Friday, January 11, 2013

red letter revolution

Red Letter Revolution is a unique gift from two of the movement's leading figures, Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne. I liked it for several reasons.

First, I so appreciate the honest dialogue about what following Christ actually means. The selective conscious of the American Evangelical is tragic. Kingdom living is all-inclusive. It's time we made that clear.

Second, the tone of the discussion between the two men is very generous and compassionate. They don't see eye to eye on every issue, but neither do they expect their readers to, either. The point is that these conversations are necessary.

The only thing that was less than ideal was the fact that the group of issues discussed were a bit selective.

Monday, July 11, 2011

True Case for Christianity

"The case for Christianity today and perhaps always rests on its witness to the world that such appeared in history.  Bonhoeffer was right that Christ is the strength of Christianity and we may hope that those who gaze equally at evil and at Christ will believe too that it is only under his protection that anything can live.  According to Christianity, good and evil in their fullest intensity could not pass each other by in history, but came into climactic conflict with the historical appearance of Jesus.  Christians have believed that only when the full intensity of evil was borne in historical time by one who emerged the victor could the temporal progeny of Adam gain redemption.

- Stephen N. Williams

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy 502nd, John Calvin

Our hope is in no other save in Thee;
Our faith is built upon Thy promise free;
Lord, give us peace, and make us calm and sure,
That in Thy strength we evermore endure.

- John Calvin

Soli Deo Gloria

Value of the Hymnal

"The hymnbook and hymn-based worship thrive on hands-on printed material.  A hymnbook is a portable, readable, concrete body of work.  The words are there, easily at hand and available even when the projection screen is turned off.  The music is printed.  It can be read and learned by being seen.  It is in its own way an excellent primer for sight singing.  Even those who cannot read music in the academic sense of the word learn to see and follow pitch curves, rhythms, and harmonic textures simply by watching them move around on the page.  And often the approximate reading leads to precise reading...We must remember that a musically educated singing church - congregation, choir, and above all, carefully trained children - not only comprises a fitting worshiping community, but enriches a musically wayward culture itself."

-Harold Best

Soli Deo Gloria

Acceptable or Unacceptable

"The fact that some worship in the Old Testament was regarded as unacceptable to God is a reminder that what is impressive or seems appropraite to us may be offensive to him."

-David Peterson

Soli Deo Gloria

The Object of Worship

"We worship our Creator-God "precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so."  What ought to make worship delightful to us is not, in the first instance, its novelty or its aesthetic beauty, but its object: God himself is delightfully wonderful, and we learn to delight in him.

In an age increasingly suspicious of (linear) thought, there is much more respect for the "feeling" of things - whether a film or a church service.  It is disturbingly easy to plot surveys of people, especially young people, drifting from a church of excellent preaching and teaching to one with excellent music because, it is alleged, there is "better worship" there...Although there are things that can be done to enhance corporate worship, there is a profound sense in which excellent worship cannot be attained merely by pursuing excellent worship.  In the same way that, according to Jesus, you cannot find yourself until you lose yourself, so also you cannot find excellent corporate worship until you stop trying to find excellent corporate worship and pursue God himself...As a brother put it to me, it's a bit like those who begin by admiring the subset and soon begin to admire themselves admiring the sunset."

- D.A. Carson

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worship as Revelation and Response

"Worship is conversation between God and human beings, a dialog that should go on continually in the life of a believer.  The worship service may provide the beginning of certain aspects of the conversation; it also should help us anticipate what God may communicate in the days ahead and remind us what our continuing response should be.

-Donald P. Hustad

Soli Deo Gloria