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" 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. "
" Skill at helping people grow spiritually, like skill at playing chess, depends on understanding and valuing differences. "
" Art is built on the deepest themes of human meaning: good and evil, beauty and ugliness, life and death, love and hate. No other story has incarnated those themes more than the story of Jesus. "
" I have always heard that you need to give yourself a long time to unplug when you do a sabbatical. I unplugged so fast I was a little concerned that I was losing brain capacity. "
" For most of us, the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them. "
" I hate how spiritual formation gets positioned as an optional pursuit for a small special interest group within the church. "
" The New Testament doesn't present Jesus as a single man to cover up his humanity. It presents him as a single man because... he was a single man. "
" Those of us who preach the Scriptures, along with being nourished by it ourselves, have to figure out along with our congregations how we can incarnate the gospel in our community, or we will preach to a religious ghetto. "
" My wife is one of the most extroverted people I know. She could out-talk Oprah and Joyce Meyer simultaneously. "
" The question isn't if someone will sign up for spiritual formation; it's just who and what our spirits will be formed by. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" Sin is, somehow, at the root of all human misery. Sin is what keeps us from God and from life. It is in the face of every battered woman, the cry of every neglected child, the despair of every addict, the death of every victim of every war. "
" Amusement is a way of boredom-avoidance through external stimulation that fails to exercise our minds. It's mere diversion. "
" There are usually multiple messages that could be preached from the same text. "
" To have my mind racing and my heart beating fast over glorious possibilities is very close to the summit of life experience for me. "
" The soul is both the most fragile and most resilient thing about you; a healthy soul is what holds you together when your world falls apart. Since you will carry your soul into eternity, it's worth checking up on it at least as often as your teeth. "
" I am struck by how quickly I am prone to judgmentalism. "
" The hurried can become unhurried. But it will not happen by trying alone, nor will it happen instantly. You will have to enter a life of training. "
" Sin is very important to the soul because sin is what disintegrates the soul; it's what attacks the soul. Sin kind of is to the soul what cancer is to the body. "
" A bad sermon is like a car wreck - everyone slows down to see what happened. "
" Churches need to figure out how they will address the spiritual lives of their staffs and leadership teams. "
" Prudence is foresight and far-sightedness. It's the ability to make immediate decisions on the basis of their longer-range effects. "
" The irony is that 'looking down on everybody else' is a violation of the law of love, which, according to Jesus, is the absolute essence of righteousness. "
" The day people around me stop questioning my character is the day my character begins to grow vulnerable. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" From ancient times, the core idea of the soul is the soul is the capacity to integrate different functions into a single being or into a single person. The soul is what holds us all together: what connects our will and our minds and our bodies and connects us to God. "
" I am a political junkie. During a presidential campaign, I will often buy a couple of newspapers a day just to keep up. "
" I'm not sure ministry can ever have the urgency it requires if it is not aware of evil, both externally and internally. "
" When preaching is done right, it can change lives. When it's done badly, my failure goes beyond the merely human. "