"Jesus did not come into this world and live His life on a mountaintop isolated from human suffering. He walked among us, ate with us, and shared in our humanity. He did not heal lepers from a distance, but touched them into wholeness. He pressed His disciples and prayed for them to be in the world but not of the world. The focus of their three years together was not the salvation of the Twelve, but their ministry to the entire planet."
(Erwin McManus. Uprising a Revolution of the Soul, 2003, p. 111)
"Identifying the gospel is both simple and challenging. No culture-free expression of the gospel exists, nor could it. The church's message, the gospel, is inevitability articulated in linguistic and cultural forms particular to its own place and time. Thus a rehearing of the gospel can be vulnerable to the 'gospels' that we may be to read back into the New Testament renderings of it. The first tellings of the gospel in Scripture themselves have richly varied quality. They are as culturally particular as our own. Nevertheless, they are the root narrative of God's action in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the work, and as such the church's originating message. It is of the essence of the church to root itself in what those first tellings portray of the character, actions and purposes of God" (George R. Huntsburger, Missional Church, 1998, 87).
"The calling of the church in every culture is to be mission. That is, the work of the church is not to be an agent or servant of the culture. The church's business is not to maintain freedom or to promote wealth or to help a political party or to serve as the moral guide to culture. The church's mission is to be the presence of the kingdom. . . . The church's mission is to show the world what it looks like when a community of people lives under the reign of God."
(Robert Webber, The Younger Evangelicals, 2002, 133).
"A church trapped by cultural perspectives on affluence rather than adopting the biblical stance of opposition to the 'god of mammon' has exported this into missions. We must return to the pattern of Jesus, who chose non-destitute poverty as a way of life, took the time to learn language and culture, and refused to be a welfare agency king. . . . Non-destitute poverty and simplicity must again become focal in mission strategy."
(Viv Grigg, Cry of the Urban Poor (Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1992, 15).
"Missionaries must cross linguistic, cultural, and social boundaries to proclaim the gospel in new settings. They must translate and communicate the Bible in the languages of people in other cultures so that it speaks to them in the particularities of their lives. They must bridge between divine revelation and human contexts, and provide biblical answers to the confusing problems of everyday life. This process of cross-cultural communication means that missionaries, by the very nature of their task, must be theologians. Their central question is: 'What is God's Word to humans in this particular situation?'"
(Paul G. Hiebert, R. Daniel Shaw, and Tite Tienou. Understanding Folk Religion. 1999:26)
"For centuries now we've tried everything else: the power of wealth, of mighty armies and navies, machinations of diplomats. All have failed. Before it's too late, and time is running out, let us turn from trust in the chain reactions of exploding atoms to faith in the chain reaction of God's love. Love—love of God and fellow men. That is God's formula for peace. Peace on earth to men of good will."
(Richard Cardinal Cyshing)
"When you were born, you alone cried and everybody else was happy. The only question that matters is this – when you die, will you be happy when everybody else is crying?"
"We have at our fingertips experiences and offerings available only to kings in previous eras. Offered 'heaven now,' we give up the ultimate quest in pursuit of that which can be immediately consumed, be it a service, product, or pseudo-religious experience. Consumerism has all the distinguishing traits of outright paganism – we need to see it for what it really is."
(Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways)
"Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak."
(Martin Luther King Jr., A Time to Break Silence)
"What really counts in life is that at some time you have seen something, felt something, which is so great, so matchless, that everything else is nothing by comparison, that even if you forgot everything, you would never forget this."
(Søren Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers)
"A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling.... [We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment."
(Hans Küng, The Church as the People of God)
"Mission is not a burden laid upon the church; it is a gift and a promise to the church that is faithful. The command arises from the gift. Jesus reigns and all authority has been given to him in earth and heaven. When we understand that, we shall not need to be told to let it be known. Rather, we shall not be able to keep silent."
(Lesslie Newbigin, Mission in Christ's Way)
"More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world, and more people have been driven from the church by the hardness and ugliness of so-called Christianity than by all the doubts in the world."
(William Barclay, New Testament Words)
"Missions.... is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there."
(Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis)
"It is easy to say we believe in God as long as we remain in the little world we choose to live in; but get out into the great world of facts, the noisy world where people are absolutely indifferent to you, where your message is nothing more than a crazy tale belonging to a bygone age, can you believe God there?"
(Oswald Chambers, God's Workmanship)
"No man has a right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own ease the service due to his neighbor; nor has any man a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of God."
(St. Augustine, Of the Dress and Habits of the Christian)