Francis Spufford

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
Anyone can be self-educated if they find the loose end of something to care about passionately.
Belief demands that you dispense with illusion after illusion, while contemporary common sense requires continual, fluffy pretending - pretending that might as well be systematic, it's so thoroughly incentivised by our culture.
Christianity is a religion of continuity and discontinuity as well. It's about what stays the same and what changes in the twinkling of an eye. Both are necessary truths, but sometimes it's important to accentuate the discontinuity, the sudden leap, the way you go up a tree, Zacchaeus, and come down a saint. Religion & God
Christians are as subject to complacency as anybody else, and we can certainly settle into repetition and forget that something radical and extraordinary is being asked of us as well - that we hold to an extraordinary promise about how, from moment to moment, something enters the world and enters us, after which everything is different.
Despite the best efforts of apologists like William Lane Craig, the 'evidence' for Christianity's truth is, in truth, not the kind that science will or should ever admit. We believers mean something different by the word: something that puts faith permanently in the category of irreproducible results. Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Emotions can certainly be misleading: they can fool you into believing stuff that is definitely, demonstrably untrue.
Emotions can certainly be misleading: they can fool you into believing stuff that is definitely, demonstrably untrue. Yet emotions are also our indispensable tool for navigating, for feeling our way through, the much larger domain of stuff that isn't susceptible to proof or disproof, that isn't checkable against the physical universe.
For a believer, Christian faith is true to the human heart, not in the sense that any old thing we fancy believing in will become conveniently true - but because the complicated truth about our hearts, as we struggle to perceive it, tells us what we are and where we are, and consequently what we need. Truth ;Religion & God
I am a fairly orthodox Christian. Every Sunday, I say and do my best to mean the whole of the Creed, which is a series of propositions. But it is still a mistake to suppose that it is assent to the propositions that makes you a believer. It is the feelings that are primary.
I think I have made allowances for the kind of despair which would test my faith, but you cannot know in advance what disaster to those you love would be too much to bear faithfully, and like everyone's, my faith is weakly conditional in some ways. I hope, I pray not to lose it. My fingers are crossed. Also my heart. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Hope ;Religion & God
I want to know why I read as a child with such a frantic appetite, why I sucked the words off the page with such an edge of desperation.
I was never argued out of faith; it was much more passive than that - and I wasn't argued back in, either. Religion & God
If you based your knowledge of the human species exclusively on adverts, you'd think that the normal condition of humanity was to be a good-looking single person between 20 and 35, with excellent muscle-definition and/or an excellent figure, and a large disposable income. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
If you're a believer, God is not a thought-experiment requiring a special sub-creation to be tried out in. He's an actual, er, actuality already, embedded in a necessary and true story about guilt, hope, and liberty. I don't want C. S. Lewis doing his resourceful best to render Him as a fabulous special effect. Hope ;Religion & God
In a hundred years, Christianity will have mutated into something utterly unpredictable which, nevertheless, we'd recognize immediately. And same-sex marriage will be one of the fine old God-given traditions that conservatives leap to defend. Families, Children & Parenting
It's always struck me as unfair that writing has so little sensation when it's going well.
It's true that when Christianity is socially powerful, faith can look from the outside as if it is mainly a matter of membership, of participation in the vast synchronised swim of institutions. Religion & God
Libraries are public treasuries. They're ways in which well-meaning societies leave the wealth of the past arranged A to Z so that anyone walking past can find it.
Self-awareness is not the same thing as self-approval, any more than imagination is the same thing as day-dreaming.
The emotions that sustain religious belief are all, in fact, deeply ordinary and deeply recognisable to anybody who has ever made their way across the common ground of human experience as an adult.
There have been low moments before, but Christianity is an incredibly adaptable organism, using different parts of its repertoire to mutate into new ecological niches, yet preserving intact its story of grace, of love improbably triumphant. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
What I absolutely want is to suggest that before it's anything else, redemption is God mending the bicycle of our souls; God bringing out the puncture repair kit, re-inflating the tires, taking off the rust, making us roadworthy once more. Not so that we can take flight into ecstasy, but so that we can do the next needful mile of our lives. Religion & God
What we need in Europe is to push back against the idea that religion is so farfetched that it's not worth talking about. Religion & God
Why do I write? From selfishness. Because this state of liquefied, complex concentration, however faintly and dimly I'm able to perceive it, is the greatest pleasure I know.
You don't have to become an investment banker as a way of demonstrating that education has worked for you. But librarians have to believe in the values of high culture. Not just high culture but middle culture, low culture, kinds of exciting eye-catching crap of all kinds. Everyone needs that. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training