“He had learned how to assemble Jewish texts, Greek philosophy, and Middle-Western evangelistic anecdotes into a sermon. And he had learned that poverty was blessed, but that bankers make the best deacons.”
“And though he had almost flunked in Greek, his thesis on 'Sixteen Ways of Paying a Church Debt' had won the ten-dollar prize in Practical Theology.”
“Well, he'd get help from the Bible. It was all inspired, every word, no matter what scoffers like Jim said. He'd take the first text he turned to and talk on that.
He opened on: 'Now THEREFORE, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which ARE beyond the river, be ye far from thence,' an injunction spirited but not at present helpful.”
“And when Elmer was about to slip out to the kitchen with her to make lemonade, Benham held him by demanding, 'What do you think of John Wesley's doctrine of perfection?'
'Oh, it's absolutely sound and proven,' admitted Elmer, wondering what the devil Mr. Wesley's doctrine of perfection might be.”
“The Reverend Elmer Gantry was reading an illustrated pink periodical devoted to prize fighters and chorus girls in his room at Elizabeth J. Schmutz Hall late of an afternoon when two large men walked in without knocking.
"Why, good evening, Brother Bains—Brother Naylor! This is a pleasant surprise. I was, uh— Did you ever see this horrible rag? About actoresses. An invention of the devil himself. I was thinking of denouncing it next Sunday. I hope you never read it—won't you sit down, gentlemen?—take this chair— I hope you never read it, Brother Floyd, because the footsteps of—”
“lead an almost irritatingly pure life, but who had no”
“It was not an esthetic room. Though Frank Shallard might have come to admire pictures, great music, civilized furniture, he had been trained to regard them as worldly, and to content himself with art which 'presented a message,' to regard 'Les Miserables' as superior because the bishop was a kind man, and 'The Scarlet Letter' as a poor book because the heroine was sinful and the author didn't mind.”
“Eddie Fislinger's church was an octagonal affair, with the pulpit in one angle, an arrangement which produced a fascinating, rather dizzy effect, reminiscent of the doctrine of predestination.”
“Street, and she was able to give Elmer the three hundred”
“Elmer Gantry never knew who set him thirty dimes, wrapped in a tract about holiness, nor why. But he found the sentiments in the tract useful in his sermon, and the thirty dimes he spent for lovely photographs of burlesque ladies.”
“Elmer Gantry was drunk. He was eloquently drunk, lovingly and pugnaciously drunk.”
“Good men fall to monsters every day.”
“When you become a father, it changes you." Snorri spoke towards the fire’s glow. "You see the world in new ways. Those who are not changed were not properly men to begin with.”
“The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if: 1) You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving, 2) You are willing to take massive action, 3) You notice what’s working or not, and 4) You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.”
“Most people never have to find out what kind of shit they’re really capable of. Most people don’t have to turn themselves into something they hate just to make sure they can get that next breath.”
“Every few years we disappear, Zoey. All our cells are replaced by others. Not a single bit of me is the same as when I was last in this room.”
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