These are quotes from some awesome books. There are many but these are a few of my favorite quotes for thought and conversation. Hope you enjoy.
THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION CARLTON PEARSON
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the proclamation of redemption not the act of redemption. It is not a command for righteousness; it is a declaration of righteousness. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 59]
According to the way many Evangelical Christians think; Christians are being saved from God by God. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 103]
Instead of encouraging people to become disciples of Christ, we have fallen to recruiting people to become disciples of Christianity, and there is a difference. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 106]
I can't love because I am ordered---least of all can't I love One who seems only to make me miserable here to torture me hereafter. Show me that He is good, that He is lovable, and I shall love Him without being told. Florence Nightingale [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 73]
Belief does not bring salvation. However, belief does recognize salvation, enhance its reality in a persons life and lead to conversion and personal reform. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 103]
Redemption is not a process. Redemption is instantaneous and immediate, the result of the finished work of the Cross. It requires neither action nor belief. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 104]
Just because the world seems unaware of God's love for it doesn't mean the love isn't there. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 111]
Evangelism is not getting people saved; it is informing people of God's redemptive love towards them. Faith doesn't save you; faith just recognizes that you are saved. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 126]
Hell is the experience of the worst possible outcome of our choices, decisions, and creations; the natural consequences of any thought which denies God or says no to who you are in relationship to Him and your purpose in Him. It is the pain we suffer through inaccurate thinking. Hell is the opposite of joy; it is the unfulfillment. It is perhaps, to know who you are and fail to experience that. It is being less, lack, or incomplete. [Conversations with God by Neale D. Walsch THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 138]
Christians believe that Christ died for all sin---except the sin of not believing He died for all sin. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 141]
The word 'disown' in 2 Timothy 2:13 suggests that if you deny or disown Christ, He will disown your denial (and not you). Even if you are unfaithful to Him, He will remain faithful to you. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 138]
We assume that death is automatic, imposed upon humanity without our consent, but that eternal life comes only by choice and election. God's plan was crafted without our participation or permission, and under His system, all are redeemed, even if the rest of us do not believe they should be. This is amazing grace. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 154]
If you are convinced that your only alternative to faith in God is Hell, does it make you faithful or just intimidated? [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 155]
Fear has no place in a relationship where God's grace has already guaranteed our salvation. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 177]
Mankind is not on earth to receive God's wrath, but to fulfill God's worth, which is infinite. We are the expression of God in this world, so does it not follow that we are the mechanism by which He shapes it? [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 180]
We were taught that faith was the only answer or cure to the problem of sin, not the act of atonement itself. [THE GOSPEL OF INCLUSION. CARLTON PEARSON. Pg 203]
THE INESCAPABLE LOVE OF GOD
According to Paul, therefore, God is always and everywhere merciful, but we sometimes experience His mercy (or purifying love) as severity, judgment, (or) punishment. When we live a life of obedience, we experience His mercy as kindness; when we live a life of disobedience, we experience it as severity. [THE INESCAPABLE LOVE OF GOD. THOMAS TALBOTT. Pg 72]
God hardens a heart in order to produce, in the end, a contrite spirit, blinds those who are unready for the truth in order to bring them ultimately to the truth, imprisons all in disobedience so that He may be merciful to all. And the hardening of Pharaoh's heart was an expression of mercy in two respects: First, it revealed to Pharaoh the destructive nature of his own sin, and second, it revealed to the Egyptians something of the nature of God. [THE INESCAPABLE LOVE OF GOD. THOMAS TALBOTT. Pg 73, 75]
THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST
Some have claimed that God has won the victory so long as He has achieved His purpose of giving all people the OPPORTUNITY to accept salvation freely and saving those who do accept it. Thus God's victory is compatible with the damnation of some. [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 25]
