105. “At the individual level, the great controlling myth of our time has been the belief that within each of us there is a real, inner, private ‘self’, long buried beneath layers of socialization and attempted cultural and religious control, and needing to be rediscovered if we are to live authentic lives. When we ‘discover’ this ‘true authentic self’, we must do whatever it dictates, even if it means ignoring the norms of the ‘unenlightened’ society all around us.”
107. “The author extols the power of having significant portions of God’s Word read in public worship with the following analogy. He says that by reading a few short verses, we are like someone glimpsing nature through window from across the room. But by taking in more lengthy passages of Scripture, we are like someone who, intrigue, gets right next to the window to take in more of the view that it offers, basking in more of the arc of the whole the whole narrative.”
111. “Albert Schweitzer, a century or more ago, used another strong image. Jesus, he said, was like a man convinced the wheel of history was going to turn in the opposite direction. He waited for this to happen, but it didn’t. Then he threw himself upon the wheel, and it crushed him – but it did indeed start to turn in the other direction.”
113. “The point of 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not our duty; it is our destiny. It is the language Jesus spoke, and we are called to speak it so that we can converse with him. It is the food they eat in God’s new world, and we must acquire the taste for it here and now. It is the music God has written for all his creatures to sing, and we are called to learn it and practice it now so as to be ready when the conductor brings down his baton.”
114. “Now love doesn’t stop at death – or if it does, it’s a pretty poor sort of love! In fact, grief could almost be defined as the form love takes when the object of love has been removed; it is love embracing an empty space, love kissing thin air and feeling the pain of nothingness. But there is no reason at all why love should discontinue the practice of holding the beloved in prayer before God.”
121. “New creation itself has begun, they are saying, and will be completed. Jesus is ruling over that new creation and making it happen through the witness of his church. “The ruler of this world” has been overthrown; the powers of the world have been led behind Jesus’s triumphal procession as a beaten, bedraggled rabble. And that is how God is becoming king on earth as in heaven. That is the truth the gospels are eager to tell us, the.”
128. “Redemption is not simply making creation a bit better, as the optimistic evolutionist would try to suggest. Nor is it rescuing spirits and souls from an evil material world, as the Gnostic would want to say. It is the remaking of creation, having dealt with the evil that is defacing and distorting it. And it is accomplished by the same God, now known in Jesus Christ, through whom it was made in the first place.”
138. “Israel isn’t chosen in order to be God’s special people while the rest of the world remains in outer darkness. Israel is chosen to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. Israel is chosen so that, through Israel, God can bless all people. And now Jesus is calling Israel to be the light of the world at last. He is opening the way, carving a path through the jungle towards that vocation, urging his followers to come with him on the dangerous road.”
145. “The question of “canon and creed,” which underlies quite a bit of this book, has become quite urgent and controversial and needs to be addressed from the point of view of those of us who are actually working with the biblical canon itself rather than using the word “canon” as shorthand for the systematic theology they already possess.”
146. “But the failure of Christianity is a modern myth, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of telling the proper story of church history, which of course has plenty of muddle and wickedness, but also far more than we normally imagine of love and creativity and beauty and justice and healing and education and hope. To.”
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