Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to make sure your community is strong

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In a Christian community, everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable. A community which allows unemployed members to exist within it will perish because of them. It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship.

… Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 95-96 (see the book)

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Beauty, glory, and how to not end up empty

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“There is one more thing to say about God’s glory – it is his absolute splendour and beauty. The word for ‘glory’ in the Old Testament means importance, the word for ‘glory’ in the New Testament (the Greek word doxa) means ‘praise and wonder; luminosity, brilliance or beauty.’ 

Jonathon Edwards once said: ‘God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.’ It is not enough to say, ‘I guess he is God, so I have got to knuckle under.’ You have to see his beauty.

Glorifying God does not mean obeying him because you have to. It means to obey him because you want to – because you are attracted to him, because you delight in him.

This is what C.S.Lewis grasped so well in his chapter on praising. We need beauty. We go to lengths to put ourselves in front of beautiful places, or surround ourselves with beautiful music, or hang out with beautiful people. But these will leave us empty if we don’t learn to see all of these things as mere tributaries and God himself as the fountain, the headwaters of it all.”

Tim Keller, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2013), 170.

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