Man of the Cloth

Many people give lip service to the maxim that ‘money can’t buy you happiness’, but most give life-service to the hope that it just might, after all…If you have trained yourself only to get enjoyment from things that cost money, you need to go into a different sort of training.

—NT Wright (via contrariansoul)

Fear tempts us to make safety and self-preservation our highest goals, and when we do so our moral focus becomes the protection of our lives and health. Security becomes the new idol before whom all other gods must bow. In the past, when asked “What is your chief goal?” Christians have given answers such as “friendship with God” (Thomas Aquinas) or “to glorify God and enjoy him forever” (Westminster Catechism, seventeenth century).’ Today, I suspect many Christians would echo the culture in naming “safety” or “security” as the primary good they seek.

—Scott Bader-Saye, Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear (via contrariansoul)

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.

—Eugene Peterson

Jesus knew everything Zacchaeus had done and still loved him. It didn’t change Jesus; it changed Zacchaeus.

J.S. (via jspark3000)

God’s disposition towards us never changes. His love changes our disposition toward him.

(via blakebaggott)

(via blakebaggott)

Our relation to God is not a “religious” relationship to the highest, most powerful, and best Being imaginable—that is not authentic transcendence—but our relation to God is a new life in “existence for others,” through participation in the being of Jesus. The transcendental is not infinite and unattainable tasks, but the neighbor who is within reach in any given situation…

What If Hitler Invaded Your House? Brian Zahnd

…When I claim that waging war is incompatible with following Jesus, the knee-jerk objection is always this: “What about Hitler?” The problem with the “Hitler objection” is that we have stepped into the middle of the story. It’s 1940 and we’re asking, “what are we going to do about Hitler?” As legitimate as that question is, we need to back up and ask this question first: How is it that Christians could wage war at Hitler’s behest? How did the land of Luther and the Reformation become the land of Nazis and the Holocaust? Hitler is as much a problem for Christian Just War theorists as for Christians who oppose war altogether. After all, Hitler waged his blitzkriegs with baptized soldiers sporting Gott mit uns on their belt buckles. How did this happen? How was Hitler able to convince Christian soldiers to kill other Christians in Poland, France, and Russia? Hasn’t something gone tragically wrong with the church when Christians can be persuaded to kill other Christians in the name of ideology and nationalism? The enduring catastrophe of Constantine subverting the kingdom of God was that the politics of Jesus were set aside for the interests of empire. This eventually led to the shame of the crusades where Christians killed under the banner of the cross, and then to the horror of the two world wars where European Christians slaughtered one another by the millions…

(Source: contrariansoul)

As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.