CONTEXT & Barth’s quote on culture and context

Karl Barth once advised young theologians “to take your Bible and your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.”

Retrieved from … http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2009/fall/interpretingculturaltexts.html

ETHICS & Implications of Wesley’s quote: I would not tell a lie to save the souls of the whole world.

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/2/10.

John Wesley famously said, “I would not tell a lie, no, not to save the souls of the whole world.” So, I ask my students to grapple with this.

One student remarked that according to a book he read (written by two of my close friends, Gary McIntosh and Charles “Chip” Arn) that “the goal of your financial investing should be to make the greatest number of disciples” (What Every Pastor Should Know).

Subsequently, the discussion turned to a discussion if finances could be used in an unethical way because more people would be saved as a result.  As I mentioned above, I know the authors of the book and this is of course not what they are saying.

But, this reminds us that outcomes can (but should they?) be used to justify the means.

According to John Wesley’s writings, it has to do with our understanding of God’s foundational action in love. Here are some questions that will help our understanding of ethical actions:

  • Would God have us do something unethical to make the greatest amount of disciples (This is part of the question in the story of the “plank of Carneades.”)
  • In other words, should we do something that furthers benefit to ourselves or even someone else’s soul … when that action is unethical?
  • And finally, would God require such action?

What are your thoughts?  If you are a student of mine, you can reply in the discussion forums to garner more points.  For all others, this is a good exercise to keep your leadership team sharp when considering ethical dilemmas.

MISSIONAL & A quote from Walt Disney

Commentary for Dr. Whitesel: “For the first time since my wife and I were in our early 20s, we visited Disneyworld without children in tow. We discovered a wonderfully relaxing place where employees truly want guests to experience happiness and joy. This desire to know people’s needs and put them ahead of organizational needs has been called ‘altruism.’ And it is also part of a missional philosophy: to look to others needs and design ministries for them – rather than design ministry for the church’s needs. Here is a quote of Walt that summed this up nicely.”

Missional quote from Walt Disney: “You don’t build it for yourself. You know what people want and you build it for them.”

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/disneyinstitute/james/leadership-lessons-from-walt-customer-exp.html

WESLEY & Why Salvation Must Be Preached First & Is the Foundation of Our Preaching

“So then, that ‘whosoever believeth on him shall be saved,’ is, and must be, the foundation of all our preaching; that is, must be preached first.”

John Wesley, from his sermon “Salvation by Faith” which he preached shortly after his conversion to the students and faculty of Oxford University in St. Mary’s Church, Oxford. Read the entire sermon at http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-1-salvation-by-faith/

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether

WESLEY & You Won’t Find God Until You Realize You Can’t Save Yourself

“A quite contrary objection is made: ‘If a man cannot be saved by all that he can do, this will drive men to despair.’ True, to despair of being saved by their own works, their own merits, or righteousness. And so it ought; for none can trust in the merits of Christ, till he has utterly renounced his own.”

John Wesley, from his sermon “Salvation by Faith” which he preached shortly after his conversion to the students and faculty of Oxford University in St. Mary’s Church, Oxford. Read the entire sermon athttp://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-1-salvation-by-faith/

WESLEY & a Quote From His Sermon in Oxford on Being Born Again

“So that he who is thus justified, or saved by faith, is indeed born again. He is born again of the Spirit unto a new life, which ‘is hid with Christ in God’.”

John Wesley, from his sermon “Salvation by Faith” which he preached shortly after his conversion to the students and faculty of Oxford University in St. Mary’s Church, Oxford. Read the entire sermon at http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-sermons-of-john-wesley-1872-edition/sermon-1-salvation-by-faith/

METHODOLOGY & Principles: A Quote by Elmer Towns

elmer towns

“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods may change but principles never do.”

– Dr. Elmer Towns

Read more at … http://www.churchleaderinsights.com/blog/2014/06/21/lasting-principles-a-saturday-quote/