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Your emotions result entirely from the way you look at things.
David Burns, M.D., Feeling Good, p. 29
In the New Testament the opposite of spirit is not the material, but the impersonal.
John Leith, Basic Christian Doctrine, p. 162
Whoever questions and even challenges God all the while desiring to obey His Word and listening to His silence, that person is a theologian.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Great Souls, p. 356
On the basis of belief in God, trust assumes the kind of methodological role (in pre-modern thought) which doubt assumes for modernism...and which suspicion assumes for post-modernism...
Thiselton, Anthony New Horizons in Hermeneutics p. 143
The ultimate key to self-management is to ground your life in the love of God and others. Unless you do, you will continue to lead the breathless life.
Robert Ramey, Jr. The Pastor's Start-Up Manual
We moderns are accustomed to finding God in peace and beauty and silence. The Old Testament most often knows him present behind the violence and flow and clatter of everyday life.
Paul and Elizabeth Achtemeier, The OT Roots of Our Faith
'...for when you speak of the Spirit you are dealing with him in whom there are no differences of scale.'
Taylor, The Go-Between God, p. 23
They sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with their lips they show much love, but their heart is set on their gain.
Ezekiel 33:31
Johann Winer, whose grammar first appeared in 1824...introduced a revolution into the study of the Greek New Testament by adopting and substantiating the premise that Biblical Greek, and particularly that of the New Testament, was not a special 'Holy Ghost' language, nor a conglomerate of Greek words and Semitic grammar, but the ordinary colloquial tongue of the day, spoken through the Graeco-Roman world.
Dana and Mantey, Manual Grammar of the Greek NT (vii-ix)
...He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and the needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:16
Prayer needs to carry with it the commitment of our whole being to bring about the just conditions that make prayer possible...
Don Postema, Space for God, p. 158-59
Prayer needs to carry with it the commitment of our whole being to bring about the just conditions that make prayer possible...
Don Postema, Space for God, p. 158-59
The duty of a Theologian, however, is not to tickle the ear, but confirm the conscience, by teaching what is true, certain, and useful.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch14
For in Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything. The only thing that counts is faith working through love.
Galatians 5:6
The Kingdom that I seek
Is thine; so let the way
That leads to it be thine,
Else I must surely stray.
H. Bonar, 'Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord.'

This book is an extended testimony of Richard Stearn’s move from CEO of a Fortune 500 company to the head of WV US. The testimony is dressed with various well-known quotes and statistics about Christianity and poverty. It is a fresh call for the evangelical church to take seriously the plight of the poor.
There was little in this book that I found to be new. Part 1 and 2 are generally restatements of popular evangelical theology and theologians (Rick Warren, John McArthur etc.) There is, however, an interesting “update” of the prayer of Jabez, in chapter 3. Stearns wants to include suffering for Christ as a possible answer of God to the prayer to “expand my territory”.
Part 3 begins with an interesting quote by John Berger. “The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of national scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.” However, there was not any way to follow up on this quote. Stearns then recites the horrors of poverty in our world. Part 4 is his critique of the church. It is welcome, but after working in a particular urban church for 7 years, it offers no real solutions. He is talking to white collar, suburban churches who simply need to reorder their priorities. Chapter 18 is interesting with its blunt title, “Putting the American Dream to Death”. However, the stuff of the chapter is no more than a slightly challenging stewardship sermon.
Part 5 is Stearn’s plan of action. Again, it is focused on churches who simply need a shift in priority. But I am also concerned about an underlying theology which says that we can change the world. For proper discipleship this must be tempered. Our acts are enacted prayers for the coming of the kingdom is much more Christian than “The whole gospel is a vision for ushering in God’s kingdom-now, not in some future time, and here, on earth, not in some distant heaven. What if two billion people embraced this vision of God’s transforming our world-through them? Imagine it.”(5)
I appreciate Stearn’s passion to call well-off American evangelical churches to a public, as well as a private, faith. Such a call, however, needs more than a shift in priorities. We really do need a shift in theology and in training for ministry. Thus, this read reinforces my commitment to my project.
Other quotes: “Bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stockinged feet.” Welsh proverb (161)
“How different our standard is from Christ’s. We ask how much a man gives. He asks how much a man keeps.” Andrew Murray (210)
“Action springs, not from thought, but from readiness for responsibility.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (221)
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending a night in a closed room with a mosquito.” African saying (250)
“Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except there except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke (257)

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