"When religion, church, and faith are considered only from the standpoint of their expediency and usefulness for society, they are bound to vanish as soon as the purposes of society can be served by other means." Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Play, 61.
"Those who try to defend religion by establishing its external usefulness and necessity turn out to be its worst enemies in the long run." Jürgen Moltmann, Theology of Play, 62.
"There are some men for whom a tree has no reality until they think of cutting it down..." -Thomas Merton
"If youth ministry is to address fragmented, overwhelmed teenagers as human beings, and not as objects to be won and counted for the church, then we must orient twenty-first-century youth ministry unapologetically toward the cross." -Kenda Creasy Dean
"[Jesus'] resurrection is therefore God's promise of new creation for the whole of the godforsaken reality which the crucified Jesus represents. It is therefore an event of dialectical promise: it opens up a qualitatively new future, which negates all the negatives of present experience. It opens up a future which is not simply drawn out of the immanent possibilities of present reality, but radically contradicts present reality. It promises life for the dead, righteousness for the unrighteous, freedom for those in bondage." -Richard Bauckham (The Theology of Jurgen Moltmann, 101)
“No concept of God independent of the reality of Jesus Christ may decide what is possible and impossible for God.” -Eberhard Jüngel
"Judgement is not God's last word. Judgement establishes in the world the divine righteousness on which the new creation is to be built. But God's last word is 'Behold, I make all things new' (Rev 21:5). From this no one is excepted. Love is God's compassion with the lost. Transforming grace is God's punishment for sinners. It is not the right to choose that defines the reality of human freedom. It is the doing of the good."
- Jürgen Moltmann (God Will Be All in All, ed. Richard Bauckham, 47.)
“Memory is for what is hoped; hope is for what is remembered.” -Craig Keen (After Crucifixion, 48)
“...godly power and godly love are related to one another neither through subordination nor dialectically. Rather, God's mightiness is understood as the power of his love. Only love is almighty. Then God's lordship is to be understood as the rule of his mercy and God's law is accordingly the law of his grace.” -Eberhard Jüngel
"He did not die for the sake of a good world, he died for the sake of an evil world, not for the pious, but for the godless, not for the just, but for the unjust, for the deliverance, the victory and the joy of all, that they might have life." Karl Barth, Good Friday, 1957
"The Church may have a building, but that is not its place. The building may be the church's location, but its space is in the shared humanity of its persons." -Andrew Root (The Relational Pastor, 159-160).
"Love is the essence of the holiness of the Church." -Alexander Schmemann (The Eucharist, 137)
“[Faith] sees in the resurrection of Christ not the eternity of heaven, but the future of the very earth on which his cross stands. It sees in him the future of the very humanity for which he died. That is why it finds the cross the hope of the earth.” -Jürgen Moltmann (Theology of Hope, 21)
"When it comes to the forgiving and transforming love of God, one wonders if the six-week-old screecher knows all that much less than the Archbishop of Canterbury." -Frederick Buechner on infant baptism (Wishful Thinking, 6)
"No being has ever come into the world without being loved before it existed" -Nate Stucky
"Faith minus vulnerability is fundamentalism" -Brene Brown
"[Christian theology] awakens pain over the present internal and external enslavements of human beings." -Jurgen Moltmann (On Human Dignity, p.16)
"This much is certain, that we have no theological right to set any sort of limits to the loving-kindness of God which has appeared in Jesus Christ. Our theological duty is to see and understand it as being still greater than we had seen before.” ― Karl Barth
"The crucified God takes believers on a journey into earth, into its pain and suffering, and finds in that journey not the holiness of pain but the wonder of life's power to persist and transform. The way of the crucified God seeks God in earth's humanity, which has been abandoned, rejected, and despised, the people who know life amid their struggle." -Mark Lewis Taylor (The Executed God, 3).
