Quotes


Mark Batterson posted a great article about hearing God’s voice today:

“I recently read a fascinating story about a musical trainer who worked with Opera singers who could not hit certain notes within an Octave, even though the notes fell within their vocal range. It was a mystery. The trainer did extensive testing on their vocal chords, but he couldn’t find any reason why they couldn’t hit those notes. On a whim, he tested their hearing. And what he discovered is that these Opera singers could not sing a note they could not hear. The problem wasn’t singing. The problem was hearing…”

Read the rest here.

If you or someone you know is wading through life in a state of – what I like to call – postmodern skepticism, then you should read Wade Bradshaw’s Searching for a Better God  (Authentic Publishing, 2007). 

The work itself is fairly short on length, but long on depth.  

Bradshaw highlights the issue that we are all searching for what he calls “a better hope.” His perspective is largely sociological in nature, and given his veterinary background, his reasoning and logic are pure are hard to quarrel with.  

Bradshaw obviously has experience in dealing with the “hard questions.”  He answers them skillfully and thoroughly.  

He draws an interesting distinction between what he calls the “Old Story” – i.e., that God’s very existence is what is at question – and the “New Story”  – i.e., that God’s virtue is what is at question.  The difference seems subtle at first, but as Bradshaw elaborates, it becomes obvious to any reader that he is describing accurately the predominant viewpoint in today’s postmodern emergent culture.  

Oftentimes I find myself hopeless in the quest to articulate answers to these tough questions like: “Is God Angry? Is God Distant? Is God a Bully?”  Bradshaw provides clear, thorough answers to these questions from multiple perspectives and suggests that there exists a path, through wisdom, which will guide us to place of further understanding. 

Overall, the work is weighty in nature, but not too much to digest.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who deals regularly with postmoderns, or anyone who considers himself a postmodern.  

Here’s a quote from the book that sums up, in my opinion, Bradshaw’s thesis: “Two stories, three paths, but really only one human condition: living in a dying, cooling world and in need of a better hope” (40).

Check it out here.

I’m reviewing this book as part of my involvement as an Ooze blogger, check out what’s going on over there too.  

Tony Campolo once threw a birthday party for a prostitute in Honolulu (their paths crossed in a diner late one night where he overheard that the next day was her birthday and that she had never had a birthday party; so he threw her a suprise party the next night).  Harry (who owned the diner where the party was being held) asked Campolo what kind of church he went to.  Campolo responded:

“The kind of church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:30am,” to which Harry responded, “…there’s no church like that.  If there was I’d join it.”  

“That’s the kind of church Jesus came to create,” Campolo writes, “I don’t know where  we got the other one that’s so prim and proper. But anyone who reads the New Testament knows that Jesus loved to lavish grace on the left-out and the used-up and the put-down.  The sinners loved him because he partied with them.  The lepers of society found in him someone they could eat and drink with.”  (The Kingdom of God is a Party

This story illustrates a common problem in churches today: we’re not acting like Jesus intended and people, like Harry, are tired of churches that are more concerned about being proper than acting like Christ would. 

I often struggle with what the church should look like and how we could do things differently to be more like what Jesus would want us to be, which has led me to a conclusion about the church.  

It, like any other human institution, is bound to fail.  

Sounds hopeless, right?  How do we fix it?

Maybe we should start by throwing a birthday party for a prostitute…

Check out this article by my great friend, Jeff Goins.

“I turned right instead of left. That’s all I did, and it made all the difference. I don’t know why I did it exactly. My wife had sent me out to pick up some groceries, and it was habit to turn the steering wheel left when pulling out of our apartment complex. Yet, something inside compelled me to go right, driving past the lower income housing in Southeast Nashville, where every sign quickly goes from English to Spanish to Arabic…”

Read the rest here.

So the question is: when you hear that voice calling you to turn the opposite way, will you?

“You’ve never felt in place
And you tell yourself it’s all okay
But something’s different today
You want to run the opposite way

And it seems like you’re locked in a cage
And you need to find a way of escape
When everyone is setting the pace
It’s okay to run the opposite way”
– Leeland, “Opposite Way”

“Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, its fears,

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.” William Wordsworth