In a fragmented society in which major institutions like the church and the community no longer play the same role of bringing people together, owning identical possessions becomes one of the chief ways in which we experience community, overcoming our pattern through shared patterns of consumption
When I pray, I am not praying to a philosophically complicated absentee creator. When I manage to pay attention to the continual love song, I am not trying to envisage the impossible-to-imagine domain beyond the universe. I do not picture kings, thrones, crystal pavements, or any of the possible cosmological updatings of these things. I look across, not up; I look into the world, not out or away. When I pray I see a face, a human face among other human faces. It is a face in an angry crowd, a crowd engorged by the confidence that it is doing the right thing, that it is being virtuous. The man in the middle of the crowd does not look virtuous. He looks tired and frightened and battered by the passions around him. But he is the crowd's focus and centre. The centre of everything, in fact, because if you are a Christian you do not believe that the characteristic action of the God of everything is to mould the course of the universe powerfully from afar. For a Christian, the most essential thing does in time, in all of human history, is to be that man in the crowd; a man under arrest, and on his way to our common catastrophe.
In my experience, the greatest successes don’t come from grandiose scenarios of good intentions engendered by temporarily pumped-up motivation. Rather, the most lasting and significant positive effects result from small things, done consistently, in strategic places.
When the final 2010 Census came in, it made clear that we're not walking away from our lawn tractors and two-car garages anytime soon. Ananalysisof eight metro areas, including Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Austin revealed that in the past decade, 96 percent of the population growth occurred in the suburbs. Some tookgreat exceptionto this analysis, but Brookings' Frey laterconfided, "The sad truth of the matter is that there's really very little information on this back-to-the-city thing, at least from a demographic standpoint."
No doubt this would benefit from some nuancing, but it doesn't change my passion for the city in the least. Nor does it change my conviction that the proportional absence of Christians in the urban cores everywhere should lead Christians to move into the city, despite what demographics are saying (or not saying).
I love the friends God has brought into my life. I met Jeremy & Ashley Parsons over four years ago when we were in the early stages of gathering a core group for Redeemer . They are amazing people, great friends, grace-filled leaders, and people who have leaned on the kindness of God through much change, transition, and turmoil.
Thrilling for me to see the Star run a story on their adoption. Eager to see God move more people in our church family in this way — and eager to celebrate with them when He provides.
No idea how long this price lasts for the Kindle edition of the Jesus Storybook Bible, but I picked mine up today and can't recommend this strongly enough! Katie and I read this to Quinn everyday, and I think it is honestly one of the best introductions to biblical theology there is. I give dozens of the hardbacks away every year as well as use it every time I teach Redeemer DNA
"We may do well to recognize what seems to be the consistent thrust of the whole Bible—that unless and until, in faith, the future of the world becomes more important than the future of the church, the church has no future. As Jesus put it, the most dangerous thing you can do is seek to save your life . . ."