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" Evil exists. Evil is real. One of the hallmarks of evil is that it seeks to convince its victims that it exists 'out there.' "
" The toppling of idols - even respectable, admired, best-practice, fastest-growing idols - is always the road to liberation. "
" Sin is protean. It is a cancer that keeps mutating, and just when you think you have killed off one form, it turns out a deadlier strain yet is threatening your heart. "
" Authentic spiritual authority is what puts you in touch with reality. "
" Nobody lives up to the norms that God had in mind when he first created human beings. "
" Prudence is not the same thing as caution. Caution is a helpful strategy when you're crossing a minefield; it's a disaster when you're in a gold rush. "
" I hate how hard spiritual transformation is and how long it takes. I hate thinking about how many people have gone to church for decades and remain joyless or judgmental or bitter or superior. "
" I know that those of us who go into church work are to regard ourselves as servants, are to offer our lives as a gift. "
" There are dozens of references to God in the Scriptures for every one to the figure of Satan. This reflects a sometimes forgotten theological truth that the devil is by no means God's counterpart. He is a creature, not the Creator. "
" I have given up the idea that there is an opposition-free church out there. But I have gained something else - an appreciation for the gift of opposition. When it comes, I learn something about my motives. When it comes, I get to test my courage. "
" There are no clear boundary lines between what is physiological, what is psychological, and what is spiritual. Those are language domains that make sense and have integrity but overlap significantly. "
" To have my mind racing and my heart beating fast over glorious possibilities is very close to the summit of life experience for me. "
" Some leaders are not intimidated by opposition; they actually thrive on it. It wakes them up. It energizes them. It calls them to battle. It causes them to mobilize their thoughts and energy. "
" Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard all began as Jesus-inspired efforts to love God with all ones' mind. "
" Normally, if someone's legacy will outlast their life, it's apparent when they die. On the day when Alexander the Great, or Caesar Augustus, or Napoleon, or Socrates, or Muhammad died, their reputations were immense. When Jesus died, his tiny, failed movement appeared clearly at an end. "
" My main job is to live with deep contentment, joy, and confidence in my everyday experience of life with God. Everything else is job number two. "
" Jesus is why women have traveled continents, spent decades learning a strange language so they could translate the Gospel, planting churches, caring for the sick, educating the illiterate, and marching for the oppressed. "
" Ghettos and barrios and abusive homes and trauma wards may produce scarred souls; they can cripple more human spirits than they strengthen. "
" My wife is one of the most extroverted people I know. She could out-talk Oprah and Joyce Meyer simultaneously. "
" I don't have a problem with delegation. I love to delegate. I am either lazy enough, or busy enough, or trusting enough, or congenial enough, that the notion leaving tasks in someone else's lap doesn't just sound wise to me, it sounds attractive. "
" Authority can be faked. That's why impersonating a police officer is a crime. Sometimes the outward appearances of authority can be deceiving. "
" In my love-challenged condition, seeing a difficulty for someone else can leave me feeling a little more smug or superior-by-comparison. "
" Although the church has often been far too slow to follow his lead, Jesus' insistence that women, as well as men, bear the full image of God has had a way of sparking reform movements across the centuries. "
" God has entrusted us with his most precious treasure - people. He asks us to shepherd and mold them into strong disciples, with brave faith and good character. "
" As a preacher who is fully human, and clearly not divine, I can't speak as Jesus did. But I do seek to speak truth that carries weight and authority. All of us who preach the gospel aspire to speak under the authority of Jesus. "
" Love of learning led to monasteries, which became the cradle of academic guilds. "
" The church is in the hope business. "
" Real spiritual authority has to do with the truth of the actual words being spoken, and the spirit of the person behind the words. Really, authority is about truth: honest-living truth. "
" Tithing is considerably less popular than words like generosity or sharing. "
" I am struck by how quickly I am prone to judgmentalism. "
" What influences our behavior, and what our level of responsibility is, are very complex issues. And anytime we try to make this simplistic, we don't serve people well. "