"If we take the canon of the New Testament seriously, therefore, we must take seriously the diversity of Christianity. We must not strive for an artificial unity — a unity based on our own particular canon within the canon, or on some intricate meshing of traditions, hoping that somehow we can cajole the others into line, whether by claiming a monopoly of the Spirit or by the expedients of ecclesiastical blackmail. There was never such a unity which could truly claim to be rooted in the New Testament. The unity of the great church in the earlier centuries owed more to social factors than to theological insights and could be justified theologically only by ignoring or suppressing alternative but equally valid expressions of Christianity — valid, that is, in terms of the diverse forms of Christianity preserved in the New Testament. Such ‘orthodoxy’ is usually the worst heresy of all, since its narrow rigidity and intolerant exclusiveness is a standing denial of the love of God in Christ."
— James Dunn, “Has the Canon a Continuing Function?” (via thepoorinspirit-extras)
"All historians have theological presuppositions. Atheism and agnosticism count as well as faith; refusing to declare one’s own interests, or assuming an unargued modernist or secularist stance a priori, is either naive, or mischievous, or a naked power play. We all see the world through the colored spectacles of our own personal histories, backgrounds, assumptions, and so on. History is precisely a matter of looking, through one’s own spectacles, at evidence about the past, trying to reconstruct the probable course of events and the motivations of the characters involved, and defending such reconstructions against rival ones, not on the grounds of their coherence with one’s own presuppositions, but on the scientific grounds of getting in the data, doing so with appropriate simplicity, and shedding light on other areas of research."
— N.T. Wright (via acceptandembrace)
"Commandments in the Bible are given in the context of friendship with God and each other. They are not about control but the formation of a heart and mind for mutuality. They are the vastly demanding invitation to grow up into the true, genuine, equal love which is the Trinity. We are indeed loved without condition, but God’s friendship, like any friendship, transforms us.
This has profound consequences for how the Church teaches morality, which can only be done in friendship. The media often look to Church leaders to make statements on moral issues, We are expected to lay down the law. If we fail to do so, then we shall be dismissed as vague and liberal. If we do so, then we shall be dismissed as conservative and bossy. But we cannot address people from above, as it were, like God’s police. It is only when we are close to people, sharing their challenges, their hopes, fears and their temptations, that we have anything to say."
— Timothy Radcliffe OP, Take the Plunge, 2012, p. 38 (via catherinestead)
Here are some selected podcasts from Truth Matters that I recommend:
"A thoughtless or uninformed theology grips and guides our life with just as great a force as does a thoughtful and informed one."
— Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines