Ouch … just when I thought this would be good for the country and a bonus for Visit Malaysia 2007.
I was reorganizing my bookshelves based on authors, and discovered how formative his books were for me. I will pick two quotes from the link which continues to help me along, one from an earlier work, the other his latest:
“My argument has been that evangelicals will do well to affirm a Christianity that has a deep kinship with the faith of the early church. … For here is a faith that, like a tapestry, weaves everything in and out of the main thread—Christ. … Here, I believe, is a faith for our time, a faith that finds in the ancient Christian tradition a power to speak to the postmodern world.”
“The religions of the day made no demands on believing, behaving, or belonging. In this context the Christian message was not presented as one more spirituality among the spiritualities but as Alan Kreider points out, Christians proclaimed, “We believe, we behave, we belong.” One would think that the clarity of union with God in the context of the plurality of religions would doom it to failure. But it was that very union with God—lived out in belief, behavior, and belonging—that resulted in the rapid spread of the Christian faith throughout the Roman Empire.”
Here’s one from one of my favorite Anglican Bishops:
“…for years the church has screened out that element of ‘kingdom of God’ teaching, but once the message has been heard — which I would have thought it has been in many quarters though not all — it needs to be re-integrated into the larger agenda which Jesus embraced.”
starting with 1 and 2 is so basic but often neglected.
Consider this :
“… when I see “problems” or “issues” in the Church, I often say to myself, “What kind of gospel would have been preached and responded to that would give rise to this kind of practice, problem, or theology?” At the bottom of lots of our problems is a “gospel” problem. Students of mine that grow up in Christians homes often admit to me that the gospel they grew up was this: Jesus came to die for my sins so I could go to heaven. This parody of the biblical gospel, I contend, is at the heart of many of our problems.”
“Let me suggest, then, a more complete view of the gospel – one that focuses much more on the community of faith – that, if we give the permission to seep into every inch of our ministries, will perhaps lead to the day in our lifetime when these four examples will not be our present problem but our history’s memory. Now a definition: The gospel is the work of the Trinitarian God (a community of persons) to create the community of faith in order to restore humans (made in God’s image) through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ as well as through the empowering gift of the Holy Spirit to union with God and communion with others for the good of the self and the world. And all of this to the glory of God.”