To What, In Heaven’s Name is Christian Dogma Relevant?

But if Christian dogma is irrelevant to life, to what, in Heaven’s name, is it relevant? – since religious dogma is in fact nothing but a statement of doctrines concerning the nature of life and the universe.  If Christian ministers really believe it is only an intellectual game for theologians and has no bearing on human life, it is no wonder that their congregations are ignorant, bored and bewildered.

Dorothy Sayers

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 263

The Church is not to Adapt Christ to Men but Men to Christ

Let us, in Heaven’s name, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction.  If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious – others will pass into the Kingdom of Heaven before them.  If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him?  We do Him singularly little honor by watering down His Personality till it could not offend a fly.  Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.

It  is the dogma that is the drama – not beautiful phrases, nor comforting sentiments, nor vague aspirations to loving-kindness and moral uplift,nor the promise of something nice after death – but the terrifying assertion that the same God who made the world lived in the world and passed through the grave and gate of death.  Show that to the heathen, and they may not believe it; but at least they may realize that here is something that one might be glad to believe.

– Dorothy Sayers

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 252-253

Do Words Have Meaning Anymore?

That God should play the tyrant over man is the dismal story of unrelieved oppression; that man should play the tyrant over man is the usual dreary record of human futility; but that man should play the tyrant over God and find Him a better man than himself is an astonishing drama indeed.  Now, we may call that doctrine exhilarating or we may call it devastating, we may call it revelation or we may call it rubbish, but if we call it dull, then words have no meaning at all.

Dorothy Sayers

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 64

If This is Dull, then What, In Heaven’s Name, Is Worthy of Being Called Exciting?

Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as “bad press.”  We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine – “dull dogma”, as people call it.  The fact is the precise opposite.  It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness.  The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man – and the dogma is the drama…This is the dogma we find so dull – this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero.  If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worth to be called exciting?

– Dorothy Sayers

as quoted by Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 63