When We Run From God

When we run from God, His response is more likely to be stormy and upsetting than quiet and subtle.  He knows how to make us miserable.  And it makes those around us miserable as well (Jonah 1:5)

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 41

Why are God’s Commands So Hard?

The chaplain (in the book Moby Dick) says Jonah found God’s instructions to be a “hard command.  But all the things that God would have us do are hard.”  The reason?  “If we obey God, we must disobey ourselves; and it is in this disobeying ourselves, wherein the hardness of obeying God consists.”  Mapple grasps well the truth that our sins are always our instinctive attempt to make ourselves God.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 38

Choosing to be Our Own Diety

When we sin, that something which we choose to believe in is not no to God, but ourselves as god.  Like Adam and Eve, each time we sin we’re choosing to be our own deity.  We’re placing ultimate trust in ourselves, not in our Creator and Savior and Lord.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 33

A Better Understanding of Jonah

We’re on the right road to better understanding it when we realize that Jonah is a storied presentation of the gospel, a story of sin and grace, of desperation and deliverance.  I reveals the fact that while you and I are great sinners, God is a great Savior, and that while our sin reaches far, His grace reaches farther.  This story shows that God is in the business of relentlessly pursuing rebels like us and that he comes after us not to angrily strip away our freedom but to affectionately strip away our slavery so might become truly free.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 18-19

Where Many Christians are Wrong about Spiritual Renewal

Sadly, many Christians have come to believe that the key to deeper spiritual renewal and revival is “working harder.”  The truth, however, is that real spiritual growth happens only as we  continually rediscover the gospel.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 17-18

What Confession Is

Confession means we agree with God and telling the truth about who we are and what we have done.  Confession includes naming our sin to Jesus and anyone else we have sinned against or is directly affected by our sin.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 166

What Makes for a Missional Church

Living as Christians, the missional church seeks the welfare of the broken and sinful culture while never condoning sin in the church.  We remind Christians and Christian leaders that the missional church is willing to take risks, make changes and suffer through mistakes as needed.  We commit to become what Jesus ultimately desires for the church to be and do as it is led by leaders filled with the Spirit and guided by the Scriptures.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 239

Sinners and Religious People Must Start with Repentance

The missional church seeks to call both lost sinners to repent of their sin and religious people to repent of their religion for three reasons.  First, both pursue righteousness apart from Jesus’ grace, which is an offense to the gospel.  Second, if only so-called sinners are called to repent, then these “sinners” wrongly think the church is trying to make them into religious people, while the religious people fail to see that they are sinners too who need to repent and live humbly by grace.  Third, it was the religious leaders whom Jesus most sharply rebuked and was most violently opposed by; if we are to follow the example of Jesus, we must be just as forthright with the religious while accepting that they will likely be our most vocal critics and opponents.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 223

It Not Only Believes but Lives it Out

A missional church not only believes that Scripture is God’s Word of truth, but lives out all that the Bible teaches to the best of its ability.  A missional church has a deep trust in and affection for the Bible and seeks to anchor all of its teaching and life in the storyline of sacred scripture and preserve truth.

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 221

The Shift to Missional Thinking

Ed Stetzer and David Putman express the core of the shift to missional thinking like this:

  • from programs to processes
  • from demographics to discernment
  • from models to missions
  • from attritional to incarnational
  • from uniformity to diversity
  • from professional to passionate
  • from seating to sending
  • from decisions to disciples
  • from additional to exponentional
  • from monuments to movements

– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 219