The 'all things' that are reconciled in v. 20 are without any doubt, the same 'all things' that are created in v. 16. In other words, every single created thing. It is not ' all without distinction' (some of every kind of thing) but all 'without exception' every single thing). [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 45]
The reconciliation of creation is thus already achieved in Christ and yet is only experienced as a reality by those in Christ by faith. They are the first to taste the reconciliation that has been won for all. The church, then, is a present sign of the reconciliation that the whole creation will one day experience. [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 51]
To get some understanding of the love of God one must begin with some prior notion of human love or one could not even get into the hermeneutical circle. If we are to speak in any meaningful way of God's love, it must bear, at the very least, an analogical relationship to human love. But then a Christian's understanding of God's love will be nuanced by its revelation in salvation history. We stretch our concept of God's love across the poles of creation, covenant, and redemption. We drape it over the shape of the cross to follow its contours and wrap it around the stone rolled away from the tomb. Only then can we begin to see the shape of God's heart. If you want to understand love, then don't think about our love for God...but ponder His love for us in sending His Son to die to take away our sin. [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 101, 102]
God does not torture anybody -- He simply withdraws His protection that allows people to live under the illusions that sin is not necessarily harmful to a truly human life. The natural consequences of sin take their course, and it becomes harder and harder to fool oneself into believing the seductive lies of sin anymore. In this way hell is educative and points us towards our need for divine mercy. [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 101-2]
The universalist will see the church in much the same way as the non-universalist. She (the Church) is Christ's bride, His body, the community of the redeemed...the children of God. However, to the universalist the church is also a microcosm of the age to come. In the church one finds people from every tribe and tongue joined in one body. Our calling is to act as a prophetic sign to the nations representing the destiny of all humanity. [THE EVANGELICAL UNIVERSALIST. GREGORY MACDONALD. Pg 167]
IF GRACE IS TRUE
GULLEY & MULHOLLAND
The Bible was never intended to end the conversation, but to encourage it. God didn't fall silent with the last chapter of Revelation. He continues to reveal Himself. It makes no sense to glorify the accounts of our ancestors' encounters with God while dismissing our experiences with Him today. [IF GRACE IS TRUE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 38]
It eventually occurred to me that my ultimate allegiance belonged not to the Bible, but to the One of whom it testified. We are not to worship the Bible; we are to worship the One the Bible reveals. Jesus invited us to look up from the page and into God's face. [IF GRACE IS TRUE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 42]
I knew from personal experience how easily we attribute all our experiences to God's hand. This habit leaves us with an understanding of God that is not only inaccurate but also potentially harmful. Just because something bad happened to us does not mean God caused it to happen. Just because someone treated us ungraciously doesn't mean their actions and attitudes represent God. Unless we understand God's character and will, we easily assume every action, even the most horrible, must be credited to God. I had to sort through the vast variety of images of God until I found one that matched my experience. It finally occurred to me to trust someone I believe knew God's heart -- Jesus. [IF GRACE IS TRUE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 44, 60]
Holiness is god's ability to confront evil without being defiled. God's holiness does not require Him to keep evil at arm's length. God's holiness enables Him to take the wicked in His arms and transform him. God is never in danger of being defiled. No evil can alter His love, for His gracious character is beyond corruption. [IF GRACE IS TRUE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 74]
Human brokenness is not the result of God's wrath, but the reason for God's grace. [IF GRACE IS TRUE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 100]
READ & SEARCH GOD'S PLAN
God's will prevails over everything, and His ability and power back up and perform His will. [READ AND SEARCH GOD'S PLAN. HAROLD LOVELACE. Pg 15]
If man's will can prevail over God's will, then God cannot be sovereign. [READ AND SEARCH GOD'S PLAN. HAROLD LOVELACE. Pg 17]
Man may rebel, but he will be corrected. Remember God loves the world, and 'whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.'[READ AND SEARCH GOD'S PLAN. HAROLD LOVELACE. Pg 18]
You live according to the kind of God that you believe in. [READ AND SEARCH GOD'S PLAN. HAROLD LOVELACE. Pg 35]
WHATEVER BECAME OF MELANIE
