Saturday, 14 September 2019

THE POWER OF THE BIBLE'S STORY

'In a confused and contradictory world, the grand theme of Scripture offers a coherent worldview. Instead of the choppy narrative of the single-person play, the gospel invites us into God's great story, of which our singular part contributes to the great mosaic of salvation beauty, in which we are invited to partner with the Creator God Himself in the redemption of the world and the marriage of heaven and earth. This story, even whispered between people on a suburban train, is grander and more resonant than the biggest budget Hollywood blockbuster or the cleverest viral marketing campaign.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.144. 

WHERE FREEDOM HAS GOT US

'Our culture is depleted and burned out because it rebels against the God-given limitations placed on it. Individuals are depleted because we refuse to live within the fields that God has given us. Instead, we burn ourselves out seeking greater freedom and autonomy.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.137. 

THE GOOD OF INSTITUTIONS

'Institutions have to instruct us what to do. They must contain commands. These commands may mean short-term sacrifice, but they will ensure freedom, human flourishing, and peace, so we obey to benefit. If there are commands, there must also be prohibitions and regulations that prevent behaviours that the institution believes will harm the collective and the individual, or the institution itself. Institutions thus require the individual to at some point submit to the authority of the institution with its commands and controls to enjoy a flourishing that they could not achieve on their own. 
The universal nature of institutions, in which anyone can join if they are willing to submit to the commands and regulations, is a natural guard against tribalism, nepotism, and special interest groups dominating. Institutions act as safeguards.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.133. 

BIBLICAL SPIRITUALITY

'The Scriptures of Israel could contain prophetic, ethereal visions of the heavenly court, alongside commandments regarding menstrual blood, ethical outpourings for justice alongside erotically charged verse, and psalms filled with praise, tears, anger, and joy. This was no "spirituality." This was a blood and gits religion that did not tolerate a distance between heart and mind, word and deed. It was a world of commitments and connections, a universe of relationships and responsibilities.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.130. 

Thursday, 12 September 2019

CONTEMPORARY DISCIPLESHIP

'We need to release ourselves from the addiction of trying to win over the public and the burden of trying to influence public opinion, of trying to build ministries upon pitch alone. Instead we need to remember that if we are to build resilient disciples in our "on-to-the-next-shiny-thing" culture, we need to do as Jesus did and focus on the concreteness of actual people. We see Jesus building His ministry upon going deep with a few, rather than going shallow with the public.' 
Mark Sayers, Dsiappearing Church, p.117 

WHY PEOPLE WALK AWAY FROM CHURCH

'In the beautiful world, there is a point in which many realise that while their hip and fantastic church may offer them opportunities to engage in justice projects, a life group that meets for community and meal at the pub, and digestible life advice, they can leave the church and find similar opportunities. The kicker is that you can still enjoy all of this while ditching the biblical prohibitions on sex, or having to measure up to the limitations of biblical holiness, or the commitments of creedal Christian community. If you still want to keep your sneaker toe in the Christian camp, no problme. Just pick up a book or suscribe to that podcast by a "progressive" Christian author who will reassure you that you can still be a Christian while not getting too stressed about sex or Scripture of going to church.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.99. 

Monday, 9 September 2019

THE IMPLICIT PROSPERITY GOSPEL

'If, in the explicit prosperity gospel, it is unthinkable that God would withold from His faithful followers cash, cars, and mansions, in the implicit prosperity gospel of many, shaped by a culture that must elevate sex beyond its station in God's created order, we cannot imagine that God would ask of some celibacy.'
Mark Sayers, Disappearning Church, p.82.  

A GROWING CHURCH

'A church that is no longer disppearing is one that leads people into realizing that they are not God.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.79. 

CHURCH & CULTURE

'New Cultural Landscapes + Faithful Orthodoxy + Courageous Creative Response = Revitalization of the Church and Culture.'
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church, p.70. 

Thursday, 5 September 2019

THE SELF-DESTRUCTION OF LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY

'Like a team of suicide bombers who obliterate themselves yet irrevocably change the cultural atmosphere, liberal Christianity has essentially destroyed itself as an ecclesiological, institutional force, yet has won the culture over to its vision of a Christianity reshaped for contemporary tastes.' 
Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church: From Cultural Relevance to Gospel Resilience, p.23.