Monday, September 29, 2008

Wisdom from some other words

I've been reading a lot of great stuff lately, mostly books that I've either bought or added to my "must read" list over the past few years when I was taking classes and didn't have time to read anything other than assigned material. Here's a few great quotes I've come across...

A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, anabaptist/anglican, methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian by Brian McLaren

[Quoting theologian David Bosch] "According to Bosch: 'We cannot point to any other way of salvation than Jesus Christ; at the same time, we cannot set limits to the saving power of God... We appreciate this tension, and do not attempt to resolve it.' This means that anathemas and damnation can be invoked rarely if at all, which will disappoint all who have grown accustomed to resolving the above paradox by means of their invocation... For the rest of us, rather than resolving the paradox via pronouncements on the eternal destiny of people more convinced by or loyal to other religions than ours, we simply move on (as Jesus told his disciples to do), giving all the respect and honor due those who are not convinced by our message (with the meekness Jesus taught), rather than calling down fire from heaven on them (as Jesus his disciples not to do)."

"If enough of us can bear the truth of our failures as Christians, if we can let that truth humble us and bring us from denial to sincere and profound repentance, if our hearts are made soft and responsive to the Holy Spirit through this painful but needed process, then there truly is hope in the midst of depression."

God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis

"The best public contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable or a loyal partisan. To always raise the moral issues of human rights, for example, will challenge both left- and right-wing governments that put power above principles. Religious action is rooted in a much deeper place than 'rights' - that place being the image of God in every human being."

Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, & Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner

"We are all of us Pilate in our asking after truth, and when we come to church to ask it, the preacher would do well to answer us also with silence because the truth and the Gospel are one, and before the Gospel is a word, it too like truth is silence - not an ordinary silence, silence as nothing to hear, but silence that makes itself heard if you listen to it the way Pilate listens to the silence of the man with the split lip."

"Truth itself cannot be stated. Truth simply is, and is what is, the good with the bad, the joy with the despair, the presence and absence of God... Before it is a word, the Gospel that is truth is silence, a pregnant silence in its ninth month, and in answer to Pilate's question, Jesus keeps silent, even with his hands tied behind him manages somehow to hold silence out like a terrible gift."

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