As good and succinct an answer as I’ve found to the question, “What is the gospel?”:
The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us. Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us.
Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, 48.
The artist has eyes to connect the visible and the invisible and the skill to show complete what we in our inattentive distraction see only in bits and pieces.
Eugene Peterson, The Pastor, 164
President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
Second Inaugural Address; January 20, 1937
President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?
“The Chance for Peace,” speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors; April 16, 1953
Brennan Manning, who never ceases to challenge me with reminders of God:
If you took the love of all the best mothers and fathers who have lived in the course of human history, all their goodness, kindness, patience, fidelity, wisdom, tenderness, strength, and love and united all those qualities in a single person, that person’s love would only be a faint shadow of the furious love and mercy in the heart of God the Father addressed to you and me at this moment.
The Furious Longing of God, 42-43
A reminder for Monday morning:
certain truths remain unchanged: God remains sovereign, grace beats sin, prayers get heard, the Bible endures, heaven’s mercies spring up new every morning, the cross still testifies to the power of sacrificial love, the tomb is still empty, and the kingdom that Jesus announced is still expanding without needing to be bailed out by human efforts.
John Ortberg, The Me I Want To Be, 242