Recently Read↑

So over the past few days I’ve begun reading a really good book, well, actually a lot of really good books. Once I finish them I intend to post a full review, but in the mean time I thought I’d share just a few of my “Recently Read” quotes.

From the book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy:

In this lecture, Bonhoeffer tipped one sacred cow after the other. Having dealt with the idea of Christ as no mere great ethicist, he proceeded to explain the similarity of the Christian religion to other religions. Then he came to his main point: the essence of Christianity is not about religion at all, but about the person of Christ.(location 1875)

When this is missed, or misunderstood it becomes another Gospel. This has been a problem within the church since its earliest days and one that Paul (Galatians, Philippians) and John (1 John) and Peter (2 Peter) all dealt with.

“Factually speaking,” he said, “Christ has given scarcely any ethical prescriptions that were not to be found already with the contemporary Jewish rabbis or in pagan literature.” Christianity was not about a new and better set of behavioral rules or about moral accomplishment. He must have shocked some of his listeners, but his logic was undeniably compelling. He then aggressively attacked the idea of “religion” and moral performance as the very enemies of Christianity and of Christ because they present the false idea that somehow we can reach God through our moral efforts. (location 1879)

The Gospel strikes at the heart of the idea that man can reach God through his own efforts.

He differentiated between Christianity as a religion like all the others—which attempt but fail to make an ethical way for man to climb to heaven of his own accord—and following Christ, who demands everything, including our very lives.(location 1899)

This is discipleship as Jesus defines it and Bonhoeffer would go on to expound upon this theme in other writings in his life.

There was an oddly prophetic aspect to the whole thing. But the speech didn’t mention politics or current events. Indeed, it was a philosophy lecture, but it spoke more clearly about the political situation than a thousand political speeches.(location 2921)

A sign of an insightful thinker is that he is able to address not merely the current events but the philosophical undercurrents that have created the present situation, this is much more meaningful and lasting.

From the book The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation:

Many Millennials thus really don’t know another world other than one where they pursue education without question.(location 441)

 

Three out of four Millennials would like a leader to come beside them and teach them leadership skills. We value a leader who is willing to take his or her time to teach skills that otherwise may not be learned.(location 708)

 

The most accessible way to reach a Millennial is by text. I text-message more often than I actually call someone. (location 758)

There are plenty more quotes that I could share but I’ll quit now. Bonhoeffer especially has given me a lot to think about and I hope to post a longer article dealing with one of his themes in the near future.

English Identity→

This evening I finally began Ed Husain‘s book The Islamist. I’m really excited about it and already have profited from just the first few pages. In those pages came across this quote that I found interesting concerning cultural identity. There are some cultures that seem to be in a constant quest to define themselves. Paxman says the opposite is a sign of confidence.

It is a mark of self-confidence: the English have not spent a great deal of time defining themselves because they haven’t needed to. Is it necessary to do so now?
– Jeremy Paxman, British author and broadcaster
http://amzn.com/k/36NTHE4Z8XAKX

 

How to Live and Die↑

Mere existence is not life; the art of living, truly, really, and joyfully living, it is not given to all men to know. To teach men how to live and how to die, is the aim of all useful religious instruction. – C.H. Spurgeon

Great quote I heard shared this evening from the Christian theologian Charles Spurgeon. It truly expresses one of the universal elements of theology – whatever shape that takes.