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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
It is a law of the spiritual life that every act of trust makes the next act less difficult, until at length, if these acts are persisted in, trusting becomes, like breathing, the natural unconscious action of the redeemed soul.
Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, p. 55
'Get all you can; save all you can; give all you can.'
John Wesley
In the absence of a deep inner life a priest will turn into an office clerk, and his apostolate will turn into a parish office routine, just solving daily problems.
Pope John Paul II quoted Great Souls, p.285
What narrowness of spiritual life we find in Frazer! And as a result: how impossible for him to understand a different way of life from the English one of his time!
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, p. 5e
The history of Western epistemology might be described as the quest for a method of reasoning that assures certain knowledge. But philosophers have now come to the conclusion that there is no way to reason that both extends our knowledge and certifies the results.
Nancey Murphy, Reasoning and Rhetoric in Religion, p. 53
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
Jesus' preaching is in fact characterized by a large element of simple fact-telling, of simply telling people with authority what actually is.
Dale Bruner, The Christbook, p. 120
...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
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
G.K. Chesterton
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
The goal of the interpreter is not to seek to discern one conceptual unity within the book, or to reconstruct one consistent line of theological discourse throughout the dialogue, but rather to see how this literature was designed to function as a normative guide within a community of faith, which acknowledges its authority.
Brevard Childs, Intro. to OT as Scripture, p. 533
Resurrection, not progress, not evolution, not enlightenment, but what the word means, namely, a call from heaven to us: 'Rise up! You are dead, but I will give you life.'
Karl Barth, Jesus Victor, from A Chorus of Witnesses
…theology..has no reason to exist other than to critically accompany the missio Dei.
David Bosch
I don't believe that God is a fussy faultfinder in dealing with theological ideas. He who provides forgiveness for a sinful life will also surely be a generous judge of theological reflections. Even an orthodox theologian can be spiritually dead, while perhaps a heretic crawls on forbidden bypaths to sources of life.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37

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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