When pastors don’t have rich spiritual lives with Christ, they become victimized by other models of success – models conveyed to them by their training, by their experience in the church, or just by our culture.
I believe that every human being is sufficiently depraved that when we get to Heaven, no one will be able to say, ‘I merited this.’
So many people would like to have guidance from God because obviously, if you have a word from God, it’s the best possible thing. But they don’t relate that to life as a whole. Often they want guidance as a way of opting out of the responsibility of making decisions.
‘Discipleship’ as a term has lost its content, and this is one reason why it has been moved aside. I’ve tried to redeem the idea of discipleship, and I think it can be done; you have to get it out of the contemporary mode.
The basic question ‘will I obey Christ ‘s teaching?’ is rarely taken as a serious issue. For example, to take one of Jesus’ commands, that is relevant to contemporary life, I don’t know of any church that actually teaches a church how to bless people who curse them, yet this is a clear command.
Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by what they think, know, or believe. That is bound up with the central Augustinian claim that we are what we love.
Reality is what you can count on.
The core of the person is what he or she loves, and that is bound up with what they worship – that insight recalibrates the radar for cultural analysis. The rituals and practices that form our loves spill out well beyond the sanctuary. Many secular liturgies are trying to get us to love some other kingdom and some other gods.
I think that when I die, it might be some time until I know it.