More Musings on the Possibility of Christian Community

Recently I have been reading a few books that are filling my head with ideas about the challenges of living out Christian community anywhere.

The Wisdom of Stability
Life Together
(I read this one once a year)
The Big Sort
Simple Church

All of them are well written. They are from all over the political and theological spectrum. My sense is that they are all looking out windows on opposite sides of a house with very little overlap in their points of view. Consequently, they see somethings rightly and somethings askew. My hope is that reading them all together will help me get a bird’s eye 10,000 foot perspective. (Do birds fly 10,000 feet?)

Here’s a few quotes from THE WISDOM OF STABILITY

“…if we follow our longings for harmony and community to their root, we uncover a fundamental human need. Our desire for some place on earth to plant our feet in troubled times points us to the deeper yearnings of the human heart–to a spiritual need for stability that may well be built into us.”  — Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Wisdom of Stability, p. 11-12

“Deep down in our bones, we seem to know that rapid change and constant motion are hazards to our spiritual health.” —Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Wisdom of Stability, p. 12

“God meets Jacob when he is a homeless scoundrel on the runs and says, ‘I love you. I want you. I will make this a place for you, and I will meet you here.’ … The heart’s true home—the foundation we long for—is a life rooted in the love of God. But this love is always God’s mercy directed toward us before it is our response of trusting love. God offers us stability in the only thing that cannot fail—God’s faithfulness itself.”  —The Wisdom of Stability, p. 14-15

“So the ground of stability is always God’s grace. But the stability God invites us into is a practice that entails a way of life.” —The Wisdom of Stability, p. 17

“Life in the house of God is life with other people who are every bit as broken and messed up as we are. We learn to dwell with God by learning the practices of hospitality, listening, forgiveness, and reconciliation—the daily tasks of life with other people. Stability in Christ is always stability in community.”  —The Wisdom of Stability, p. 18

“In Merton’s words again, we have been ‘destined from all eternity to bring one another closer to [God] by our love, our patience, or forbearance, and our efforts at mutual understanding.'” —The Wisdom of Stability, p. 19

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