"At its best, the expression crucified God reminds us that the power of all life, God, faces and suffers some of the worst that a creature can endure and emerges with newfound power, strength, and hope. What is sacralized or made holy is not suffering but the facing and endurance of suffering with hope and life." -Mark Lewis Taylor
"Patience is the greatest art of those who hope. Hope accepts the 'cross of the the present' in the 'power of the resurrection.' It takes upon itself the real unredeemed state of the present as it is, the torture and the pain of the negative, without resignation and without illusion." -Jurgen Moltmann (Hope for the Church, 11)
"It is most important for the practice of the Christian ministry, especially in its missionary activities toward those both within and without the Christian culture, to consider pagans, humanists, and Jews as members of the latent Spiritual Community and not as complete strangers who are invited into the Spiritual Community from outside. This insight serves as a powerful weapon against ecclesiastical and hierarchical arrogance." -Paul Tillich (ST3, 155)
"It is when we are up against death, when we find ourselves in despair, that the God of cross is near to us. It is through suffering and despair that God is made known to us, for God is found on the cross." -Andrew Root
"We are known in a depth of darkness through which we ourselves do not even dare to look. And at the same time, we are seen in a height of a fullness which surpasses our highest vision." -Paul Tillich
"Man does not have to deceive himself about himself, because he is accepted as he is, in the total perversion of his existence. But being accepted by God means also being transformed by God—not in terms of a tangible change but in terms of ‘anticipation’” -Paul Tillich
"Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.... But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory." Martin Luther King Jr., A Christmas Sermon for Peace on Dec 24, 1967
"Go put your hands to the plough. Look not back. If any come with guns or with swords, be not afraid. If they smite you, smite not in return. If they rend you, be not discouraged. Another will take up the good work." -Te Whiti
"Believing in Christ's resurrection therefore does not mean affirming a fact. It means being possessed by the life-giving Spirit and participating in the powers of the age to come." - Jürgen Moltmann
"The gospel is realistic, not idealistic. It does not bring new teaching; it brings a new reality."
"If God is always 'he' and imaged as Father, Husband, or Master, then human husbands, fathers, and employers are godlike in a way that wives, mothers, and employees are not. And the stage is set for exploitation." -Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
"The rule for social witness is that faithfulness is a higher virtue than effectiveness. Some things ought indeed to be done regardless of whether by human calculations they promise to be effective; and other things ought not to be done, no matter how effective they may promise to be." -George Hunsinger (Social Witness in Generous Orthodoxy: The New Presbyterian 'Study Catechism,' p.45)
"...justice is what love looks like in public."-Cornel West
“The work of salvation, in its full sense, is (1) about whole human beings, not merely souls; (2) about the present, not simply the future; and (3) about what God does through us, not merely what God does in and for us.” -N.T. Wright
"let us not abandon all hope before we have set our hands to the task. Let us not lay down our rod and staff if we do not have the desired success at once. What is impossible for men remains possible for God. Eventually God's hour must come, if only we wait for it." -Philip Jacob Spener
"We must not be afraid to burn our sacred temples in order to discover what, if anything remains. Indeed, perhaps it is not what remains after the fire has died that is true, but rather the fire itself." -Peter Rollins (Insurrection, from the introduction)
“The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.” -Dorothy Day
"What you love, oh God, you love everlastingly" -Alex Dreese
"Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal or natural, but it is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness. Thus compassion that might be seen simply as generous goodwill is in fact criticism of the system, forces, and ideologies that produce the hurt." -Walter Brueggemann
"As a man cannot lift a mountain, and as a kindly man cannot kill an infant, so a man living the Christian life cannot take part in deeds of violence" -Leo Tolstoy
"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." -A.W. Tozer
"Thus the despair which imagines it has reached the end of its tether proves to be illusory, as long as nothing has yet come to an end but everything is still full of possibilities." -Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1967), page 25.
"Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important." -C.S. Lewis
"What Jesus did was not a mere example of something else, not a mere manifestation of some larger truth; it was itself the climactic event and fact of cosmic history. From then on everything is different…the End came forward into the present in Jesus the Messiah" -N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Jesus, page 178)
"With God's breath in the church we are called to exhale, but not because it's a morally good thing to do but because we can't help ourselves." -Kenda Creasy Dean
"The cross is the assurance that effective prophetic criticism is done not by an outsider but always by one who must embrace the grief, enter into the death, and know the pain of the criticized one." -Walter Brueggemann (Prophetic Imagination, p. 95.)
"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The achievement of Christ knows no barriers of color or class, of birth or social status." -N.T. Wright
"When there is human suffering and we shed tears, I believe God sheds tear too.So I begin with a God who identifies with our pain and suffering." -Rob Bell
"I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope." -Cornel West
"Justice is nothing but Love with legs" -Serene Jones
"Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything." -Bob Pierce, Founder of World Vision (from Richard Stearns' The Hole in Our Gospel, page 152.)
