Quote of Note #96: Patience with the Failings of Others

"Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of others, of what sort soever they be; for that thyself also hast many failings which must be borne with by others.  If thou canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldest, how canst thou expect to have another in all things … Continue reading Quote of Note #96: Patience with the Failings of Others

Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Safety is a high priority for Americans.  And you might well be asking me right now, “What’s wrong with that?”  Well, I would say, “Nothing . . . . And everything.”  It depends on what sort of safety we’re insisting on. The right view of safety aims to avoid needless harm.  The wrong view of … Continue reading Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

"Jesus's cross-shaped life and death modeled the cruciform life that is our calling.  Like Him, we do not overcome imperial powers through earthly means.  Instead, we embody His 'revolutionary way of being revolutionary.'  Whether the world receives or rejects us will hold little weight if we are incarnating his way of being and doing, for … Continue reading Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Religious liberty, if it is pure and principled, is a beautiful and precious thing.  It can also become a desperately dangerous concept if allowed to become conditional, qualified, or contingent in any way.  And that’s where this gets very tricky right away.  Everybody who wants to live in a humane and civilized society agrees that … Continue reading Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

"The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches.  There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world.  The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them.  In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given … Continue reading Quote of Note #94: Churches and Pastors

Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

There are many factors that help a church to be healthy and effective—biblical and theological faithfulness, creativity and boldness in outreach, members who are diligent and committed to growing in their faith.  But few things can wreck a church faster than bad relational ethics.  Relational ethics in a church are one of the most important … Continue reading Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

Pastor Note #91: Loving our Enemies and Gospel Faithfulness

The command to love one’s enemies is the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and an attack on that Christian imperative is an attack on the gospel itself.  There can be a tendency common to most Christians to distinguish between doctrine and ethics/morality.  We can tend to think of the doctrines of the gospel … Continue reading Pastor Note #91: Loving our Enemies and Gospel Faithfulness

Quote of Note #93: Loving with our Words

"Love's virtues are described as patient and kind, and not arrogant, rude, or irritable.  The opposite of loving others is selfishness, or the love of self.  So if you hear words funneling out of your mouth that are unkind, ungracious, and condemning, you can know that those words are not showing love to the person … Continue reading Quote of Note #93: Loving with our Words

Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church

Fear can be a distressingly common feature of church life across America.  The Bible is quite clear on this point.  The only proper source of fear for Christians should be God.  Nothing else in all creation should cause us fear.  Of course, I know what it is to feel fear and anxiety.  As do, I … Continue reading Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church