20th-century Theologian Quotes
Our fundamental sin is that we place ourselves in the position of God and divide the world between what we judge to be good and what we judge to be evil. And this judgment is the primary thing that keeps us from doing the central thing God created us to do, namely, love like He loves.
Over this period many issues have been clarified. Today we know very much more about these twenty-seven short writings from a little religious sub-culture in the Roman empire than ever before. Nevertheless, they risk being forgotten - partly because the link with the Christian history which they have influenced has been broken, partly because many of our educated contemporaries come from other religious and cultural traditions, and partly because the results of historical-critical research are so complex that many people are deterred from trying to grasp them.
When it comes to abortion, euthanasia, and other sanctity of life issues, we should not suppose that our choice is between reforming the law and working to change the culture. We must do both. The work of legal reform is necessary, though not sufficient, ingredient in the larger project of cultural transformation. Yes, we must change people's hearts. But no, we must not wait for changes of heart before changing the laws. We must do both at the same time, recognizing that just laws help to form good hearts, and unjust laws impede every other effort in the cause of the Gospel of Life.
Only in the longing for a world of economic and sexual justice together, and not subordinated to one another, can the encounter with the divine take place. But this is an encounter to be found at the crossroads of desire, when one dares to leave the ideological order of the heterosexual pervasive normative. This is an encounter with indecency, and with the indecency of God and Christianity.
Seminary also introduced me to the historical study of Jesus and Christian origins. I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world... I also found the claim that Jesus and Christianity were the only way of salvation to be troublesome.
... hunting of a beast, inventing of an instrument, laying down the foundations of a new system of economy, setting up a new form or government, kindling a war, or making peace. All these activities of man depend upon his intellectual ability. Emotions creeping in cannot but spoil them.
A wise man changes his mind sometimes, but a fool never. To change your mind is the best evidence you have one. The last redoubt holding out for me was the year-day principle (on which I had written a defense in 1972 for the Southern Publishing Association Daniel volume which was published in 1978). This collapsed when I handled hundreds of books of commentary on Revelation in the Library of Congress stacks and found that the respective authors had in many cases suggested dates that seemed appropriate for their own time but ridiculous later. It became clear that we, as Adventists, had done the same as our predecessors.
'Amen',... in Hebrew, is one of a cluster from a root which signifies reliability, integrity and truth.... Our utterance of it is acknowledgment of God's 'Amen', which always goes before. The recognition of God's integrity and truthfulness, unswerving faithfulness in execution of his promises, is so central to Judaism's faith that 'Amen' may almost be taken as a name for God. We might miss this when we read, in the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah, that 'he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth', but the Hebrew here, if rendered literally, would be 'by the God Amen'.
We must listen to the black folk, the white folk, the poor folk, the rich folk. We need to know what marginal folk are saying, what corporate rulers are saying. You can't preach if you don't know what the folks are saying, not only with their mouths, but with the conditions of their lives.
When most of Europe was still illiterate, the Hutterites had established a system of primary schools. Among them education was compulsory. They believed that their movement depended on an educated people who could practice discipleship in light of New Testament teachings. Of course, the state churches felt no such need. Their religion was primarily in the hands of religious professionals. The layman's chief function in such ecclesiastical systems was to obey. For this purpose ignorance served as well as, if not better than, knowledge.
Prayer is the most important activity a born-again Christian can perform. It should head your list of priorities, for certainly the world around us desperately needs prayer. Prayer will open the door for God to do a glorious work in these last days. Prayer will stem the tide of evil.
Instead of seeing all of this as God's extraordinary grace, we come to expect the comfort and joys that God gives us as the baseline, the measure of what we believe to be our due. When our comfort level drops below our expectations, we are shocked and angered, and even foolishly express our outrage to God Himself.