Aug 15, 2014

What I'm reading changes me sometimes

"...that a budget is a moral document, and when you look at a church budget, you know what that church is about and what it values. In most cases, you will find that church budgets show that churches are self-centered. The reality is, many churches spend little on anybody or anything outside the church. If you look over almost any church budget, you will probably find that the church is paying its bills and taking care of its own needs. It has been said that the church should be the only club in the world that should exist for the benefit of its nonmembers. Few church budgets give evidence of that...Across the board, more than 90 percent of the church offerings we give on Sunday mornings stay inside the building (some denominations have as little as 2 percent going toward external, missional needs.) This is the antithesis of what the early church was doing. In the book of Acts, it says that the offerings were put at the feet of the apostles and were distributed to folks as there was need (4:35.)"  --Shane Claiborne//Tony Campolo, Red Letter Revolution

"We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children's wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on the responsibility for their children's learning. But that is about all that parents need. Perhaps only a minority of parents have these qualities. Certainly some have more than others. Many will gain more as they know their children better; most of the people who have been teaching their children at home say that it has made them like them more, not less. In any case, these are not qualities that can be taught or learned in a school, or measured with a test, or certified with a piece of paper." --John Holt, Teach Your Own: the John Holt book of home schooling

"We Cannot Remove Pain-the Felt Reality of Evil-from This World
    I want to state an important truth from within the Christian worldview at this point. By removing pain from the human experience, Sam Harris is, in effect, trying to remove the felt reality of evil. There is one fundamental difference between God allowing a death to take place and me taking another life: God has the power to restore life, I don't. The story of evil is one part of a greater narrative. To ignore the greater narrative is to continue to raise particulars without accepting the general. In fact, there is no option left but to say there is no such thing as evil and there should be no such thing as pain....If it is possible in our finite world with our limited knowledge to be able to appreciate just one benefit of pain, is it not possible that God has designed this awareness within us to remind us of what is good for us and what is destructive? As horrendous as the illustrations may sometimes be, can we not see the moral framework that detects atrocities and resists tragedies? Could there be a greater, deeper answer than simply saying there is no God?....Wickedness is always excused as anything but the moral degeneracy that has resulted from each one of us becoming the god of God."  Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason: A response to the new atheists 

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