Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

George Arthur Buttrick

British Presbyterian Minister

"People are driven from the church not so much by stern truth that makes them uneasy, as by weak nothings that make them contemptuous."

"All true prayer is worship – the ascription of worth to the Eternal. Without adoration, thanksgiving may become a miserliness, petition a selfish clamor, intercession a currying of special favors for our friends, and even contemplation may turn into a refined indulgence."

"Prayer is not a vain attempt to change God’s will: it is a filial desire to learn God’s will and share it. Prayer is not a substitute for work: it is the secret spring and indispensable ally of all true work – the clarifying of work’s goal, the purifying of its motives, and the renewing of its zeal."

"For a man to argue, “I do not go to church; I pray alone,” is no wiser than if he should say, “I have no use for symphonies; I believe only in solo music.”"

"Sin is an affair of the will. It is not “a vestige of our animal inheritance.” That trivial notion comes from an unexamined, too-quickly swallowed doctrine of evolution. Why blame the brute creation? No self-respecting wolf would be guilty of our modern wars."

"It appears that when life is broken by tragedy, God shines through the breach."

"Life is essentially a series of events to be lived through rather than intellectual riddles to be played with and solved."

"Faith is the response of our spirits to beckonings of the eternal."

"Prayer is not a substitute for work, thinking, watching, suffering, or giving; prayer is a support for all other efforts. "