“Perhaps a greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by it” – Sheridan Voysey, Resurrection Year. Turning Broken Dreams Into New Beginnings, Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2013, p. xii.


“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all” – attributed to Dale Carnegie.



“It appears that we’re expected to base our [theological/religious] views on how people feel, rather than what God has said.” – an unnamed Blackburn Diocesan Synod member quoted by Andrew Symes (Anglican Mainstream), in connection with the Blackburn Diocese decision to create a liturgy to “mark and celebrate someone’s ‘gender transition’” – Trans equality in Blackburn: a new doctrine of humanity?, 26 May 2015,


“We are moving against the tide of our culture. If we are not moving forward we will be swept backwards. Standing still is not an option” – Steve Silvester, WordLive (Scripture Union), 26 February 2016.


“In the world it is called Tolerance [today, we might say “toleration], but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.” – Dorothy L. Sayers, in Clouds of Witness (quoted in the Advent Meditation for Thursday 12 December 2015, by the Anglican Mainstream site,


“If you think there is no God, you had better be right” – words from a poster outside a Baptist church in Norfolk, England, which were the cause of the pastor’s being interviewed by the police. See Brendan O’Neil’s article, ‘The New Inquisition’ (11 November 2015),


“There was never a more gracious teacher than Jesus; nor was there ever a severer. Perhaps, if we gave more attention to His “hard sayings” the quality of our discipleship would be stauncher. The general tendency to-day it to dwell on the lighter and easier aspects of discipleship. The austerer lines are smoothed out, and Christian discipleship is made to have a velvety feel about it. This is a cheap and easy way of recruiting new converts.  It brings to the Church’s banners many who can shout slogans and sing choruses; but these are the sort who soon become backsliders, and who are then more difficult to reclaim than they were to be first recruited.” – J. Sidlow Baxter, Studies in Problem Texts, London, Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd., 1949, p. 41.