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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
There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing; Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.
Proverbs 13:7
In the 'locus imperii' there is a desperate need for Christians to offer hope and reignite the fires of political imagination and social innovation.
Ched Myers, Who Will Roll Away the Stone? p. 33
...God, the Maker of the world, is manifested to us in Scripture, and his true character expounded, so as to save us from wandering up and down, as in a labyrinth, in search of some doubtful deity.
John Calvin, The Institutes, bk1, ch6
How all-important it is that a vigorous spiritual life, in close association with the Holy Scriptures and in the midst of Christian community, be maintained as a background to theological work, and that the unformed shadows of thought always derive their life-blood from that source...
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 37
“Unless the church of the West begins to understand this (mission as a permanent and instrinsic dimension of the church’s life, “The church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.”), and unless we develop a missionary theology, not just a theology of mission, we will not achieve more than merely patch up the church. We are in need of a missiological agenda for theology, not just a theological agenda for mission; for theology, rightly understood, has no reason to exist other than critically to accompany the missio Dei.”
David Bosch, p.32
In the New Testament the opposite of spirit is not the material, but the impersonal.
John Leith, Basic Christian Doctrine, p. 162
'Get all you can; save all you can; give all you can.'
John Wesley
Theology can be a coat of mail which crushes us and in which we freeze to death. It can also be-this is in fact its purpose!-the conscience of the congregation of Christ, its compass and with it all a praise-song of ideas. Which of the two it is depends upon the degree in which listening and praying Christians stand behind the theological business.
Helmut Thielicke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians, p. 36
The church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.
Emil Brunner
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
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
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
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
The definition of knowledge is not simply an affair of intelligence; it is an affair of the heart, in the biblical sense of heart as the center and source of the whole inner life in its full complex of thought, desire and moral decision.
John Courtney Murray, The Problem of God, p. 21

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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