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'...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
Were all sin now visited with open punishment, it might be thought that nothing was reserved for the final judgement; and, on the other hand, were no sin now openly punished, it might be supposed there was no divine providence.
Augustine, De Civitat. Dei, lib i.c.8
'...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
The task of the theologian, like the task of the preacher, is to write theology in such a way as to persuade modern people.
John Leith, Basic Christian Doctrine, p.9
Most misunderstandings come not from missed definitions but from missed contexts.

Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles, p. 85-86
Bach's music is much more valuable proof of the existence of God than any of the theological proofs.
Vladimir Fetsmin, Russian Pianist, Newsweek, Aug. 1, 1994
St. Francis of Assisi's religion was 'not a thing like a theory but a thing like a love affair.'
G.K. Chesterton
Without charity, an evangelizing zeal will take on the guise of a will to power, a desire to universalize one's self-image.
Fabien Eboussi Boulaga-Christianity Without Fetishes, p. 68
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
Grace is grace despite of all controversy.
For Christians, interpreting Scripture is a difficult task...because it is, and involves, a life long process of learning to become a wise reader of Scripture capable of embodying that reading in life.
Stephen Fowl and Gregory Jones, Reading in Communion, p. 29
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)
Other evils there are that may come; for Sauron is himself but a servant or emissary. Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years where we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.
Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
...all reasoning takes place within the context of some traditional mode of thought.
Alisdair MacIntyre, After Virture, p. 222
Bach's music is much more valuable proof of the existence of God than any of the theological proofs.
Vladimir Fetsmin, Russian Pianist, Newsweek, Aug. 1, 1994

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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