I keep a running log of quotes on Christ, church and culture I find here and there at a tumblog called Contra Mvndvm. I don’t update it very much, but added a couple today.
The first is a famous one from Teddy Roosevelt. Not new, of course, but thought it needed adding:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
— “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, 23 April, 1910
The second is from MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme . . . But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love . . . Was not Amos an extremist for justice . . . Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel . . . Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
For what it’s worth, I think good quotes are like good lyrics or poetry: They articulate for us what we would articulate if we had the rhetorical capability.