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An AIIA Quote Forum
Compiled by Daryl E. Witmer
an-thro-po-cen-tric – adj.
Somewhere recently I read the testimony of an individual whose family had narrowly escaped serious physical harm. In a spirit of gratitude, the writer concluded with this line:
“God has always been there for us.”
While I likely understand the intent and sentiment of that line, I really have to wonder whether the same words would have been used had the outcome been different. But that aside – who is really there for who anyway? Is it possible that much of modern man’s problem with pain and adversity is the result of a presumptuous man-based, man-invented, I-am-always-entitled-to-a-good-time frame of reference? Read on.
“Ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For modern man the roles are reversed. He is judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have some reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty, and disease, he is ready to listen. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that Man is on the Bench and God in the Dock.” -C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock
“We have a limitless ability to trust God only when it suits our purpose. Rather than allowing God to be God and serving Him for who He is, we actually try to play God and He becomes our subject, expected to do our bidding at our every whim. I do not know of any greater fickleness in the human heart than this.” -Ravi Zacharias, Just Thinking, Winter 2002
“We live in a time and…culture that is so drunk with the centrality of the values of men, and ourselves in particular, and our rights, and our virtues, and our esteem, that a sentence like [Romans 3:4] must land on us either with absolute incomprehensibility or rage. Because what this sentence says is if every man is lost, God is true and loses nothing. God is not leaning on us for anything. Let God be true, let God be righteous, let God be faithful, let God be God and every man a liar and perishing. And God will stand at the center of the universe glorious, and every man in hell, if it must be. And oh, how we think, ‘Poor God, poor God, poor God.’ Paul the Apostle, inspired here, has a vision of the universe, and of God’s supreme central value in the universe that is so different than the atmosphere we breathe as to make many parts of the Bible unintelligible for contemporary Americans until the Holy Spirit transforms our values.” -Dr. John Piper on Romans 3:1-8, Let God Be True Though Every Man a Liar, 3/7/99
“When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego said, “But if not…” in Daniel 3:18, they were not expressing doubt. They were expressing surrender. Their attitude of implicit submission to the sovereign will of God inspires me in ways far more profound than so much of what I see in our own anthropocentric times. Where are the men and women today who are prepared to love and trust a God who at times may choose to work out His will by means of our own miserable affliction?” – Daryl E. Witmer in But If Not, 2001.
“We are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-centered. The goal of God’s love in sending Christ is not to make much of us, but to free us from bondage to mirrors, so we can enjoy making much of Him forever.” -Dr. John Piper, in Glad about glory?, World magazine, Jan/Feb 2002, page 81.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding…’ Then Job answered the Lord and said, ‘Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth.'” -Job 38:1-4, 40:3-4