microphoneShe was in the best tradition of a Southern woman author who spun yarns, told tales and had a story that went with everything.”

—Theologian Tony Jones following the Sept. 22 death of his friend Phyllis Tickle, 81, who wrote extensively on American spirituality (Huffington Post)

“… [E]very religion has been so defensive of its beliefs that it has actually abandoned its beliefs at times.”

—Late Show host Stephen Colbert, a devout Catholic (Daily Beast)

To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, to give the impression that it cannot take place in those who are not ‘part of our group,’ who are not ‘like us,’ is a dangerous temptation. Not only does it block conversion to the faith; it is a perversion of faith!”

—Pope Francis, during a massive Mass in Philadelphia Sept 27 (RNS)

Party politics have ruined this country. It’s time we got back to our history of ministers of the Gospel running for office without a party.”

—Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., who in 2006 served his denomination as second vice president and in 2009 stated he was praying for God to kill President Obama, announcing his own candidacy for president of the United States (Gospel Herald)

A lot of people want to classify the world in terms of left and right, but you could say there are people trying to engage with God from deep to shallow. I think the left-right conversation is shallow.”

—Author Brian McLaren (RNS)

Faith journeys are always about growing up and maturing and seeing the world with new eyes … it’s literally about having our hearts open toward where the sacred is present inthe world.”

—Diana Butler Bass, author of Grounded: Finding God in the World, a Spiritual Revolution (RNS)

Christians love evangelism, as long as someone else is doing it.”

—Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research (RNS)

It has seen better days, but most of it is in remarkably good condition.”

—Vicar Jason Bray on the discovery of a first edition King James Bible from 1611 that had been stored away at St. Giles Parish Church in Wrexham, Wales (BBC)

How to describe her? Creative, redemptive, faithful, generous, healing, wise, compassionate, constructive and transformative.

—Editor Marv Knox of the Baptist Standard on Diana Garland, dean of the now-named Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University, who died Sept. 21 at age 65 (BNG)

I have great respect for each of the three heirs of this legacy. They are working diligently with me, and I believe we will be able to resolve these difficult disputes once and for all.”

—President Jimmy Carter, who is mediating a dispute among the children of Martin Luther King Jr., over their famous father’s Bible and Nobel Peace Prize (ABC News)