Famous Quotes & Sayings

Francis Spufford Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 48 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Francis Spufford.

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Famous Quotes By Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 1616447

Christianity is a religion of continuity and discontinuity as well. It's about what stays the same and what changes in the twinkling of an eye. Both are necessary truths, but sometimes it's important to accentuate the discontinuity, the sudden leap, the way you go up a tree, Zacchaeus, and come down a saint. — Francis Spufford

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I think I have made allowances for the kind of despair which would test my faith, but you cannot know in advance what disaster to those you love would be too much to bear faithfully, and like everyone's, my faith is weakly conditional in some ways. I hope, I pray not to lose it. My fingers are crossed. Also my heart. — Francis Spufford

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Whatever the "Christian conservatives" in America say, there is no one set of rightful opinions that follow on automatically from your belief. If you have signed up for the redeeming love of God, you don't - you really don't - have to sign up too for low taxes, creationism, gun ownership, the death penalty, closing abortion clinics, climate change denial and grotesque economic inequality. You are entirely at liberty to believe that the kingdom would be better served by social justice, redistributive taxation, feminism, gay rights and excellent public transportation. You won't have the authoritative sanction of the gospel for believing in those things either, of course. But you can. — Francis Spufford

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Anyone can be self-educated if they find the loose end of something to care about passionately. — Francis Spufford

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You don't have to become an investment banker as a way of demonstrating that education has worked for you. But librarians have to believe in the values of high culture. Not just high culture but middle culture, low culture, kinds of exciting eye-catching crap of all kinds. Everyone needs that. — Francis Spufford

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Despite the best efforts of apologists like William Lane Craig, the 'evidence' for Christianity's truth is, in truth, not the kind that science will or should ever admit. We believers mean something different by the word: something that puts faith permanently in the category of irreproducible results. — Francis Spufford

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I was never argued out of faith; it was much more passive than that - and I wasn't argued back in, either. — Francis Spufford

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Christians are as subject to complacency as anybody else, and we can certainly settle into repetition and forget that something radical and extraordinary is being asked of us as well - that we hold to an extraordinary promise about how, from moment to moment, something enters the world and enters us, after which everything is different. — Francis Spufford

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There have been low moments before, but Christianity is an incredibly adaptable organism, using different parts of its repertoire to mutate into new ecological niches, yet preserving intact its story of grace, of love improbably triumphant. — Francis Spufford

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By now the night tastes of nothing but ash. But nicotine substitutes for food, nicotine substitutes for sleep, and there is so little time left for the future, once all the demands of the present are taken care of. — Francis Spufford

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Why do I write? From selfishness. Because this state of liquefied, complex concentration, however faintly and dimly I'm able to perceive it, is the greatest pleasure I know. — Francis Spufford

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What we need in Europe is to push back against the idea that religion is so farfetched that it's not worth talking about. — Francis Spufford

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I can always tell when you're reading somewhere in the house,' my mother used to say. 'There's a special silence, a reading silence. — Francis Spufford

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For a believer, Christian faith is true to the human heart, not in the sense that any old thing we fancy believing in will become conveniently true - but because the complicated truth about our hearts, as we struggle to perceive it, tells us what we are and where we are, and consequently what we need. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 1394648

Peace is not the norm; peace is rare, and where we do manage to institutionalize it in a human society, it's usually because we've been intelligently pessimistic about human proclivities, and found a way to work with the grain of them in a system of intense mutual suspicion like the U.S. Constitution, a document which assumes that absolutely everybody will be corrupt and power-hungry given half a chance. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 2265841

You ask for help and you get nothing: on a conscious level you may have decided that there was nobody there to help, but less consciously, since you did ask, it feels as if help was denied. Hence the angry edge that sometimes sharpens disbelief when it's been renewed by one of these episodes of fruitless asking. In the words of Samuel Beckett, "He doesn't exist, the bastard!" The life of faith has just as many he-doesn't-exist-the-bastard moments as the life of disbelief. Probably more of them, if anything, given that we believers tend to return to the subject more often, producing many more opportunities to be disappointed. — Francis Spufford

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The best that can be done is to love for the sake of it, and to keep sorrow company. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 90370

It's true that when Christianity is socially powerful, faith can look from the outside as if it is mainly a matter of membership, of participation in the vast synchronised swim of institutions. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 95825

That's right,' said Morin smoothly. 'We had better just let Marfa Timofeyevna finish keeping us on the straight and narrow.' Somehow his tone as he said this managed to suggest both that censorship was silly, and that it was silly to mind it. Galich conceded Morin a small internal round of (Applause), his headache whispering in his temples. He was highly accomplished himself at finding pleasure-giving, urbane descriptions of what couldn't be helped, but Morin, moreover, had hit the precise note of the moment, liberally-minded yet unchallenging, ironic yet inoffensive. The — Francis Spufford

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God doesn't want your careful virtue, He wants your reckless generosity. — Francis Spufford

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Emotions can certainly be misleading: they can fool you into believing stuff that is definitely, demonstrably untrue. — Francis Spufford

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He too had plans... he wasn't embarrassed by the idea of carefully thinking through what would be necessary to achieve them. You made a picture of the life you wanted to have, and then you worked back from there to the present. — Francis Spufford

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Self-awareness is not the same thing as self-approval, any more than imagination is the same thing as day-dreaming. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 278219