ALLAN E CHEVRIER
Truth to the humble seeker is not a destination he reaches or an intellectual pinnacle he achieves early in his Christian walk, but a glorious, lifelong journey and quest toward the very heart of God. [WHAT EVER BECAME OF MELANIE? ALLAN E. CHEVRIER. Pg 44]
Everything and everyone belong to Him. This also includes us. And the fact of the matter is that He is now in the process of claiming is inheritance, not mutilating and destroying it. [WHAT EVER BECAME OF MELANIE? ALLAN E. CHEVRIER. Pg 67]
Everything and everyone belong to Him. This also includes us. And the fact of the matter is that He is now in the process of claiming is inheritance, not mutilating and destroying it. [WHAT EVER BECAME OF MELANIE? ALLAN E. CHEVRIER. Pg 67]
IF GOD IS LOVE
GULLEY & MULHOLLAND
Pure religion is not about earning heaven or escaping hell. It is about discerning our proper place and role in creation -- that God did not create us to be cowering supplicants or greedy schemers, striving to escape this world. Instead, we see ourselves as God sees us -- as the crown of creation... capable of loving as He has loved, and destined to dwell with God forever. When God looks on us, God smiles. Pure religion is learning to smile back. We no longer focus on escaping this world but in transforming it. [IF GOD IS LOVE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 36, 38]
A gracious church is a safe place to ask questions, explore new ideas, admit our struggles, and seek assistance. A gracious church is a place where people can come with questions, doubts and struggles without fear of being condemned. [IF GOD IS LOVE. GULLEY & MULHOLLAND. Pg 174, 175]
A P ADAMS
The Atonement was not to satisfy God's justice, but to reveal His love. The justice of God is not against the sinner, demanding his condemnation, but for him, ensuring his salvation. God is not in contrast with, much less in opposition to Christ in the Atonement, but in perfect harmony and accord. The Atonement is not the exclusive work of Christ in order to reconcile God to the world, but it is the work of God IN Christ to reconcile the world unto Himself. Christ does not have to plead with God in order to make Him willing to pardon the sinner, but God by His ministers, 'beseeches' the sinner to make them willing to be pardoned. Hence the Atonement is not to propitiate God, but man; not to make God favorably disposed to man, but to make His already existing favor known to man. Christ did not die as our substitute, but as our companion and associate; not instead of man, but with him and for him. Christ did not die to save us from the penalty of sin, but from sin itself. Christ did not die that we might not die, but to deliver us out of death in which we were already involved. The sinner is not redeemed because he repents, but he is called upon to repent because he has been redeemed. The Atonement is not the cause of God's love to man, giving rise to that love, but the effect, flowing out of that love. The final outcome of the atoning scheme is not a partial success, but a perfect, absolute, and universal triumph! [THE ATONEMENT. A P ADAMS]
DESTINED FOR SALVATION
It is of great significance that when Jesus was on the cross, he did not pray saying, "Father, throw them all into hell because they have free will and they know very well what they are doing." Instead, he said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). [DESTINED FOR SALVATION. KALEN FRISTAD. Pg. 44]
THE SHACK WILLIAM YOUNG
(This is after Mack noticed the scars in Papa's wrists.) Papa says: 'Don't ever think what my Son chose to do didn't cost US dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark...We were there together."
Mack was surprised. 'At the cross? Now wait, I thought you LEFT him---you know---'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?""
Papa says: "You misunderstand the mystery there. Regardless of what he FELT at that moment, I never left him."
"When all you can see is your pain, perhaps then you lose sight of me?"[ pg 96]
" A bird is not defined by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image". [ pg 100]
"The real underlying flaw in your life, Mackenzie, is that you don't think I am good. If you knew I was good and that everything---the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives---is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me. But you don't. Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me". [ pg 126]
Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me." [ pg 185]
(Papa and Mack are talking and Papa tells Mack that everything is about Jesus, all creation and history. Papa tells him that Jesus is at the very center of His purpose and because of Jesus being fully human and fully God then both in relationship to complete Papa's purpose and there is no plan B.)
"Seems pretty risky," Mack surmised.
"Maybe for you, but not for me. There has never been a question that what I wanted from the beginning, I will get."
Papa set forward and crossed her arms on the table. "Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross: so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world"
"The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?" (Mack said.)
"The whole world, Mack."
SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE BY JAKE COLSEN
How could God put him through all of that? Dont think God was only a distant spectator that day. He was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. This is something they did together. This was not some sacrifice God required in order to be able to love us, but a sacrifice God himself provided for what we needed. He leapt in front of a stampeding horse and pushed us to safety. He was crushed by the weight of our sin so that we could be rescued from it. Its an incredible story. [So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore - Jake Colsen Loc. 1090-94]
Utterly engulfed, And wanting more. Buried, Drowned, Intoxicated, With the vastness of Love. Losing myself as the waves wash over me, Through me, Surrounding me, Caught up in a hurricane of overwhelming peace, I have let go, And He has found me. [Rooms - James L. Rubart Loc. 6315-24]
IS GOD TO BLAME? MOVING BEYOND PAT ANSWERS TO THE PROBLEM OF EVIL BY GREGORY BOYD
The cross reveals that God's omnipotence is displayed in self- sacrificial love, not sheer might. God conquers sin and the devil not by a sovereign decree but by a wise and humble submission to crucifixion.13 In doing this, the cross reveals that God's omnipotence is not primarily about control but about his compelling love. God conquers evil and wins the heart of people by self-sacrificial love, not by coercive force. [Is God to Blame?: Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Evil; by Gregory A. Boyd Loc 478-81]
God wasn't incarnate before Jesus was born. The Word of God became a human baby, grew up to be an adult man, entered into suffering, and took upon himself our sin. To question God's experience of time by postulating that God really experiences all of history in a timeless fashion is to question the authenticity of the incarnation. [Is God to Blame?: Moving Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Evil; by Gregory A. Boyd Loc. 491-93]
GOD OF THE POSSIBLE. A BIBLICAL INTRODUCTION TO THE OPEN VIEW OF GOD BY GREGORY A BOYD
God's perfect knowledge would allow him to anticipate every possible move and every possible combination of moves, together with every possible response he might make to each of them, for every possible agent throughout history. And he would be able to do this from eternity past. Isn't a God who is able to know perfectly these possibilities wiser than a God who simply foreknows or predetermines one story line that the future will follow? And isn't a God who perfectly anticipates and wisely responds to everything a free agent might do more intelligent than a God who simply knows what a free agent will do? Anticipating and responding to possibilities takes problem- solving intelligence. [God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God.Gregory A. Boyd Loc. 1232-36]
In a general sense, the Creator must be responsible for everything that transpires in his creation. He unilaterally decided that the risk of free agents choosing evil, breaking his heart, and bringing nightmarish suffering upon themselves and others was worth it. He is responsible for creating a cosmos that was capable of this. This doesn't imply that it is his fault if and when these agents freely choose evil courses of action, however. If agents are truly self-determining, God is not responsible for the individual evil choices that these agents make. In a small way, we do the exact same thing when we have children. We know (or at least should know) all the risks involved-we and others may get hurt. Love is risky, but we decide to accept the risk and bring children into the world because we judge that love is worth the risk. In this sense, we are responsible for their lives. But the more our children become autonomous, self-determining, morally responsible agents, the less responsibility parents have for the choices their children make. To the extent that they act out of their self- determining freedom... [God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God by Gregory A. Boyd Loc. 1312-18]
LOVE WINS A BOOK ABOUT HEAVEN, HELL, AND THE FATE OF EVERY PERSON WHO EVER LIVED BY ROB BELL
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell)- Highlight Loc. 1438-41
Thats what Gods love does: it speaks new words into the world and into us. Potentials, possibilities, and the promise that God has an imagination and is not afraid to use it. Hard and fast, definitive declarations then, about how God will or will not organize the new world must leave plenty of room for all kinds of those possibilities. This doesnt diminish Gods justice or take less seriously the very real consequences of sin and rebellion, it simply acknowledges with humility the limits of our powers of speculation.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 1442-50
Now back to that original question: Does God get what God wants? is a good question, an interesting question, an important question that gives us much to discuss. But theres a better question, one we can answer, one that takes all of this speculation about the future, which no one has been to and then returned with hard, empirical evidence, and brings it back to one absolute we can depend on in the midst of all of this, which turns out to be another question. Its not Does God get what God wants? but Do we get what we want? And the answer to that is a resounding, affirming, sure, and positive yes. Yes, we get what we want. God is that loving.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell)- Highlight Loc. 1566-71
What happened on the cross is like . . . a defendant going free, a relationship being reconciled, something lost being redeemed, a battle being won, a final sacrifice being offered, so that no one ever has to offer another one again, an enemy being loved.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 1640-43
When Jesus is presented only as the answer that saves individuals from their sin and death, we run the risk of shrinking the Gospel down to something just for humans, when God has inaugurated a movement in Jesuss resurrection to renew, restore, and reconcile everything on earth or in heaven (Col. 1), just as God originally intended it. The powers of death and destruction have been defeated on the most epic scale imaginable. Individuals are then invited to see their story in the context of a far larger story, one that includes all of creation.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) Highlight Loc. 1759-71
