I am a preacher of the gospel of Christ

Myron Augsburger, former President of Eastern Mennonite Seminary and brother of one of my Fuller Seminary profs (David), in 1983:

I believe in justice: but I am not a preacher of the gospel of justice, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to justice. I believe in love, but I am not a preacher of the gospel of love, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to love. I am committed to peace, but I am not a preacher of the gospel of peace, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to peace. I believe in the value of the simple life, but I am not the preacher of the simple life, but of the Gospel of Christ that calls us to the simple life. Let us beware of the ultimate plagiarism of borrowing some great concepts from Jesus then running off proclaiming these concepts and not sharing the Christ that empowers these concepts.

With this addition from Frank Viola:

If I were writing this, the only thing I’d change is the last line. I’d change it to “and not sharing the Christ who embodies these concepts.”

The truth is, Jesus Christ doesn’t just empower us to live out these spiritual virtues, Christ IS justice, love, peace, holiness, etc. That’s a life-changing revelation that’s little known today.

Thanks to Jeremy Del Rio for the quote and addition.

Sacrificing plowshares for swords

When times are tough, when you’ve got to tighten your belt, that’s when you know what your priorities really are. This week, Congress showed where its priorities lie: the Senate passed a war funding measure worth nearly $60 billion, while the House cut billions of dollars in aid to states and health insurance subsidies for unemployed and laid-off workers.

War over people. Swords over plowshares.

Oh, for that day …

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)