In summary, I consider this book a successful challenge to the ruling paradigm that sees a major shift in Bonhoeffer from his idealism of Discipleship to a realist posture in Ethics… I no longer think Bonhoeffer made a tragic mistake in entering into the conspiracy and so shifted from his pacifism because I’m not convinced he entered into the conspiracy. Bonhoeffer may well have sustained his pacifism.
I believe, and I think you believe, that an understanding of who God is and what He has done is what is ultimately needed to turn people away from abortion. But if those who supposedly represent this God present themselves as angry, hateful and mean-spirited, then it is foolish to believe that their God will be perceived as anything different. To warn of sin’s consequences and still to love is our calling, and it is the power of the Gospel against the greatest of evils.
I have moved twice in the past two years, both times to a new community where I had few connections. As a result, I have visited a number of congregations in search of a new church home. Based on my experiences, I offer this practical list of do’s and don’ts for welcoming guests to your church.
So that is what we have started trying to prioritize at the church where I preach. We are trying to emphasize generational generosity and creating atmospheres conducive for our senior saints to rub shoulders with our younger adults. We are also trying to help the younger saints see how much they need the wisdom of those more mature than they are.
Power…real, authentic, leadership-conference-worthy power…came in confusing forms. He said it came in the poor in spirit; I thought it was the confident. He said traits like mourning and meek and merciful were top-o-the-line kingdom dynamics.
Wait a minute! What about leadership? Skills? Persuasiveness?
Jesus didn’t deny any of them. He rerouted them. Leaders are to be the very best as followers. Talent is not the self-groomed but the Spirit-driven.
It strikes me when I read sentiments like these that the world needs pastors. It doesn’t need some fancy new form of caregiver. Pastors do not offer anything particularly new. The best pastors are not necessarily famous; the best pastors are there for their people. They are shepherds. This is a common descriptor but a meaningful one. Pastors lead their people through the waystations of life. Pastors celebrate with their members in spectacular seasons and stick close to their members in suffering. There need be nothing innovative or dazzling in this work; the major palliative a pastor gives is Christ-shaped care and love.
If your pride pushes you toward performing with excellence, doing your best, and finding joy in the accomplishments of others, it’s probably helping you become a better leader. But if there’s even a hit of competition or self-promotion in it, it’s probably having a negative effect on your relationships. That can hurt both your life and your leadership.
People naturally partition the world into round numbers. We say it takes 30 minutes to get to work and ask where we see ourselves in five years. Rain Man knows when 246 toothpicks fall on the floor, but most of us would hazard a guess of couple hundred (and a clean 250 came in the box). High school students are much more likely to retake the SATs when their scores fall just below a double-zero ending. Baseball players hitting .300–the threshold for a fine season–often remove themselves from a final at-bat to avoid dropping to .299.
George Orwell probably didn’t know how much we’d talk about him so many years later, but our first inkling came 30 years ago today when Apple debuted its famous “1984” TV commercial.
The spot, directed by Ridley Scott, aired during Super Bowl XVIII. It opened on a Big Brother-type leader speaking to the sheepish gray masses from a massive screen. A female athlete in full color soon runs in, however, shattering Big Brother’s image with a throw of a sledgehammer. “On January 24th Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984,’” the tagline read.