“Instead of allowing wealth and resources to change us, we must choose to allow God to change our way of thinking about wealth and resources”
–Jamie gates & Jon Middendorf from their book Living Justice
"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice." - Nelson Mandela
"And the mistake of the best men through generation after generation, has been the great one of thinking to help the poor by almsgiving, and by preaching of patience or of hope, and by every other means, emollient or consolatory, except the one thing which God orders for them, justice." -John Ruskin
"My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one." -John Newton
"The Kingdom of God will always remain transcendent, but it appears as a judgement on a given form of society and as a norm for a coming one" -Paul Tillich
"There's nothing wrong with making a lot of money, there's something wrong with keeping it." -Tony Campolo
"In true relationships, the only point is to be together. Once there is another point, the relationship withers under the heat of expectations and obligations." -Andrew Root
"Obedience is not a prerequisite to God's love. It is a response to it"
The Christian leader of the future is the one who truly knows the heart of God as it has become flesh, "a heart of flesh," in Jesus.
“[Jesus] matters because of what he brought and what he still brings to ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives and coping daily with their surroundings. He promises wholeness for their lives. In sharing our weaknesses he gives us strength and and imparts through his companionship a life that has the quality of eternity." -Dallas Willard
"What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life." -Henri Nouwen
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."-Mother Teresa
"Giving with altruism means to train from the depths of the heart in an attitude of generosity such that you are not seeking any reward or result for yourself. Think of the act of charity and all of its beneficial results as aimed solely toward the benefit of others." -The Dalai Lama
"You can't really learn God's hope like you learn the logic of an argument or the details of a story. It's more like learning to belly laugh. You catch hope from someone who has it down in their gut." -Shane Claiborne
"The proclamation of the Church must make allowance for this freedom of grace. Apokatastasis Panton? No, for a grace which automatically would ultimately have to embrace each and every one would certainly not be free grace. It surely would not be God's grace. But would it be God's free grace if we could absolutely deny that it could do that? Has Christ been sacrified only for our sins? Has he not ... been sacrificed for the whole world? ... [Thus] the freedom of grace is preserved on both these sides." _Karl Barth
"What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God's love, a love we don't even have to earn." -Madeleine L'Engle
I suppose the simple truth we must learn to reclaim is the power of the hug, of the embrace. Not just of neighbor, enemy, ourselves or even God. The abundance of life is known through the embrace of it all. -David Arthur Auten (Embrace, page 126)
"The more a person dares to hope, the greater that person becomes with God's hope. People grow with their hope, if only it is hope in God and God's power alone. Hope remains." _Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"A faith that really keeps to what is invisible and lives by it, acting as if it were already here, hopes at the same time for the time of fulfillment, of seeing and possessing...A faith that does not hope is sick. it is like a hungry child who does not want to eat or a tired person who does not want to sleep. Humankind hopes as surely as it believes. And it is not a disgrace to hope even beyond measure." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer (From A Testament to Freedom, page 250... I got it from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, June 9th, page 175)
"The challenge for the church, says Sara Miles, author of Jesus Freak, is to become a permeable body so that all kinds of people are coming in and going out. 'Church is actually a place for people to experience we, says Miles. She says she needed 'to be knocked around in the great tumbler of the church with people I didn't choose--because left to my own devices I'm gonna choose people like me.' One of the remarkable things about the church is that it serves a mean--communion--that you can't buy, ear or deserve. It is just given away." -Christian Century Magazine (Century Marks, March 23, 2010) (our Interim Minister, Steve Swope, shared this before his opening prayer at our May 10, 2010 Church Council meeting)
"Certainty is the sin of pharisees and bigots" -Friar Antony de Mello
"I'd rather shine a light than curse the darkness" - Eleanor Roosevelt
"While Genesis borrows the science of its day, it does so in order to make its main points about Who created the world and What it is made up of--nature, human nature, supernature. Failure to distinguish between these two kinds of issues has caused people to miss the doctrine and concentrate instead on its wrappings." Gabriel Fackre (Christian Basics, page 9)
"In all this language of image and metaphor retains its tantalizing capacity both to indicate what is to be believed and to point to a reality beyond words. The reality being experiences and expressed, whether in terms of the kingdom of God, resurrection, the Spirit of God, or salvation itself, always escapes formal far less final definition. And yet the experience and the hope ever strive to express that reality afresh, drawing on tradition but ever finding it necessary to find fresh expression." James D.G. Dunn (New Testament Theology, page 96)
"If you don't want to worship a guy you can beat up, then I might humbly suggest you reconsider Caesar and the Greco-Roman narrative. It sounds like 'Christ and him crucified' is not for you. At least not yet." -Brian McLaren (A New Kind of Christianity, page 126.)
