Back in January, I mentioned that Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis made my top ten reads of 08.' I was recently flipping through it again, and wanted to share some quotes. The book really is good, especially for pastors and seminarians. The chapters are on gospel, community, missional theology, social justice, discipleship, pastoral care, spirituality, theology, apologetics, kids, and success. Here you go:
"The church, then, is not something additional or optional. It is at the very heart of God's purposes. Jesus came to create a people who would model what it means to live under his rule. It would be a glorious outpost of the kingdom of God, an embassy of heaven. This is where the world can see what it means to be truly human." (50)
"Most gospel ministry involves ordinary people doing ordinary things with gospel intentionality." (63). This is a simple, yet profound, sentence.
"Why does this matter? It matters because we are failing to reach the working class with the gospel. Evangelicalism has become a largely middle-class, professional phenomenon. When we invite people to our dinners and our churches, we invite our friends, our relatives, and our rich neighbors. We do not invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame. What is at stake is the grace of God." (76)
"We demonstrate by our lives together as Christians what it means to live under the reign of King Jesus and so invite others to live under that reign." (102)
"The Triune God is a missionary God. The church, then, has a mission because God has a mission. The role of the church is to participate in the mission of God." (105)
"Theology must be in the service of the church and its mission. . . . A significant part of the problem behind academic theology and biblical scholarship is the way in which it is, all too often, self-referential. Professional theologians often write about and for other professional theologians. . . . If true theology is the fruit of engagement with the Bible set in the context of the local church, then much of what passes for theology is not theology at all. Why do we allow such people to set the agenda?" (156, 160-61)