Interesting quotes on world change


The following quotes all come from a promotional piece I received pushing an upcoming conference at Ginghamsburg Church in Ohio. The Change the World Conference is in October and looks like something worthwhile. While it is too early for me to make a commitment to go, I loved some of the quotes by some of the featured speakers and leaders and thought you may also enjoy them. Though some may be a bit controversial, they will provoke some thought and dialogue.

Check these out . . .

Christians must act as the moral conscience for both sides of the isle, always advocating for peace with justice and the orphan and widow. The Gospel is good news for the poor. If it doesn’t cover the poor, it is not the Gospel! – Mike Slaughter

Why are so many religious people arguing about the origin of the {human} species, but so few are concerned about the extinction of the species? –Brian McLaren

Two of the great hungers in our world today are the hunger for spirituality and the hunger for social justice. The connection between the two is the one the world is waiting for, especially the new generations. And the first hunger will empower the second. –Jim Wallis

Christianity’s next reformation…will draw upon what is best in both fundamentalism and liberalism by holding together the evangelical and social gospels, by combining a love of scripture with a willingness to see both its humanity as well as its Divinity, and by coupling a passionate desire to follow Jesus Christ with a reclamation of His heart toward those whom religious people have often rejected. This reformation will be led by people who are able to see the gray in a world of black and white. –Adam Hamilton

…in the minds of many nonreligious people in America, Christianity is not associated with love or grace or justice, but with a particular view of homosexuality, or a particular stance on abortion…Christianity has become a wedge that drives people from Christ, rather than drawing them to him…There are a growing number of Christians who believe the Gospel calls us to be healers and bridge builders, not dividers. – Adam Hamilton

The Protestant theology of many Americans has reduced salvation by faith to a passive and easy “believism,” giving the impression that all a person needs to be saved is a right theology…The evidence of true conversion is a commitment to the work of Jesus. –Mike Slaughter

Faith is not just for the new life, the hereafter: it is precisely intended to transform the world in the here and now – otherwise, most of the Bible makes no sense at all. –Jim Wallis

Jesus’ message is not actually about escaping this troubled world for heaven’s blissful shores, as is properly assumed, but instead is about God’s will being done on this troubled earth as it is in heaven…The popular domesticated Jesus, who has become little more than a chrome-plated hood ornament on the guzzling Hummer of Western civilization can…be replaced with a more radical, saving and, I believe, real Jesus. –Brian McLaren

The time has passed when we can define ourselves on the tired and old labels of conservative or liberal, evangelical or charismatic, Catholic or Protestant. All who have faith in Jesus belong to Him. Everyone who serves the mission is a follower of His. It is time for all of us to change the world together. –Mike Slaughter

The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

I am reading Jonathan Edwards’ Basic Writings and am blown away by his Resolutions document. If you get a chance to read these Resolutions, keep in mind that he wrote this stuff while he was in college in the early 1700’s. I had resolutions in college, too, but we won’t talk about that now.

Sorry for the massive post but I thought I would share a few that jumped out at me as being especially applicable:

Edwards starts with the statement: BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD’ S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST’ S SAKE.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

Anybody else feeling challenged???

The Prosperity Gospel

Who doesn’t want to be rich? I certainly wouldn’t mind it. But how much of a place should this desire occupy in our hearts?

The North American church is conflicted. Consider the following research/stats:

61% of Christians believe that God wants people to be financially prosperous.
48% of Christians believe Jesus was not rich and we should follow His example.
49% believe Christians don’t give enough to the poor.
57% do not believe 10% is the minimum God expects Christians to give.
(source: David Van Biema and Jeff Chu, “Does God want You to be Rich?” Time Magazine 6/18/06)

New research released by The Barna Group reveals that in 2007 just 9% of adult Americans who are Christians gave away 10 percent of their income to places of worship or nonprofits (tithing).

Now consider what scripture teaches:
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! (NLT)

Hebrews 13:5 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” (MSG)

It’s time for us to get this thing straight. We have to get off the defensive side when it comes to our money. There has to be a more open atmosphere available for us to deal with this topic. But for those of you who wish I would mind my own business in this regard, I will borrow part of a posting from my friend Chris Goins “I love the way Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands describes his desire for his congregation as it relates to giving: “Don’t listen to me! Listen to God!””

Happy Earth Day!


I am risking coming across like a tree hugger but it is obvious to me that we have to focus more attention on issues like the environment. It seems that many Christ-followers are a little behind when it comes to dialogue and action regarding ways in which we can take better care of the creation. This is a big deal in our country. While preservation of the earth and its resources should receive more attention from those who follow Christ, I see an even bigger issue at hand.

Since our culture is keenly attuned to matters of ecology, we can easily appear disconnected and aloof if we are not proactive in addressing these concerns. How can we say that that we care for people, for their well being and for the future of their families if we ignore topics like environmental responsibility? I think there is credibility to be gained if we will speak and act in well balanced ways regarding the environment.

What will it hurt if we recycle some plastic, save a little water or drive a hybrid car? Just maybe along with making the world a cleaner place for the next generation, we may also earn the right to address our culture on more important topics, like eternity.

Happy Earth Day!

intentional hanging out


Over the last couple of weeks, Letha and I have had several opportunities to spend time with a variety of friends. These were mostly casual settings – enjoying a meal with another couple, gathering at the church for some fellowship or just spending a couple of hours talking with some guys. The thing is, these events were strategically planned. The calendar over this span has been typically busy, we just decided to make it a priority to be around more people in more settings.

Sounds kind of sad, doesn’t it? We have to be purposeful and intentional about spending time with friends. But that’s the point. Until we made the decision to do so, our time with other people had taken a back seat to the demands of life. And we were paying for it.

I tell people all the time that we were not created to do life alone, that isolation leads to disaster. If you are a leader, you are probably going to have to schedule in some friend time. Look ahead now and plan something. Meet someone for coffee. Plan a meal together with a neighbor. Invite a new family at church over for dinner.

It feels really good to be making more friends, getting to know some old friends better. Give it a shot – intentionally.

Stepping it up technologically

In the last few weeks I have started this blog and also made the switch to an iPhone. Admittedly, I am a slow adapter when it comes to tech but surprisingly, I am having fun. When I do finally take the leap, it is usually because of pressure put on me by friends and family. I get tired of people making fun of me just because my phone is the size of a shoebox.

My daughter, Jessica told me that I am now edging toward being cool. That’s what I want to be . . . cool. But she also is one who is always bugging me, wanting me to text message back and forth. What does she know? Everyone knows that texting will never catch on!

I gotta go. If you need me, I’ll be at my typewriter and on my land line phone.