Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A Quote To Pondor

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share a quote with you. It is actually a few seperate passage from a book I am reading, called "Renovation of the Heart" by Dallas Willard. I think it is important as we think about the role of the church today.

"A fundamental mistake of the conservative side of the American church today, and much of the Western church, is that it takes as its basic goal to get as many people as possible ready to die and go to heaven. It aims to get people into heaven rather than to get heaven into people.....

It implodes upon itself because it creates groups of people who may be ready to die, but clearly are not ready to live. They rarely can get along with one another, much less those 'outside.'.....

As a result they actually fall short of getting as many people as possible ready to die, because the lives of the 'converted' testify against the relaity......

The way to get as amny people into heaven as you can is to get heaven into as many people as you can - that is, to follow the path of genuine spiritual transformation or full-throttle discipleship of Jesus Christ. When we are counting up results we also need to keep in mind the multitudes of people (surrounded by churches) who will not be in heaven because they have never , to their knowledge, seen the reality of Christ in a living human being." P. 238-239

I think there are some good points here. It teaches us that the church needs to focus on true spiritual development of its people. This will naturally lead to evangelism, and much more effective evangelism. It moves us a way from a focus on NUMBERS and turns us to a focus on QUALITY. This increase in QUALITY then naturally leads to more NUMBERS.

- Danny

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Real Stewardship

Here is another powerful quote from "Mustard Seed versus McWorld" by Tom Sine:

“Understanding the Old Testament origins of the tithe, a growing number of New Testament scholars tell us that there is no basis for ten-percent stewardship in the New Testament. The call to follow Christ in the New Testament is a whole-life proposition.

Dualistic Christianity typically teaches that after you bring your tithe (or some part of your tithe) into the storehouse, you can pretty much do what you want with the rest. You can buy whatever toys you want and live as lavishly as you want, as long as you don’t get a materialistic hang-up with all of your things. It is amazing how many American Christians seem to be able to live palatially without ever getting hung up with materialism. Too often our Christian leaders in the United States are the pacesetters for this upscaling…..

There is something profoundly wrong when some of us live lavishly and other Christians in our world can’t keep their kids fed.” P. 202

What are some things we can do to keep this kind of whole-life giving?


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

What is Most Important?

In life today, economic growth (both individual and national) is considered as the most important thing. It is how we measure the success of our country and the success of us as individuals. This impact doesn't fit with a Christian world view. As Tom Sine writes in his book "Mustard Seed versus McWorld", “from a Christian perspective, I will never be able to define what’s best or what’s ultimate in terms of economic growth or efficiency. ” P. 50

What do you think? Should we measure success by economic growth? If not, what else?