“Do you now know that there comes a midnight hour when every one has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight in order to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it?”—Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or
“If Christian maturity is maturity in our relationship with Christ, in which we worship, trust and obey him, then the clearer our vision of Christ, the more convinced we become that he is worthy of our commitment.”—John Stott, The Radical Disciple, p. 42
“We state and commend the faith only in so far as we go out and put ourselves inside the doubts of the doubters, the questions of the questioners and the loneliness of those who have lost their way.”—John Stott, The Radical Disciple
“It dawned on me for the first time, really. It had dawned on me before, but it really sank in: the Christmas story. The idea that God, if there is a force of Love and Logic in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in shit and straw…a child…I just thought: “Wow!” Just that poetry…Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and it’s not that it hadn’t struck me before, but tears came down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this. Because that’s exactly what we were talking about earlier: love needs to find form, intimacy needs to be whispered. To me, it makes sense. It’s actually logical. It’s pure logic. Essence has to manifest itself. It’s inevitable. Love has to become an action or something concrete. It would have to happen. There must be an incarnation. Love must be made flesh.”—Bono, In Conversation.
“How can we declare worthless what Jesus Christ has declared of value? Is it ‘worthless’ to be a child of God, a member of Christ and an heir of the kingdom of heaven? So then, a vital part of our self affirmation, what in reality is an affirmatino of the grace of God our Creator and Redeemer, is what we have become in Christ. ‘The ultimate basis for our positive self-image must be God’s acceptance of us in Christ’” (Hoekema, Christian Looks at Himself).”—
Where is the spirit of adventure, the sense of uncalculating solidarity with the underprivileged? Where are the Christians who are prepared to put service before security, compassion before comfort, hardship before ease? Thousands of pioneer Christian tasks are waiting to be done, which challenge our complacency and call for risk.
Insistence on security is incompatible with the way of the cross. What daring adventures the incarnation and the atonement were! What a breach of convention and decorum the Almighty God should renounce his privileges in order to take human flesh and bear human sin! Jesus had no security except in his Father. So to follow Jesus is always to accept at least a measure of uncertainty, danger and rejection for his sake.
“Christians cannot regard with equanimity the injustices that spoil God’s world and demean his creatures. Injustice must bring pain to the God whose justice flared brightly a the the cross; it should bring pain to God’s people too.”—John Stott, The Cross of Christ
“The symbol of an authentically Christian leadership is not the purple robe of an emperor but the coarse apron of a slave; not the throne of ivory and gold but a basin of water for the washing of feet.”—John Stott, The Cross of Christ
“God does more, however, than give us a paramount exhibition of love in the cross; he puts his love within us. With the love of God both revealed to us and indwelling us, we have a double, inescapable incentive to give ourselves in love to others…There was an reckless extravagance about Christ’s love on the cross; it challenges the calculating coldness of our love.”—John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p. 284
“Only in doing can there be submission to the will of God. In doing God’s will man renounces every right and every justification of his own; he delivers himself humbly into the hands of the merciful Judge.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics
“One cannot, therefore, prove what is the will of God simply from one’s own resources, from one’s own knowledge of good and evil; on the contrary, only that man can do this who has lost all knowledge of his own of good and evil and who therefore abandons any attempt to know the will of God by his own means, who lives already in the unity of the will of God because the will of God has already been accomplished in him…Only upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, only within the space which is defined by Jesus Christ, only ‘in; Jesus Christ can man prove what is the will of God.”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics