20 Zitate aus … Essays eines hellwachen Kirchenhistorikers

Carl R. Trueman. Fools Rush in Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone. P & R Publishing: Philippsburg, 2012. 240 Seiten. 8 USD (Kindle-Version).

Selbstdarstellung in den sozialen Medien

We mediocrities struggle at a different level, hoping that our own petty contributions, irrelevant and ephemeral as they are, will be puffed up and acknowledged by others; and, in a sense, there is nothing we can do about that. I am a man divided against myself; I want to be the center of attention because I am a fallen human being; I want others to know that I am the special one; and as long as the new me and the old me are bound together in a single, somatic unity, I will forever be at war with myself. What I can do, however, is have the decency to be ashamed of my drive to self-promotion and my craving for attention and for flattery and not indulge it as if it were actually a virtue or a true guide to my real merit.

Whereas my grandfather spent his day hard at work, trying—sometimes desperately—to make enough money to put bread on the table and shoes on his children’s feet, today many have time to play X-Box and video games, or warble on and on incessantly in that narcissistic echo chamber that is the blogosphere.

Dare I suggest that one of the battles of the next decade for Christians is not so much how we can use the new media for spreading the gospel, but how we can stop the new media from destroying those things that seem so germane to the normal Christian life.


American individualism feeds directly into this negation of the individual: the individual as consumer, as dilettante, thrives in a world of large, anonymous churches,

(The) cult of options is the desire to keep all life options open, of not making commitments that close down possibilities in the future.

(T)he evangelical subculture simply replicates (usually in a more mediocre way) the practices, values, and behavioral patterns of the advanced consumerist societies in which we live.

With cheap phone calls and reasonable transatlantic flights, I probably spend more time in terms of hours at home with my mother now than I have done since graduating from university.

You are, of course, what you worship, as Psalm 115 reminds us, and thus, as long as we idolize our children and the culture of youth, we can expect to—well, be just like them: pouting, irresponsible, hormonal, unpleasant and, frankly, as creepy as those sixteenth-century portraits of little children with adult faces.

Die Last des Beschäftigtsein

(H)omeschool parents seem to regard any second of the day from the age of two that isn’t used to learn Latin poetry or the cello or conversational Swahili as time that is wasted.

Reale Beziehungen statt digitale Leichen

(D)rinking beer with friends is perhaps the most underestimated of all Reformation insights and essential to ongoing reform.

If relationships with others are to be at all meaningful, then they need to embody levels of privacy, and concepts of decency and modesty.

Teaching and writing are my job, not my life; real life I reserve for family and church.

Personenkult bei Christen

(C)ultic devotion to a leader, combined with the kind of authority structures that churches necessarily have in order to function as churches, can prove a sometimes deadly and always painful mix.

(T)heir desire is not to teach but to be teachers. There is an important difference here: their focus is on their own status, not on the words they proclaim.

I suspect that aspiring statesmen in the church are driven more by a need to be liked and to avoid conflict than by a real desire to provide strong leadership;

The scholar destroys his father’s theology.


What are surprising, therefore, are accounts of services where the theology is supposedly orthodox but the content is sheer trivia. If God is awesome, sovereign, and holy; if human beings are small, sinful, and lost; if Christ died and rose again by a most miraculous and costly act of grace, then this should impact the way things happen in church.

I am increasingly convinced that this loss of a burning sense of God’s holiness is the problem of modern theology, modern biblical scholarship, and modern church life. The loss of the sense of awe at God’s holiness is the thing that separates modern liberal theology from premodern theology, and that is part of the tragedy of the modern academy.

I suddenly realized why so many American evangelicals are attracted to the institution: it has everything American evangelicalism lacks—history, beauty, self-conscious identity, and, quite frankly, class.

(N)ever, ever allow your church to go virtual so that people think that logging on to a service or downloading a sermon is really being part of the body of Christ.


One must be interested in culture, or one is simply irrelevant.

(S)ome of the greatest preaching ever known was designed precisely not to communicate to the contemporary culture.

It is a fine line between cultural contextualization and cultural syncretism.

Evangelicals typically make the fatal mistake of assuming that the wider world cares about what they think.

Worte, die Wirklichkeit schaffen

The cross’s reality is not constituted by what it appears to be, by what human categories and human words would say that it is to be; rather it is exactly what God says it is, nothing less than the glorious triumph of a gracious and holy God over all the powers of evil on behalf of fallen humanity; and human speech about the cross, if it is to be true speech, must correspond to the prior action of God.