Saturday, March 24, 2018

quotes from Peterson's "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"

Two biblical designations for people of faith: disciple and pilgrim. Disciple (mathetes) says we are people who spend our lives apprenticed to our master. We are in a growing-learning relationship, always. We don’t learn in a school, but at the work site of the craftsman. We seek not to acquire information about God but skills in faith. Pilgrim (parepidemos) tells us that we are people who spend our lives going someplace, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ. (17)
The whole history of Israel is set in motion by two such acts of world rejection, which freed the people for an affirmation of God: “the rejection of Mesopotamia in the days of Abraham and the rejection of Egypt in the days of Moses.” All the wisdom and strength of the ancient world was in Mesopotamia and Egypt. (31)
There are more people at worship on any given Sunday, for instance, than are at all the football games or on the golf links or fishing or taking walks in the woods. Worship is the single most popular act in this land. (51)
If we stay at home by ourselves and read the Bible, we are going to miss a lot, for our reading will be unconsciously conditioned by our culture, limited by our ignorance, distorted by unnoticed prejudices. (55)
I am put on the spot of being God’s defender. I am expected to explain God to his disappointed clients. I am thrust into the role of a clerk in the complaints department of humanity…But if I accept any of those assignments I misunderstand my proper work, for God doesn’t need me to defend him…The proper work for the Christian is witness, not apology…It does not argue God’s help; it does not explain God’s help; it is a testimony of God’s help…(72)
What would we think of a pollster who issued a definitive report on how the American people felt about a new television special, only to discover later that he had interviewed only one person who had only seen ten minutes of the program? We would dismiss the conclusions as frivolous. Yet that is exactly the kind of evidence that too many Christians accept as the final truth about many much more important matters—matters such as answered prayer, God's judgment, Christ's forgiveness, eternal salvation. The only person they consult is themselves and the only experience they evaluate is the most recent ten minutes. (166-167)
Grace evokes gratitude like the void an echo. (198)


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