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 #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 #91: Loving Others the Way Jesus Loves Us

"If God is compassionate, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well.  The God whom Jesus announces and in whose name he acts is the God of compassion, the God who offers himself as an example and model for all human behavior. "But there is more.  Becoming like the heavenly Father is … Continue reading Quote of Note #91: Loving Others the Way Jesus Loves Us

Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

"Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into our heads in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it's a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly -- who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the … Continue reading Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

Quote of Note #88: Sin as Self-Destruction

[In reference to sin as a "dangerous, predatory animal" in Genesis 4:7--"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." NIV] "God is saying . . . … Continue reading Quote of Note #88: Sin as Self-Destruction

Prayer Note #59: Fleeing My Inescapable God

What savoriness sin has! It is so hard to leave it alone, Even when I know it for what it is. I come back to it again and again. But behind the savoriness, There’s a coldness, a darkness. Savoring my sin keeps me Far from you, Lord. I can’t savor my sin In your presence. … Continue reading Prayer Note #59: Fleeing My Inescapable God

Quote of Note #80: Public Speech and Truth

"An appropriate response to the competing claims of pubic voices is to take these obligations personally.  We have been 'called by name'--not every one of us to public speaking, political activism in the streets and on telephones, or investigative journalism, but all of us to seek truth and follow after it, to do justice, to … Continue reading Quote of Note #80: Public Speech and Truth