How does the sun give off that much energy and yet still regenerate itself at the same time? How do bees know to take that pollen from that flower over there and put it over here in this one? Why does my lawn have brown patches where I cant get the grass to grow, while five feet away grass grows through the cracks in the concrete in the driveway, grass much like the grass I wish would grow in those brown patches? This energy, spark, and electricity that pulses through all of creation sustains it, fuels it, and keeps it going. Growing, evolving, reproducing, making more. In many traditions, this energy is understood to be impersonal. Much like the Force in Star Wars, it has no name or face or personality. Its assumed to be indifferent to us. Our joy, meaning, and happiness are simply irrelevant. It does its thing; we do ours. This is not, however, how things are explained in the creation poem that begins the Bible. In this poem, the energy that gives life to everything is called the Word of God, and it is for us. God speaks . . . and it happens. God says it . . . and it comes into being. Before, its chaotic and empty and dark. But then God speaks into that dark disorder radiant, pulsating life with all of its wonder and diversity and creativity.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) Highlight Loc. 1836-39
Jesus is supracultural. He is present within all cultures, and yet outside of all cultures. He is for all people, and yet he refuses to be co-opted or owned by any one culture.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 1863-70
John remembers Jesus saying, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (chap. 14). This is as wide and expansive a claim as a person can make. What he doesnt say is how, or when, or in what manner the mechanism functions that gets people to God through him. He doesnt even state that those coming to the Father through him will even know that they are coming exclusively through him. He simply claims that whatever God is doing in the world to know and redeem and love and restore the world is happening through him. And so the passage is exclusive, deeply so, insisting on Jesus alone as the way to God. But it is an exclusivity on the other side on inclusivity.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 1870-94
First, there is exclusivity. Jesus is the only way. Everybody who doesnt believe in him and follow him in the precise way that is defined by the group doing the defining isnt saved, redeemed, going to heaven, and so on. There is that kind of exclusion. Youre either in, or youre going to hell. Two groups. Then there is inclusivity. The kind that is open to all religions, the kind that trusts that good people will get in, that there is only one mountain, but it has many paths. This inclusivity assumes that as long as your heart is fine or your actions measure up, youll be okay. And then there is an exclusivity on the other side of inclusivity. This kind insists that Jesus is the way, but holds tightly to the assumption that the all-embracing, saving love of this particular Jesus the Christ will of course include all sorts of unexpected people from across the cultural spectrum. As soon as the door is opened to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baptists from Cleveland, many Christians become very uneasy, saying that then Jesus doesnt matter anymore, the cross is irrelevant, it doesnt matter what you believe, and so forth. Not true. Absolutely, unequivocally, unalterably not true. What Jesus does is declare that he, and he alone, is saving everybody. And then he leaves the door way, way open. Creating all sorts of possibilities. He is as narrow as himself and as wide as the universe. He is as exclusive as himself and as inclusive as containing every single particle of creation. When people use the word Jesus, then, its important for us to ask who theyre talking about. Are they referring to a token of tribal membership, a tamed, domesticated Jesus who waves the flag and promotes whatever values they have decided their nation needs to return to? Are they referring to the supposed source of the imperial impulse of their group, which wants to conquer other groups in the name of Jesus? Are they referring to the logo or slogan of their political, economic, or military system through which they sanctify their greed and lust for power? Or are they referring to the very life source of the universe who has walked among us and continues to sustain everything with his love and power and grace and energy? Jesus is both near and intimate and personal, and big and wide and transcendent.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 2082-87
But theres more. Millions have been taught that if they dont believe, if they dont accept in the right way, that is, the way the person telling them the gospel does, and they were hit by a car and died later that same day, God would have no choice but to punish them forever in conscious torment in hell. God would, in essence, become a fundamentally different being to them in that moment of death, a different being to them forever. A loving heavenly father who will go to extraordinary lengths to have a relationship with them would, in the blink of an eye, become a cruel, mean, vicious tormenter who would ensure that they had no escape from an endless future of agony.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 2096-98 And that is the secret deep in the heart of many people, especially Christians: they dont love God. They cant, because the God theyve been presented with and taught about cant be loved. That God is terrifying and traumatizing and unbearable.
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived (Rob Bell) - Highlight Loc. 2102-8
Because if something is wrong with your God, if your God is loving one second and cruel the next, if your God will punish people for all of eternity for sins committed in a few short years, no amount of clever marketing or compelling language or good music or great coffee will be able to disguise that one, true, glaring, untenable, unacceptable, awful reality.
