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Unreal Christian Quotes (via Trevin Wax)

Trevin Wax examines quotes wrongfully associated with various Christians.
I hadn’t heard of a couple of these quotes, but was familiar with most.
Given how often you read some of them, i.e. “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body” often attributed to C.S. Lewis, or the phrase attributed to Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words”, it is helpful to know what is true and what is not.
Read the post at Waxs’ blog at the Gospel Coalition.


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A Guide To The Music Of Andrew Peterson (via Trevin Wax)

With a new Andrew Peterson record coming, and that record being Resurrection Letters Volume 1 – which has been promised for over ten years since the release of Resurrection Letters Volume 2 – there’ll probably be a bit of fuss at this blog over the next month or so.
Trevin Wax has done you all a favour (to borrow an Australian music phrase) and produced a massive overview of all Peterson’s album releases, from first to most recent.
Head over and have a read.
After the wonder that is Behold The Lamb Of God, I too, like Counting Stars and then Resurrection Letters Volume 2, but they’ve all got something to say.

Go and have a read, but most importantly, if you haven’t before


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Repentance – Hearing The Call To Return Home (via Trevin Wax)

The call to repent is a call to acknowledge I’m going the wrong way.
It’s not a punishment, it’s a gracious invitation to stop, turn and come home.
It’s a bittersweet familiar companion.
There’s a grief of heart that comes from the conviction of wrong, a grief of heart that is amplified when offence to God and hurt caused to others (whether intentional or unintentional) is acknowledged.
But ultimately there’s also a sense of relief and anticipation.
Home is a wonderful place.
It will be good to be there again.
I’m on my way.

Trevin Wax writes how repentance can never set against grace, because it is intrinsic to experiencing grace.

The call to repentance is the call to return home. It’s the call to be refreshed by our tears. It’s the call to be cleansed from all our guilty stains. We need the scalpel of the Spirit to do surgery on our diseased hearts, so that we can be restored to spiritual health.

Full article here.


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Does It Bother You That God Barred Moses From The Promised Land? (via Trevin Wax)

Some helpful thoughts from Trevin Wax on a biblical narrative that seems troubling.

Moses did not enter the promised land, because God’s true deliverer fully embraces and fully embodies the mercy and love of God for his people.
And God’s dealing with Moses amply demonstrates mercy and grace in judgment.

From the article:

God told Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses struck it instead. The rock had always been a picture of God’s grace and generosity. And in an earlier account, God told Moses to strike it, as if God himself would take abuse in order to provide water for his people.
But now, in this case, Moses struck the rock twice, without God’s command. His anger, frustration, and self-pity overtook him and led him to lash out at God. He was doing what the faithless Israelites did when they complained and grumbled.
All our sins come down to this: we don’t trust that God is for us. We don’t depend on him as our rock. We stand in judgment over others. We get frustrated and impatient. We resent God’s grace toward others. We think that God doesn’t love us or want the best for us. Trace the sin of disobedience backward and you’ll arrive at the sin of faithlessness.
But even here—even though Moses was sinful, and the people were undeserving—God still gave them water. And he still allowed Moses the chance to look out over the Promised Land before he died. Even in judgment, God shows mercy.

Read the whole post here.


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Praying For A Discontented Church (via Trevin Wax)

Trevin Wax writes about the deadly temptation of desiring a church where everyone is happy with things exactly as they are.

…we are right to pursue unity and peace in the church. But we are wrong to assume that the absence of conflict or complaint indicates that things are going in the right direction. The satisfaction of church members may be a sign not of faithfulness, but of widespread complacency.
Imagine this scenario. You’re a pastor in a congregation where there has been division and disunity over the years. Right now, things are better. Attendance is up. The number of complaints has fallen. People regularly encourage the staff and speak highly of the church. Every now and then, someone says: “Don’t change a thing. We love everything!”
Now, the temptation is to say, “Wonderful! Finally, everyone is happy” as if making everyone happy is the goal of your church. But that temptation is deadly. The mission of the church is not to satisfy the preferences of church members, but to spread the gospel of Jesus so that sinners are saved and find their satisfaction in him.
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We don’t want churches full of people dissatisfied due to their personal preferences going unfulfilled. Neither do we want churches full of people who are satisfied because everything is running smoothly. No, we want people who are satisfied with God but dissatisfied with the state of the world because they live and breathe the mission. They’re driven by the gospel and the mission on behalf of King Jesus and his kingdom.
As one of the pastors at my church, I am praying for more holy discontent. Our goal is not to make things satisfactory for our members, but to encourage and empower more members to be on mission together.

Read the whole article here.


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The Problem Of Judging The Church’s Now By The Church’s Not Yet (via Trevin Wax)

Trevin Wax unpacks a few thoughts provoked by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Scot McKnight.

Here’s a quote from Bonhoeffer:

“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial.”

And a taste of Wax’s reflections:

Why does it matter to see the church as both “now” and “not yet?” Because many evangelicals are quick to judge and condemn the church by holding it up to the standard of the kingdom’s “not yet.” We take the church “now” and compare it to the kingdom’s “not yet” and then use the kingdom as a sword that judges and condemns our own Christian communities – the vanguard of the kingdom we pray God will bring!
Instead of using the kingdom to judge the church, we should see the kingdom’s reality mirrored in God’s people. We shouldn’t be surprised that the local churches we belong to are communities where we see vibrant manifestations of God’s power and perplexing messiness at the same time.

Read more here.