"For too long we have read scripture with nineteenth-century eyes and sixteenth-century questions. It's time to get back to reading with first-century eyes and twenty-first century questions" (p. 37).
—N. T. Wright (b. 1948)
retired Anglican bishop, biblical scholar, theologian & professor
"In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women who centered their lives on the living Christ. They had a personal and vital relationship to the Lord; it transformed them and the world around them. Then the church moved to Greece, and it became a philosophy. Later, it moved to Rome, and it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, and it became a culture. Finally, it moved to America, and it became an enterprise. We've got far too many churches and so few fellowships."
—Richard C. Halverson (1916–1995)
Presbyterian minister & sixtieth U.S. Senate chaplain
"There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period that the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was the thermostat that transformed the mores of society."
—Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968)
Baptist minister, theologian & civil rights leader
"Persecution never did, never could, give any lasting wound to genuine Christianity. But the greatest it ever received, the grand blow which was struck at the very root of that humble, gentle, patient love, which is the fulfilling of the Christian law, the whole essence of true religion, was struck in the fourth century by Constantine the Great, when he called himself a Christian, and poured in a flood of riches, honors, and power upon the Christians; more especially upon the clergy" (pp. 261-62).
—John Wesley (1703–1791)
Anglican rector, theologian & founder of Methodism
"Contemporary cultures present no tougher challenges to Christianity than did the fall of Rome, the collapse of the medieval synthesis, the breakup of the unity of Christendom in the sixteenth century, or the French Enlightenment. Christian teaching today must be pursued amid a similar collapse of modern assumptions" (p. viii).
—Thomas C. Oden (1931–2016)
Methodist theologian, professor & champion of paleo-orthodoxy
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else" (p. 123).
—C. S. Lewis (1898–1963)
Anglican churchman, apologist, lay theologian & novel writer
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
—Brennan Manning (1934–2013)
laicized Roman Catholic rector & public speaker
"Without the church, theology would be just another dead liberal art, such as philosophy—a limited pool of researchers, but no disciples."
—James M. González (b. 1981)
Paleo-orthodox theologian & founder of CO/CF Ministry
González, James M. M.Div. Forum for CR510 Foundations for Church Renewal. Dayton: United Theological Seminary, 2017.
Halverson, Richard C. Speech, General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Ed. Craig M. Kallio. Oak Ridge, TN: St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 2008. http://www.ststephensor.com/serarchiv/ser080504.htm.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail." The Atlantic. Washington, DC: The Atlantic Monthly Group, 1963. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/02/letter-from-a-birmingham-jail/552461.
Lewis, C. S. The Weight of Glory. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2009.
Oden, Thomas C. Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology. San Francisco: HarperOne, 2009.
Simpson, Ben. "The Ragamuffin Legacy." Relevant Magazine. Orlando: Relevant Media Group, 2013. https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/ragamuffin-legacy.
Wesley, John. The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M. Vol. VI. Fifth ed. London: John Mason, 1860. https://books.google.com/books?id=eYhpGneFCdYC&dq.
Wright, N. T. Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016.