Monday, December 17, 2012

"A Cross-Shaped Gospel" by Loritts (Top 20)

I have decided to review the books I have read this year, by blogging "20 key quotes" from each one. A good friend of mine recommended that I check out the sermon podcasts for Fellowship Memphis. It is a multi-ethnic church located in Memphis, TN. "A Cross-Shaped Gospel" is written by the lead pastor there, Bryan Loritts. I think this book is both inspiring and challenging as he lays out what a cross-centered, gospel saturated life looks like practically. Specifically, he looks at how the message of the Cross compels us to courageously and graciously cross lines of race, class, and political tribes. Here are the top 20 quotes that impacted me from this book (a highly recommended read):

“Jesus drew a parallel between the cross and life – a life that doesn’t just begin when I’m buried, but a life that begins in the present, the moment I give my life to Jesus and cling to the ‘old rugged cross.’” (Introduction)

“The good news, however, is that because of what Christ has accomplished on the Cross, when He died in our place for our sins, the dividing wall of hostility has been removed. - … Paul sees the gospel as providing both our reconciliation to God and our reconciliation to one another!” (pg. 25)

“You can’t reach out without first reaching up. But once you reach up to the Savior – or He reaches out to you – the response to His grace is to reach our to your neighbor.” (pg. 31)

“Loving God must be first, and our obligation to love our neighbor must be seen through the lens of our love for God.” (pg. 32)

“Diversity is a beautiful thing, but when we pursue it apart from the Cross of Christ, we are guilty of idolatry.” (pg. 60)

“Biblical community has always celebrated diversity, but because of the centrality of the gospel, diversity does not become a rallying cry; Jesus does.” (pg. 63)

“By far the most powerful racial diversity strategy a church can ever hope to have is the clear preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. - … Genuinely redeemed people engage the poor (Matthew 25), cross racial lines (Acts 10), and any other sinful barriers because they understand that the gospel is for all people.” (pg. 65)

In Revelation 5:9-10 there are 3 keys to diversity:
(1) Celebration of God
(2) Intentionality
(3) Sacrifice (being willing to give up our preferences
(pg. 67-71)

“What leaving margin (the gleaning system) really comes down to is the question of enough. Every follower of Jesus Christ must learn to ask the questions, “How much is enough?” Specifically, How much house is enough? How much is enough income? How much is enough clothes? How much is enough purses, shoes – savings even? These questions run counter to the society in which we live.” (pg. 81)

“The simple truth is, we will never build economically diverse lives or churches until we come to esteem all people as neighbors.” (pg. 90)

“Gospel living is done ultimately for the glory of God.” (pg. 95)
“When we see the glory of God as the apex of the gospel, and not our happiness or holiness, that changes everything…everything!” (pg. 98)

“True life, a life rich with meaning, can only come when we die to the idols of this world, embrace the gospel, and follow Jesus.” (pg. 99)

“Forgiveness is irrational. What makes the most sense is to settle the score, to get even, or to put up walls and ignore, all the while refusing to release the debtor of the offense. But when your infected with the gospel, your relationships are affected radically…The gospel becomes the only operating system that will propel us to generously forgive again and again.” (pg. 107)

“Majority culture leader: steward white privilege for the sake of all.” (pg. 120)

“The sacrifice of Jesus reminds us that the call to be Christ-followers is a call to a life of sacrifice, being misunderstood, and on occasion, times of great discomfort. A cross-shaped gospel involves a total revisioning of not only how we see the world, but also how we navigate relationships. The gospel is hardly just another tweet.” (pg. 121)

“The gospel nudges us to embrace a life of dis-ease.” (pg. 121)

“In the pantheon of American gods, comfort is right near the top, even in the church.” (pg. 123)
“We cannot worship comfort and cling to the old rugged cross at the same time. It’s only when we turn our backs on comfort and go the way of the gospel that we will be able to serve others and bring ultimate honor to God.” (pg. 129)

“If you’re like me (when hard times hit), your temptation may be to turn inward to look to yourself and your own network and resources to ‘figure it out.’ I want to encourage you, don’t turn inward: focus on the cross. Let Christ be your focus point.” (pg. 139)

“Paul’s preaching – and living – the gospel shook the economic, cultural, and religious foundations of Ephesus. I want this for my neighborhood. I want this for your workplace, athletic league, schools, and community. I want to so preach and live Jesus Christ that I leave huge gospel footprints wherever I go, being an agent of change. - … “(to often) we settle for our comfortable and normal lives and miss out on the impossible movements of God. We will never seen our own Ephesus changed until we believe.” (pg. 159-160)

“Do our neighbors know that we love them? …do they feel compassion from us? The people we long to see transformed must know that we care deeply for them. The people of Ephesus knew Paul loved them, and that opened their hearts to the truth of the gospel that he shared with them, setting the stage for citywide transformation. May the same be true of us.” (pg. 164)

If you are interested in buying "A Cross-Shaped Gospel" you can purchase it here.

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