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Francis Xavier was the Jesuit director of missions in India, China and Japan in the sixteenth century. He once said that he longed to be back in Paris 'to go shouting up and down the streets to tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.'
Michael C. Griffiths, Give Up Your Small Ambitions, p.6
When men and women identify what are in fact their partial and particular causes too easily and too completely with the cause of some universal principle, they usually behave worse than they would otherwise do.
Alisdair MacIntyre, After Virture, p. 221
Incarnation is translation.
Andrew Walls, The Missionary Movement in Christian History, p. 27.
There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barracading a human's mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, p.28
There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.
Proverbs 13:7
“Bad news goes about in clogs, good news in stockinged feet.”
Welsh Proverb, quoted by Rich Stearns 'The Hole in Our Gospel'
C.S. Lewis says...the proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in cosummation. So it is with the Christian doctrine of reward.
Archibald Hunter, A Pattern for Life
…theology..has no reason to exist other than to critically accompany the missio Dei.
David Bosch
...the knowledge of God consists not in frigid speculation, but carries worship along with it...
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk 1, ch 12
Desire in itself is movement
Not in itself desireable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and the end of movement,
Timeless and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between unbeing and being.
TS Eliot, Burnt Norton, in Four Quartets
Motivation to learn a language is an act of the will. Some language learners make the mistake of equating motivation with enthusiasm...But enthusiasm is an emotion. It ebbs and flows..In reality motivation is not an emotion...Motivation is a determination which results in a decision of the will-I will learn.
Thomas and Elizabeth Brewster, Language Acquisition Made Practical, p.2
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
...there is nothing in the world sweeter for a man than having children and a wife provided he lives chastely.
John Chrysostom, from Golden Mouth, p.96
While most people consider feeling supremely important, I hope you will have discovered that what you think about love will control your behavior, and that the desired feelings will come as a result of the right thinking and the right actions.
Ed Wheat, Love Life for Every Married Couple, p. 54
Those like myself whose imagination far exceeds their obedience are subject to a just penalty; we easily imagine conditions far higher than any we have really reached. If we describe what we have imagined we may make others, and make ourselves, believe that we have really been there.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, p. 128

About the Webmaster

15th March 2013

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In the late 1980’s I was a college grad working with churches on an island called “La Isla del Tigre”.  My roommate and I had just finished explaining Christianity to a Honduran couple from one of the villages.  We were unprepared for their response.  “We have heard that before, but it never made a difference on this island.”   And with that comment, a passion was born..

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This passion was rooted in my studies in religion and sociology at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  Much of my course work had focused on modern Western critiques of Christianity.  The principled arguments of Feuerbach, Freud and Nietzsche were powerful.  I could not refute them.  But my experience of Christianity through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on the campus kept me grounded and growing in my faith.  Though I could not justify it intellectually, I knew that the story of Christianity was true.  It was making a difference in so many people’s lives.

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This tension became clearer, not only in the response of the Honduran couple, but in experiences after that time in Southern African and the United States.  I struggled while at Fuller Seminary with a way to speak Christianity with intellectual integrity.  Given the TV evangelist scandals of the 80s, the genocides of the 1990s in the wake of the East African revival, and the child sex abuse scandals among Catholic Priests up to the present day the task would be a challenge.  As a pastor in Mozambique, South Carolina and Los Angeles I confronted an institutional Christianity that left so many stern, insecure and unloving Christians unchanged and while having a minimal impact upon the communities in which they found themselves.  As a father, I worked with my wife to  help our two sons develop a faith that is clearly expressed in their character and in their relationships with others.  Again and again that persistent question surfaced:  “What difference does Christianity make?”

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Wirkungsgeschichte is dedicated to an embodied response to that couple as well as to post-modern Western culture.  It says, “Christianity does make a difference.  Let me show you what I mean!”

 

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