Quote of Note #66 — A Pastor’s Vision

"I’m one hundred times more passionate about creating Christians and churches that will be faithful, biblical, countercultural, and spiritually minded in a socialist America, in a Muslim America, in a communist America, than I am in preventing a Muslim America or a communist America. That puts me in a very different ballpark than many public … Continue reading Quote of Note #66 — A Pastor’s Vision

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Bible Note #35: Compassion for the Weak — Job 29:14-17

Job is a tricky book to use.  The book is a debate among Job and some friends over how to understand suffering and what God is doing in the midst of that suffering.  We should not assume that everything that Job or the others say is correct.  The only one who speaks infallibly in the … Continue reading Bible Note #35: Compassion for the Weak — Job 29:14-17

Quote of Note #46: Christ is Lord, Not Party or Nation

"The question to ask about such things -- the identification of the Bible with England in the nineteenth century or American foreign policy in the twenty-first -- is 'What does this do to the reach of the gospel and the church?'  The answer is simple:  It creates a dividing line in the church, which is … Continue reading Quote of Note #46: Christ is Lord, Not Party or Nation

Quote of Note #35: Nationalism and the Mission of God in the World

"Whatever the temptations may be for the dominant nation at any point in world history to identify its mission with the mission of God, such temptations must be resisted at all costs; God's providential dealings with people (the Church, not any particular nation) are too mysterious to be reducible to simplistic nationalism; and the gospel … Continue reading Quote of Note #35: Nationalism and the Mission of God in the World

Quote of Note #33: Evangelical Fear

"Fear was a profound motivator for evangelicals.  We carried a vestigial memory of being the little ramshackle clapboard church from across the tracks whose congregation couldn't pay its minister.  We collectively carried a chip on our shoulders for being marginalized.  Fear and revenge were far from the teachings of Christ, but we had practiced them … Continue reading Quote of Note #33: Evangelical Fear

Quote of Note #30: American Evangelicalism and Tribal Deities

"Something had gone terribly wrong with American evangelicalism, or, perhaps, I thought, it had always been wrong and I was simply seeing the problem only now.  Over the forty-three years I had been a Christian, the orientation of American evangelicals had shifted from what many theologians call the ultimate to the penultimate.  We had descended … Continue reading Quote of Note #30: American Evangelicalism and Tribal Deities

Quote of Note #28: Political Idolatries vs. the Common Good

"Rather than becoming chaplains or enablers of political idolatry, the faith community should confront it.  The idols of politics are legion:  the idol of money over democracy, the idol of winning over governing, the idol of celebrity over leadership, the idol of individualism over community, and the idol of ideology over civility -- just to … Continue reading Quote of Note #28: Political Idolatries vs. the Common Good

Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement

"When peace is the agreed-upon value of a community of believers who are contending for 'on earth as it is in heaven,' they will not use fear to control or influence others.  This is so deeply rooted in our culture that people often seem unaware of using this tool to manipulate others to their need … Continue reading Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement

Quote of Note #26: Politics of Loving My Neighbor

"This most fundamental teaching of faith flies right in the face of all selfish personal and political ethics that put myself always before all others: my concerns first, my rights first, my freedoms first, my interests first, my tribe first, and even my country first -- ahead of everybody else.  Self-concern is the personal and … Continue reading Quote of Note #26: Politics of Loving My Neighbor