Please don’t let imperfect Christians scare you away from the perfect Christ.
—David Mathis, here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-irony-of-the-epiphany
One thing you can’t do as a leader is come out and say you’re the leader.
A prison cell like this is a good analogy for Advent… One waits, hopes, does this or that — ultimately negligible things — the door is locked and can only be opened from the outside.
—Bonhoeffer, here: http://dsr.gd/WrrvQ7
When G.K. Chesterton wrote of confessional orthodoxy, he made an important point in proclaiming, ‘I did not make it. It is making me,’ (a line Rich Mullins made sure to include in the chorus of his sung version of the creed on his album ‘A Liturgy, A Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band’).
To talk about worship is not to talk about ideas, styles or even music at all; to talk about worship is to talk about what we love.
Gravitas is a condition of the soul that has developed enough spiritual mass to attract other souls. It makes the soul appear old, but gravitas has nothing to do with age. It has everything to do with scars that have healed well, failures that have been redeemed, sins that have been forgiven, and thorns that have settled into the flesh.
Dear Mr. Lepine,
Thank you for writing. I understand your concern regarding the NFL SUNDAY TICKET charges on your bill. We see to it that customers are being billed correctly so we review any inquiry with care and accuracy. I would like this experience to still turn out right for you.
I verified that you did not agree to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET when it was offered to you on 8/24. As such, I went ahead and removed that package to prevent further charges on your bill. I also credited the NFL SUNDAY TICKET charge of $39.99. The credit will be reflected on your next DIRECTV bill…
—DirecTV customer support — mind boggling
A conscience which is not fully enlightened to both the seriousness of its condition before God, and to the grandeur of God’s merciful provision of redemption, will inevitably fall prey to anxiety, pride, sensuality and all other expressions of that unconscious despair which Kierkegaard called ‘the sickness unto death.’
—Richard F. Lovelace, “Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal”
My students are often Christians who are old enough to mock mercilessly the people that gave of their time sacrificially to disciple them when they were young but who are not yet mature enough to be able to disciple others. I often find them quick-off-the-draw-ready with a forceful and sophisticated critique of most any traditional religious belief or practice.
They can be sadly flummoxed, however, by a simple request to explain what is true. If I wonder, “What are some problems with the doctrine of the atonement?” hands fly up all over the room, but if I straightforwardly ask, “What is the gospel?” the room falls strangely silent, and I find myself staring at rows of students quietly avoiding making eye contact.
To sketch what the gospel is would be to risk a rough draft that someone else would get the joy of critiquing; it would be to express a childlike faith; it would be to do the work of parenting.
I have therefore increasingly made it my self-imposed task to help my students find their way to their mature identities in a manner that does not make their parents and childhood teachers and pastors the foil in the process. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that they should simply accept what they have inherited unaltered. More and more I have come to value those who model how to no longer hold to the exact version of faith they grew up with while still finding ways to be grateful for and affirming of the community of faith that raised them.