Archive for July, 2007

Simply Christian Quotes

Monday, July 30th, 2007

The following quotes are from N.T. Wright’s book, Simply Christian which is available for purchase here.

Our passion for justice often seems like that. We dream the dream of justice. We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently, where we not only know what we ought to do but actually do it. And then we wake up and come back to reality. But what are we hearing when we’re dreaming that dream? 1

The world got together over apartheid and said, “This won’t do”; but at least some of the moral energy came from what the psychologists call projection-that is, condemning someone else for something we are doing ourselves. 7

It is important to see, and to say, that those who follow Jesus are committed, as he taught us to pray, to God’s will being done “on earth as it is in heaven.” And that means that God’s passion for justice must become ours, too. When Christians use their belief in Jesus as a way of escaping from that demand and challenge, they are abandoning a central element in their own faith. That way danger lies. 13

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Leaving Church Quotes

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The following quotes are from the book, Leaving Church, by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is available for purchase here.

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,” she once said, ”because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. “ 7

God uses whatever is usable in a life, both to speak and to act, and those who insist on fireworks in the sky may miss the electricity that sparks the human heart. 26

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The Emotional Healthy Church quotes

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

The following quotes are from The Emotionally Healthy Church which is available for purchase here.

The sad truth is that too little difference exists, in terms of emotional and relational maturity, between God’s people inside the church and those outside who claim no relationship to Jesus Christ. 17

Making incarnation the top priority in order to love others well is both the climax and point of the entire book. The church is to be known, above all else, as a community that radically and powerfully loves others. Sadly, this is not generally our reputation. 18

The problem was that we had died to the wrong things. We mistakenly thought that dying to ourselves for the sake of the Gospel meant dying to self-care, to feelings of sadness, to anger, to grief, to doubt, to struggles, to our healthy dreams and desires, and to passions we had enjoyed before our marriage. 22

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“Thirst: God and the Alcoholic Experience” quotes

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The following quotes are from Thirst: God and the Alcoholic Experience. It is available for purchase here.

In that earlier process I discovered something that Andre Maurois described well. He observed that the need to express oneself in writing typically springs from unresolved inner conflicts. It is not a matter of having found an answer to the problem, Maurois said, but rather having discovered the problem and desiring a solution. The solution that typically comes, however, is not a resolution of the problem but rather a deeper consciousness of the issues. It is consciousness of the issues. It is a consciousness born of having wrestled with the attempt to express the problem. 3

Drunk or sober, never personally affected by chemical addiction or living with that issue, we are much more alike than different. 4

Chemical dependency is a social disease. I did not contract my alcoholism in solitary splendor. My genes, relationships, and environment had something to do with it. Likewise, for many of us recovery is a social process. Though bookstores typically display recovery literature in the “Self Help” section that notion did not apply to me. 4

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“Unleashing the Word” quotes

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The following quotes are from Adam Hamilton’s book. Unleashing the Word. It is available for purchase here.

I understand that in preaching we are assuming the terrifying responsibility of speaking on behalf of God. This should be a frightening proposition-one misstep and we find ourselves violating the third commandment by misusing the name of the Lord, while misleading or potentially damaging our hearers. 12

We believe that in and through the Bible God offers us a timeless word for our lives and for our world today. 12

As with most successful ventures, I believe effective preaching must start with the end in mind, and then a plan must be developed to accomplish that end. 15

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Ecumenical dialogue [comment]

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

My good friend Goat shared a comment on my post about the recent document released by the Pope and my perception of how it might affect future Ecumenical dialogue. I thought I would share his comments here.

I’ve been discussing this in a forum and it’s been proposed that this is all a big misunderstanding. The document itself does not say that at all. They are saying that the media is twisting a lot of words. Here is a direct quote from the document itself.

“It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them… Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are “numerous elements of sanctification and of truth” which are found outside her structure, but which “as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity. It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

To participate in the conversation, click here.

Great worship idea?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

I’m thinking about using this idea as an element in our Saturday night worship. Any feedback?

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“The Spark” quotes

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

The following quotes are from a book entitled, The Spark, written by Lyn Heward & John U. Bacon. The book chronicles the writer’s journey behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil. To purchase your copy, click here.

Ian added, “Do you know the definition of a good show? I shrugged. “A good show is one where only we know what went wrong!” 15

Diane noticed my lingering gaze. “You’ll see our show posters all over the building. It’s important to remind people that whatever they do for Cirque du Soleil-whether they’re acrobats or accountants-these shows are why you do what you do. It helps keep us motivated.” 24

“In tough negotiations, we hold our meetings in here, because once a phone company or computer manufacturer or accounting firm sees what we do, they want to be a part of it.” 26

Passion is key to everything we do, and those without it don’t last long. 28

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A step back in ecumenical dialogue

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

PopeThe Pope is wrong.

Is that OK to say? I know I sound like one of those ultra rebellious protestants by starting out with a statement like that, but I couldn’t help it. The Pope is wrong. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Pope released a document yesterday that was another step towards rolling back the reforms from Vatican II. In describing the document, Nicole Winfield, AP writes that the the document states, “that other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.” She continues,

The commentary repeated church teaching that says the Catholic Church “has the fullness of the means of salvation.”

“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” said the document released as the pope vacations at a villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy’s Dolomite mountains.

The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles — and therefore their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.

In response to the release of this document, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches released a statement. In it, they said,

It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity,” said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries… It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church.

Now, let me first state this. I believe that the 1 billion catholics in this world are my brothers and sisters in faith. My faith heritage teaches me that we all descend from 1500 years of Catholicity, so my feelings of disappointment for the Pope’s recent statement is the type you might feel to a member of the family… even if that family member doesn’t want to be a part of my family. It’s the type of disappointment that doesn’t fill me with anger, but rather makes me want to ask some questions like.

  • What’s the point of this statement? Why do you feel the need to say to the rest of the world that you are right and everyone else is wrong?
  • What is the “good” you perceive coming out of a statement like this?
  • If salvation can only come through the Catholic church and the office of the Pope gets to define what that is (because Jesus wanted it that way?) can you speak to the many examples in history where the office of the Pope led the church to participate in completely unholy practices?
  • Do you understand what you are communicating to the rest of the Protestant world?

I actually think the Pope has thought about the last question. Again, Winfield writes,

Despite the harsh tone, the document stressed that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue.

“However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants, but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith,” the commentary said.

Here’s what’s most disappointing… at a time in history where the world needs the hope, compassion, grace and mercy of Christ… here sit the Christians (in my definition, that’s all of us!) arguing over who has the true “magic pill” to get people into heaven.

“In the Name of Jesus” quotes

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

The following quotes come from Henri Nouwen’s book, In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. To purchase your copy, click here.

This experience was and, in many ways, is still the most important experience of my new life, because it forced me to rediscover my true identity. These broken, wounded, and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevant self-the self that can do things, show things, prove things, build things-and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which I am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments. 28

One of the most painful realizations for many Christian leaders is that fewer and fewer young people feel attracted to follow in their footsteps. 32

Beneath all the great accomplishments of our time there is a deep current of despair. While efficiency and control are the great aspirations of our society, the loneliness, isolation, lack of friendship and intimacy, broken relationships, boredom, feelings of emptiness and depression, and a deep sense of uselessness fill the hearts of missions and people in our success-oriented world. 33

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