The Problem is not Enough Learning…

It is impossible to know too much about God and his love for us in Christ.  If someone is into theology and not into loving others, the problem isn’t that he’s spent too much time learning about God; it’s that he never took to heart what he learned.  In fact, I John warns he may not even be a believer at all.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 48

The Dark Truth about Justification by Works…

If I can do enough of the right things, I will have established my value.  Identity is the sum of my achievements.  Hence, if I can satisfy the boss, meet the needs of my spouse and children, and still pursue my dreams, then I will be somebody.  In Christian theology, such a position is called justification by works.  It assumes that my worth is measured by my performance.  Conversely, it conceals a dark and ghastly fear: If I do not perform, I will be judged unworthy.  To myself I will cease to exist.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 567

Our Dreams are a Window into our Theology

Our dreams are a window into our theology.  We are a proud people, the inheritors of the American Dream – the pursuit of happiness is our inalienable right.  Like bratty, self-involved little kids, we push past the Giver to grab for the gift.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 153

Only This View Allows Us to Truly Love and Serve A Suffering Person

On a basic pastoral or relational level, a theology of the cross allows us to love and serve a suffering person independent of whether or not, or how fast, he is healing.  We can walk with these people in their present pain, as opposed to impatiently focusing on their future health.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 108

The Abundant Life

Like every consumer product, the new evangelical theology is always advertising itself – and advertising is always about how great it is to be experience the product that is being advertised.  No advertiser ever lets on that there’s deep suffering in the world and that it might be your job to participate in it.  And so the promises of Christ, which are for our comfort and encouragement, become advertising slogans that we have to live up in order to keep our image as Christians – as if to say, “Look at me. I’m living the victorious Christian life, as advertised!”  Our Lord promises abundant life (John 10:10), so if your life doesn’t look very abundant these days, you have to wonder what’s wrong with you.

– Phillip Cary

as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 88-89

A Theology of Glory

A theology of glory…operates on the assumption that what we need is optimistic encouragement, some flattery, some positive thinking, some support to build our self-esteem.  Theologically speaking, it operates on the assumption that we are not seriously addicted to sin, and that our improvement is both necessary and possible.  We need a little boost in our desire to do good works…But the hallmark of a theology of glory is that it will always consider grace as something of a supplement to whatever is left of human will and power.

– Gerhard Ford

as quoted by Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 31