Saturday, August 15, 2009

Both And

"There has risen up a modern idea which I cannot too much reprobate, that Christ made no atonement for our sin except upon the cross: whereas in this passage of Isaiah we are taught as plainly as possible that by His bruising and His stripes, as well as by His death, we are healed. Never divide between the life and the death of Christ. How could He have died if He had not lived? How could He suffer except while He lived? Death is not suffering, but the end of it."

"Many of us find ourselves estranged from the narrow issues that define conservatives and from the shallow spirituality that marks liberals. We are thirsty for social justice and peace but have a hard time finding a faith community that is consistently pro-life or that recognizes that there are "moral issues" other than homosexuality and abortion, moral issues like war and poverty. So some folks just end up trying to save individual souls from their sins, and others end up trying to save the world from "the system." But rarely do we see that the sickness of our world has infected each of us, and that the healing of our world not only begins within us but does not end with us."

"…the more controversial implication, is that the salt and light metaphors indicate that Christians can change non-Christian society. The models must mean that, because both salt and light are effective commodities. They change the environments in which they are placed. Salt hinders bacterial decay. Light dispels darkness. This is not to resurrect the social gospel. We cannot perfect society. But we can improve it. My hope is that in the future, evangelical leaders will ensure that their social agenda includes such vital but controversial topics as halting climate change, eradicating poverty, abolishing armories of mass destruction, responding adequately to the AIDS pandemic, and asserting the human rights of women and children in all cultures. I hope our agenda does not remain too narrow."

"First, Methodism reflected, among other things, a dissatisfaction two kinds of Protestantism. First there was a doctrinaire Protestantism that would fight, defame, exclude and even kill for so-called Orthodoxy, but didn’t produce true personal and social holiness. And second was a comfortable, complacent, institutional, apathetic, lukewarm institutionalism that betrayed Jesus in equally distasteful ways. Wesley and others sought methods by which followers of Christ could actually become more Christ-like. They knew that simply assenting to the right doctrines didn’t necessarily produce right relationships with God, self, others, enemies, and creation, and so they sought to create a widely-doable method for pursuing holiness and wholeness. I think whatever this emerging thing today is, it is a desire for Christians to become more like Jesus, and for what passes for Christianity to become less of an embarrassment to its presumed founder."

4 comments:

Nige said...

Preach it bro

Frank said...

Now, half the fun of this is actually finding out who the author of the quotes was... so at some stage Mr Jones, please release the names :)

Frank said...

... and by the way, I agree 100% with each quote.

BJ said...

Funny. One of the reasons I am doing this is to deliberately expose myself (!) to a wider range of thoughts. I am then putting these thoughts in conversation with each other and I find as with this set of quotes that they have much to say to each other. I don't put the names because I want the quotes to stand for themselves, rather than because of the author. In fact, two things can happen: people can sometimes be uncritical of a view because they like the author - sometimes this is not a terrible thing to do ie trust a person's view on things - I have 2 scholars I regularly use as points of triangulation on issues. But secondly, people will sometimes reject a point of view on the basis of a kind of guilty by association deal. The more I read of church history the more I see this as a fatally flawed approach to life. Some of the church fathers for example were strange cats and yet so often they have made a major contribution to the development of theology - guys like Origen and Maccarius for example or even Schleiermacher.
Anyways the weird cats in this case, in no particular order:

Brian McLaren
Shane Claiborne
John Stott
Charles Spurgeon