radical

well, it can be rather over-used language. It’s hackneyed, and more than a little cliched. But here’s some out-takes from my reading of John Howard Yoder from Radical Christian Discipleship, his popular-level essays. Theres some gems here.

“The most popular alternative to trying to fit in is to try to be different..What these rebels often do not see is that their rebellion is usually just as much a kind of conformity as that of blatant conformists. In fact, it is doubly so. The rebel is first a prisoner of the system that he or she rejects…There is nothing more compulsive, not to mention boring, than the nonconformity of any one generation’s set of rebels.”  p28

“Some of the ideas and practices that we have rethought and become modest about have been objects of sincere and profound religious devotion. For this reason, we must be careful when cutting ourselves down to size that we do not also cut God down to size.” p43

“When resurrection is the centre of our message, human standards of possibility do not apply. When all the doors are closed, God opens a window or takes off the roof.” p46

“The way of the cross is not a theory about what God does in order to forgive, but what God did because God is forgiving.” p52

“It would be possible to speak of two kinds of Christian use of time. One is productive activity, like farming or manufacturing. The other is religious, like preaching or praying. Such a distinction does as much harm as good. In fact, to reserve the term ‘full-time Christian service’ for the latter is to express an attitude that is foreign to the gospel. Plowing is, or should be, as religious as praying. Bible reading is, or should be, just as labor intensive as road building. Whatever activity full-time Christians turn to is, or should be, worthy of all their attention and ability, and subject to critical evaluation as a case of time-redeeming stewardship.” p78

“The refusal to let our love be stopped by a border–be it of race, creed, or human sympathy–will be the measure of our Christian nonconformity.” p92

“This is the paradox of Christian freedom: that when we give up living by the rules and begin living in daily fellowship with Christ, we discover that rules are helpful after all. We discover that the rules were really meant all the time to help us live in fellowship with Christ.” p102

“Christians will never let themselves think that they are in fellowship with God because they are different from the world, but they will be different from the world because of their fellowship with God.” p103

“Those who understand God’s goodness can never keep it to themselves…the gospel kept for oneself is no gospel.” p104

“Hope is that quality of confidence that enables living as if God were to have the last word when at present that does not appear to be the case.” p125

“Peace is proclamation in the sense that we should talk not first of all about a social strategy for making the world a little less lethal, but about a victory already won. The gospel is about something that has already happened.” p160

“Where there is no total commitment to the gospel, there has been no total liberation by the gospel.” p175

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