J.I. Packer is a Reformed theologian. I am by no means a Calvinist, but Packer writes adroitly about following God. These words are important to keep in mind: “Interest in theology and the capacity to talk well on Christian themes, is not at all the same thing as knowing God.” For many Christian traditions being […]
Quote – Christians should have indiscriminate respect for others.
It seems lately that Christians are struggling to make sense of the wideness of God’s love… particularly in how to apply it to the people around them. The full quote is “The reach of God’s love is the scope of our respect. If God’s love is indiscriminate, our respect must be too.” Miroslav Volf […]
Quote – Spirituality should rid me of hate.
Donald Miller is a writer who early in his career bravely pressed harder and harder into authentic faith and life. This observation of his resonates so deeply with me. “…I want my spirituality to rid me of hate, not give me reason for it.” When my I use my faith as a justification for hate, I’m […]
Quote – Struggle with God
Far too many Christians find themselves in a dark and difficult place because they believe that doubt is the opposite of faith. If they are not certain, they question their spiritual journey. This is balderdash. This observation crystallizes the matter: “The struggle with God is not a lack of faith. It is faith!” – Andre’ […]
Quote – Doubt is not the opposite of faith.
Philip Yancey has been quite an influence on me. Think about the importance of this thought: “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.” Wow. It’s easy to think, while feeling doubt, that my faith is weak. Not necessarily so. It just means I’m having doubts. Doubt is a normal part of a life […]
Quote – Justice is a Theological Necessity
Ken Wytsma is an educator and social justice activist. He’s the president of Kiln college and the founder of The Justice Conference. I became familiar with him when I attended the Justice Conference in Portland in 2012. (Some thoughts on that incredible experience here and here.) Consider his words: “When we do justice, there is […]
Quote – Steinbeck on the Gospel
East of Eden by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books. It’s long, but there were moments in the story that I was moved to tears. It’s a Cain & Abel story, and salvation is at the heart of it. In one conversation, one of the characters is having a significant realization and […]
Quote – Can’t Wash Feet from a Pedestal
Our American celebrity culture where we are all driven to accomplish and be seen as important runs so deeply counter to the teaching of Jesus. This short sentence captures a vital warning: “It’s difficult to stand on a pedestal and wash the feet of those below.” For a culture that is enthralled with the idea […]
Quote – Returned Transformed
Consider this: “What is given to God is always returned transformed.” What a profound statement on what God does in our lives! Richard Rohr is probably the spiritual thinker from outside my own tradition that has influenced me the most. I grew up in a church that was very negative about anyone and anything Catholic. […]
Quote – Made in the Image of What You Desire
Think about this. What clarity this provides. “Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire. – Thomas Merton Some religions suggest that the path to healing, salvation or nirvana is to deny desire. A thorough biblical Christianity sees that desire is a part […]
Quote – God’s least expected entrance
Frank Viola and Len Sweet said this in their excellent study of Jesus, “Jesus: A Theography.” “God made His entrance into this earth in the least expected of all places through the least expected of people.” Everything about Jesus’ life is instructive to us about God’s heart and intention. I think that’s what Jesus meant […]
Quote – When you don’t wait
It’s commonly understood that faith is at the center of Christianity. If we take that to mean intellectual assent to a certain slate of ideas, we’re off track. Our faith is not predicated on getting our systematic theology exactly right. The center of Christianity is trust. And, to be clear, this is a relational trust. Josh […]
Quote – To feel is to be human.
Pete Scazzero is the founding pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York. He is also the author of a series of books about emotionally healthy spirituality. He and his wife Geri are advocates of a more healthy and holistic approach to doing church that accounts for emotional maturity. More here. One of the things […]
Quote – The Heart of a Religious Person
Found this quote on Twitter. I have no idea who John Bryson is, and couldn’t find him online. This statement, however, expresses the attractive heart of legalism and shows the connection between legalism and magic. “The heart of the religious person is to control God.” -John Bryson. Magic is a system where with the […]
Quote – The Privilege to Help
Michael Levy is an inspirational writer. He is right on track here: “Being in a privileged position in life should mean it is our privilege to help other people wherever and whenever we can.” Whatever privilege we find ourselves with is a responsibility. What will we do with what we have to make a difference […]