"Love work; hate domination; and seek not undue intimacy with the government."
_Shemayah, from the Talmudic book, Avot-Ethics of the Father.
"Everybody believes something. Everybody believes somebody. Jesus invites us to trust resurrection; that every glimmer of good, every hint of hope, every impulse that elevates the soul is a sign, a taste, a glimpse of how things actually are and how thing ultimately will be. Resurrection affirms this life and the next as a seamless reality, embraced, graced, and saved by God." -Rob Bell
"Resurrection announces that God has not given up on the world because this world matters; this world that we call home--dirt, blood, sweat, skin, light, and water--this world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing. Greed, violence, and abuse; they are not right and they cannot last because they belong to death and death does not belong." -Rob Bell
"Love is free; it does not depend on the desirability of its object, but loves for love's sake." -Thomas Merton.
"Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God." -Barack Obama
"...Hell: a way, a place, a realm absent of how God desires things to be. We can bring heaven to earth; we can bring hell to earth... For Jesus Heaven and Hell were present realities... For Jesus the question wasn't, how do I get into heaven? but how do I bring heaven here?" -Rob Bell
"I firmly believe that our salvation depends on the poor." -Dorothy Day
"God's Kingdom is a new society that Jesus wants to create in this world- within human history, not after the Second Coming or a future apocalypse or anything else. But right now."
"Dispensationalists -that is, fundamentalists and most evangelicals - contended that the world was a sinking ship, and that time and efforts were better spent trying to get people off the ship and saved before it went under... The only problem, however, was how such bad news could really be good news..."
"In the personal case of Jesus it is made clear that he rejects not only unjust violence but also the use of violence in the most righteous cause. It is no longer possible to misinterpret his teaching as simply a call to vigilance or to sensitivity in excluding improper use of violence; what Jesus was really tempted by was the proper use of violence. It was concerning the use of the sword in legitimate defense that Jesus said that they who take it will die by it." _John Howard Yoder
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
"God has made of one blood all nations under heaven. No man can suddenly become my enemy just because he happened to have been born on the other side of a river or a boundary line, and his government has issued an ultimatum against mine. Is it not time that we refused to fight?"
- Muriel Lester, social reformer and pacifist (1883-1968)
"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obligated to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget anything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the Living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament." _Soren Kierkegaard
"There is nothing new except what has been forgotten." _Marie Antoinette
"The rich must live more simply that the poor may simply live." -Dr. Charles Birch, 1974
"I am convinced that when we bring our griefs and sorrows within the story of God's own grief and sorrow, and allow them to be held there, God is able to bring healing to us ans new possibilities to our lives. That is, of course, what Good Friday and Easter are all about" -N.T. Wright
"God always places himself unconditionally and passionately on the side of the poorest and only on that side: against the proud, always in favor of the humble, against those who possess and defend their rights, and on the side of those to whom those rights are denied." -Karl Barth
He took the worst that evil could do. He allowed it to do its' worst to him, emotionally as well as physically. And he went on loving." _N.T. Wright
"But if they are deprived of all good, they will cease to be... So long as they are, they are good. Therefore, whatsoever is, is good." -Saint Augustine
"In the light of Divine Love, we are encouraged to enter into our deepest hearts, often hidden even to ourselves." -Henri Nouwen (From Fear to Love, Friday after Ash Wednesday)
"I believe that we must reach our brother, never toning down our fundamental oppositions, but meeting him when he asks to be met, with a reason for the faith that is in us, as well as with a loving sympathy for them as brothers." -Dorothy Day
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." –Martin Luther King Jr.
"Unless we are ready to die developing new nonviolent attempts to reduce international conflict, we should confess that we never really meant the cross was an alternative to the sword." _Ron Sider
"never adopt a strategy that you would not want your opponents to use against you" -Walter Wink
"Nonviolence is our most powerful weapon. If they cannot accuse us of terrorism, they cannot stop us. The world will support us."_Mohammed Khatib
"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." _Saint Augustine
"Our faith is stronger than death, our philosophy is firmer than flesh, and the spread of the Kingdom of God upon the earth is more sublime and more compelling." -Dorothy Day
“Kingdom praying and its efficacy is entirely a matter of the innermost heart's being totally open and honest before God. It is a matter of what we are saying with our whole being, moving with resolute intent and clarity of mind into the flow of God's action.” ― Dallas Willard