Great Quotes from The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield


Rosaria Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith (Pittsburgh, PA: Crown & Covenant Publications, 2014).

Developing a Taste for God’s Standards:
“Living according to God’s standards is an acquired taste. We develop a taste for godly living only by intentionally putting into place practices that equip us to live below our means. We develop a taste for God’s standards only by disciplining our minds, hands, money, and time. In God’s economy, what we love we will discipline. God did not create us so that we would, as the title of an early book on postmodernism declares, ‘amuse ourselves to death.’ Undisciplined taste will always lead to egregious sin—slowly and almost imperceptibly” (30).

The Theology of John 3:16-17:
“John 3:17 says, ‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.’ This verse gives me greater clarity into how to read the one that comes before it. It tells me that if Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it, then neither should Christians. The use of the word ‘might’ in the final clause, ‘that the world through him might be saved,’ tells me that the domain of Christian witness is not salvation (that is God’s work) but service—selfless love and sacrifice. John 3:16 standing alone and without the theology of care offered in John 3:17 makes it harder to interpret” (67).

The Testimony of Every Believer:
“I didn’t choose Christ. Nobody chooses Christ. Christ chooses you or you’re dead. Period” (81).

A Marriage Centered Around Christ:
“When Christ is at the center of our marriage, we have been able to maintain a Christian household that ministers to others. When Christ is not at the center, all of our good intentions are swallowed up by selfishness. How do we put Christ at the center? By intentionally holding all things captive to Christ, each moment of each day. By never daring to do anything without fervent prayer, seeking the Lord’s wisdom, counsel, blessing, and life-sustaining breath” (113).

The Danger of a Heart of Fear:
“We in the church tend to be more fearful of the (perceived) sin in the world than of the sin in our own hearts” (115).

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