Seen from that future time, when every commodity the human mind could imagine would flow from the industrial horn of plenty in dizzy abundance, this would seem a scanty, shoddy, cramped moment indeed, choked with shadows, redeemed only by what it caused to be created.
Seen from plenty, now would be hard to imagine. It would seem not quite real, an absurd time when, for no apparent reason, human beings went without things easily within the power of humanity to supply and lives did not flower as it was obvious they could. — Francis Spufford

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It's always struck me as unfair that writing has so little sensation when it's going well. — Francis Spufford

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In a hundred years, Christianity will have mutated into something utterly unpredictable which, nevertheless, we'd recognize immediately. And same-sex marriage will be one of the fine old God-given traditions that conservatives leap to defend. — Francis Spufford

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What follows is more about books than it is about me, but nonetheless it is my inward autobiography, for the words we take into ourselves help to shape us. — Francis Spufford

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Goblins burrowed in the earth, elves sang songs in the trees: Those were the obvious wonders of reading, but behind them lay the fundamental marvel that, in stories, words could command things to be. — Francis Spufford

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What is the tactful, the effective way of announcing that your life's work has been wasted? — Francis Spufford

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Libraries are public treasuries. They're ways in which well-meaning societies leave the wealth of the past arranged A to Z so that anyone walking past can find it. — Francis Spufford

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When I'm tired and therefore indecisive, it can take half an hour to choose the book I am going to have with me while I brush my teeth. — Francis Spufford

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The emotions that sustain religious belief are all, in fact, deeply ordinary and deeply recognisable to anybody who has ever made their way across the common ground of human experience as an adult. — Francis Spufford

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If you based your knowledge of the human species exclusively on adverts, you'd think that the normal condition of humanity was to be a good-looking single person between 20 and 35, with excellent muscle-definition and/or an excellent figure, and a large disposable income. — Francis Spufford

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Churches are vessels of hush, as well as everything else they are, and when I block out the distractions of vision, the silence is almost shockingly loud. — Francis Spufford

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I am a fairly orthodox Christian. Every Sunday, I say and do my best to mean the whole of the Creed, which is a series of propositions. But it is still a mistake to suppose that it is assent to the propositions that makes you a believer. It is the feelings that are primary. — Francis Spufford

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Without faith, there'd be nothing but indifferent material forces at work. It's only when the idea of events having an author is introduced that the universe becomes cruel, as opposed to merely heavy, or fast-moving, or prone to unpredictable acceleration. — Francis Spufford

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I don't know if there's a God. (And neither do you, and neither does Professor Dawkins, and neither does anybody. It isn't the kind of thing you can know. It isn't a knowable item.) But then, like every human being, I am not in the habit of entertaining only the emotions I can prove. I'd be a unrecognizable oddity if I did. — Francis Spufford

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What I absolutely want is to suggest that before it's anything else, redemption is God mending the bicycle of our souls; God bringing out the puncture repair kit, re-inflating the tires, taking off the rust, making us roadworthy once more. Not so that we can take flight into ecstasy, but so that we can do the next needful mile of our lives. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 1285599

Taking the things people do wrong seriously is part of taking them seriously. It's part of letting their actions have weight. It's part of letting their actions be actions rather than just indifferent shopping choices; of letting their lives tell a life-story, with consequences, and losses, and gains, rather than just being a flurry of events. It's part of letting them be real enough to be worth loving, rather than just attractive or glamorous or pretty or charismatic or cool. — Francis Spufford

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Some people ask nowadays what kind of a religion it is that chooses an instrument of torture for its symbol, as if the cross on churches must represent some kind of endorsement. The answer is: one that takes the existence of suffering seriously. — Francis Spufford

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We are supposed to be on the side of goodness in the sense that we need it, not that we are it. — Francis Spufford

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If you're a believer, God is not a thought-experiment requiring a special sub-creation to be tried out in. He's an actual, er, actuality already, embedded in a necessary and true story about guilt, hope, and liberty. I don't want C. S. Lewis doing his resourceful best to render Him as a fabulous special effect. — Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford Quotes 1201622

It is not for us to know who does and does not manage to accept forgiveness, but if the love really never stops, if God really does long for every lost soul, then in principle God regards as forgivable a whole load of stuff we really don't want forgiven, thank you. People who use airliners to murder thousands of office workers, people who strut about Norwegian summer camps stealing the lives of teenagers with careful shots to the head, people who drive over their gay neighbor in their pick-up truck and then reverse and do it again, people who torture children for sexual pleasure: God is apparently ready to rush right in there and give them all a hug, the bastard. We don't want that. We want justice, dammit, if not in this world then in the next. We want God's extra-niceness confined to deserving cases such as, for example, us, and a reliable process of judgment put in place which will ensure that the child-murderers are ripped apart with red-hot tongs. — Francis Spufford

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You never came out the way you came in. — Francis Spufford

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I want to know why I read as a child with such a frantic appetite, why I sucked the words off the page with such an edge of desperation. — Francis Spufford

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We're the league of the guilty, after all, not the league of the shortly-to-become-good. We are a work in progress. We will always be a work in progress. We will always fail, and it will always matter. — Francis Spufford

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We are supposed to do our fallible, failing best to perceive the other bad people as kin. — Francis Spufford

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When is it that you can say you believe? It's tricky, since belief is often so intermittent; is so often checkered through or stippled through with disbelief; is so much something come upon, or sensed out of the corner of the mind's eye, rather than securely possessed. Is it when you feel you've found something? Or is it much earlier: when you feel the need that will make you start looking? When you do start looking? When you fail to find anything and yet somehow don't give up the hope that you might find something some day? Maybe it's when you hope at all, in this direction. — Francis Spufford