THE HOLY BIBLE OF INCLUSION BY D E PAULK
Receiving reconciliation is therefore not an attempted to finish a work that has already been completedbut rather an acknowledgment of the finished work of Christ. ( pg 53)
In essence the world was reconciled to God through Christ in eternity...before reconciliation ever showed up in time (Rev 13:8). In other words, when Jesus bore Calvary's cross in 33 AD He had already borne it eons prior in eternity. Jesus took on flesh in the fullness of time so that we could see in time what has always been in eternity. (pg 63)
1 Timothy 4:10: Those who believe are saved. Those who do not believe are saved. But those who believe have connected their minds to what has already happened to their souls. That's why they are especially saved. Unbelievers are saved but unaware. Believers are aware of or awakened to their salvation. (pg 74)
This cyclical phenomenon is evidence of the providential mercy of God as proof, if you will, that God continually sends Messengers (Messiahs) throughout history in an undying attempt to awaken mankind to the Divine. As long as we cling to our generation's savior figure to the exclusion of all others we fail to see the one God who sends the same message to each generation. Furthermore, as we choose to see the Christ throughout history, and in several different Messianic figures we don't have to lose our connection to the Jesus Person in order to begin walking in the Christ Consciousness. (pg 262-3)
AN NEW KIND OF CHRISTIANITY
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (Brian D. McLaren) Highlight Loc. 1769-76
So the God of the fundamentalists is a competitive warrioralways jealous of rivals and determined to drive them into defeat and disgrace. And the God of the fundamentalists is superficially exactingdemanding technical perfection in regard to ceremonial and legal matters while minimizing deeper concerns about social justiceespecially where outsiders and outcasts are concerned. Similarly, the fundamentalist God is exclusive, faithfully loving one in-group and rejectingperhaps even hatingall others. The fundamentalist God is also deterministiccontrolling rather than interacting, a mover of events but never moved by them. And finally, though the fundamentalist God may be patient for a while, he (fundamentalist versions of God tend to be very male) is ultimately violent, eventually destined to explode with unquenchable rage, condemnation, punishment, torture, and vengeance if you push him too far.
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (Brian D. McLaren) Highlight Loc. 2340-46
Most Evangelicals havent got the foggiest notion of what the gospel really is. He then asked me how I would define the gospel, and I answered as any good Romans Protestant would, quoting Romans. He followed up with this simple but annoying rhetorical question: Youre quoting Paul. Shouldnt you let Jesus define the gospel? When I gave him a quizzical look, he asked, What was the gospel according to Jesus? A little humiliated, I mumbled something akin to You tell me, and he replied, For Jesus, the gospel was very clear: The kingdom of God is at hand. Thats the gospel according to Jesus. Right? I again mumbled something, maybe I guess so. Seeing my lack of conviction, he added, Shouldnt you read Paul in light of Jesus, instead of reading Jesus in light of Paul?
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (Brian D. McLaren) Highlight Loc. 2371-73
Instead, he came to announce a new kingdom, a new way of life, a new way of peace that carried good news to all people of every religion. A new kingdom is much bigger than a new religion, and in fact it has room for many religious traditions within it.
A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (Brian D. McLaren) Highlight Loc. 2834-42
These things, without love, Paul says, are worth nothing. If he were writing today, he might say: Though I interpret the biblical text with state-of-the-art hermeneutics and preach sermons with flawless homiletics, though all my theologies are systematic, all my books, blogs, and podcasts scrupulously orthodox, and my books always best-sellers, without love I am static on a radio or an error message on a computer screen. Though I can show decadal church growth in the double digits and raise millions of dollars in building funds, though I have files full of testimonials from people saved, healed, delivered, and blessed through my ministry, without love Im just another clever, two-bit purveyor of goods and services in the religious-industrial complex. Though I have worldwide impact, traveling by private jet and broadcasting on cable, satellite, and the Internet, though my budgets balance and my seminaries are bursting with beautiful and handsome valedictorians (all of whom are above average in every way), and though presidents invite me to the White House and consider me a key person, without love I am nothing.
GOD OF THE POSSIBLE
God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God (Gregory A. Boyd) Highlight Loc. 132-35
Theologically, several unsolvable problems inherent in the classical view can be avoided when one accepts that God is the God of the possible and not simply a God of eternally static certainties. Practically, a God of eternally static certainties is incapable of interacting with humans in a relevant way. The God of the possible, by contrast, is a God who can work with us to truly change what might have been into what should be.
GOD BELIEVES IN YOU
Francois du Toit
god_believes_in_you_du Toit Highlight Loc. 1815-22
The word became flesh and has taken up permanent residence (tabernacled) in us, and we gazed with wonder and amazement upon the mystery of our inclusion in Him; (theaomai to gaze upon, to perceive) We saw His glory (Greek, doxa, the display of His opinion), the glory as of the original, authentic begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (The original mind, or opinion of God, preserved and perceived in Christ.) We have grasped that He is the revelation of our completeness. And of His fullness have we all received, grace against grace. (Grace undeserved) For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. He who is in the bosom of the Father, the only (original, authentic) begotten of the Father, He is our guide who accurately declares and interprets the invisible God within us. John 1:1-5, 9-14,16-18.