Saturday, February 21, 2009

A little more than nothing

I owe Bruce Wearne thanks for coming across this quote. It expresses well the insight that we should avoid unbridled optimism because we are not the answer to the worlds problems, we cannot solve everything, at the same time the pessimism that we cannot do anything is equally misguided.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's word. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that should be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No conversion brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness. No programme accomplishes the church's mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about. We plant seeds that one day will grow or maybe die. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and do it very well. It may be incomplete but it is a beginning. A step along the way. An opportunity for God's grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the results. But that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are the workers, not master builders. We are ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own.

Archbishop Oscar Romero, El Salvador (1917-1980)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Religious reasons in public discourse

Theos a think tank for public theology has published a report by Jonathan Chaplin called Talking God.

The reformed philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff has made significant contributions to this topic and can been seen explaining his view in conversation with Miroslav Volf in the video below.