Sunday, July 25, 2010

Highlights from the forgotten ways - pt. 1

When reading Alan Hirsch's book, The Forgotten Ways, I wasn't really able to go through it chapter by chapter like usual. However, here is part 1 (of 2) of some of the highlights I picked out of the book:
  • Interesting facts about the church in China on p. 19.
  • p. 23 - "...there needs to be a clear distinction between necessary organizational structure and institutionalism."
  • p. 24-25: The six "simple but interrelating elements of mDNA, forming a complex and living structure: 1) Jesus is Lord. 2) Disciple Making. 3) Missional-Incarnational Impulse. 4) Apostolic Environment. 5) Organic Systems 6) Communitas, Not Community.
  • p. 27 - "A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution." (J. Oswald Sanders)
  • p.. 27 - "...our stories are vital because they are perhaps the only thing we can say with absolute authority - precisely because they are OUR stories."
  • p. 30 - "It seems that when the church engages at the fringes, it almost always brings life to the center."
  • p. 36 - "...in Australia we have the somewhat farcical situation of 95 percent of evangelical churches tussling with each other to reach 12 percent of the population. And this becomes a significant missional problem because it raises the question, "What about the vast majority of the population (in Australia's case, 85 percent; in the US, about 65 percent) that report alienation from PRECISELY that form of church?""
  • p. 37 - "What is good news for this group of people? What would the church look and feel like among this people group?"
  • p. 41 - A true encounter with God in Jesus must result in: 1) worship 2) discipleship, and 3) mission.
  • p. 43 - "Much of what can be tagged 'consumerist middle-class' is built on the ideals of COMFORT and CONVENIENCE (consumerism), and of SAFETY and SECURITY (middle-class)."
  • p. 47 - "Core Practice" and related "Spiritual Discipline"
  • p. 53 - Ivan Illich was asked the most radical way to change society: "one must tell an alternative story."
  • p. 55 - "It was C.S. Lewis who observed that 'there exists in every church something that sooner or later works against the very purpose for which it came into existance. So we must strive very hard, by the grace of God to keep the church focused on the mission that Christ originally gave to it."
  • p. 56 - "While holy rebellion represents a real (and perceived) challenge to established forms of church, it is also the key to its renewal."
  • p. 56 - "The challenge for the established church and its leaders is to discern the will of God for our time addressed to it in the mouths of its holy rebels."
  • p. 59 - the Christendom shift meant...
  • p. 81 - "In some mysterious way, when we are incorporated into God's family, we all seem to become 'seeds' bearing the full potential of God's people within us. If you or I were blown like a seed into a different field, God could create a Jesus community out of both of us."
  • pp. 90-91 - Complete section on "All of Life under God."
  • p. 91 - "All of life belongs to God, and true holiness means bringing all the spheres of our life under God. This is what constitutes biblical worship - this is what it means to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength."
  • p. 91 - "The incarnation does not alter the nature of God or the fundamental practical monotheism of the scriptures; rather it reinforms and restructures monotheism around the central character in the NT - Jesus Christ."
  • p. 93 - "...each person in the Trinity has a particular role in the human experience of redemption."
  • p. 101 - "The greatest proof of Christianity for others is not how far a man can logically analyze his reasons for believing, but how far in practice he will stake his life on his belief." (T.S. Eliot)
  • p. 103 - "...discipleship, and disciple making, is perhaps the most critical element in the mDNA mix. ""C.S. Lewis rightly understood that the purpose of the church was to draw people to Christ and make them like Christ."
  • p. 104 - "We want to lower the bar of how church is done and raise the bar of what it means to be a disciple." *****
  • p. 112 - 12 practices of the Rutba House for a new monasticism to challenge the worldliness of the church...**
  • p. 113 - "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." ~Mother Teresa
  • p. 117 - "When we examine the life and ministry of Jesus, we find that he too had no official titles or office. He had no accredited learning, he led no armies, opposed the use of violence, and taught us rather about the transforming spiritual power of love and forgiveness, and yet he changed the world forever. And in the greatest act of spiritual influence in the history of the world, sacrificially gave himself for the redemption of the world." ***
  • p. 119 - "the quality of the church's leadership is directly proportional to the quality of discipleship."
  • p. 129 - The mission of God: "mission is the result of God's initiative, rooted in God's purposes to restore and heal creation. Mission means 'sending,' and it is the central biblical theme describing the purpose of God's action in human history."
  • p. 135 - "Incarnational ministry essentially means taking the church to the people, rather than bringing the people to the church."
  • p. 139 - Neil Cole stats of church planting "Making Babies is Fun"
  • p. 142 - "Attractional church demands that in order to hear the gospel, people come to us, on our turf, and in our cultural zone. In effect, they must become one of us if they want to follow Christ. I can't emphasize how deeply alienating this is for most non-Christian people who are generally happy to explore Jesus but don't particularly want to be "churched" in the process. The biblical mode, on the other hand, is not so much to bring people to church but to take Jesus (and the church) to the people."
  • p. 143 - "Start with the Church and the mission will probably get lost. Start with the mission and it is likely that the Church will be found."
  • p. 149 - "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality." (Max DePree)
  • p. 153 - An Apostolic Job Description
  • p. 154 - "The apostolic denominational leader needs to ensure the new generation is not 'frozen out' by those who resist change. Finally, such a leader must restructure the denomination's institutions so that they serve mission purposes."
  • p. 164 - "Jim Collins, in his study of outstanding organizations, actually says that dominant, charismatic leaders are one of the greatest hindrances to an organization moving from being good to becoming great."
Continued tomorrow...