The reality is that the early church knew less about the Holy Spirit than most of us in the church today, at least in the intellectual sense. But they came to know the Spirit intimately and powerfully as He worked in and through their lives. All throughout the New Testament, we read of the apostles whose lives were led by the Spirit and lived out by His power. ~ Francis Chan

…for Paul, a Christian is only a Christian because of what God has done. The Christian is in Christ only because of the historical events of the cross and resurrection for which he praises God. ~ Ernest Best

That is why Red-letter Christians are so important. We are evangelicals who want to change the world, but not through political coercion. Our methodology is loving persuasion. We want Christians to be political but nonpartisan. We don’t want power; we just want to speak truth to power.

“No statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children” ~ Rabbi Irving Greenberg in a 1974 publication “Cloud Of Smoke”

It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens… My thesis is that if you come to recognize the beliefs on which your doubts about Christianity are based, and you seek as much proof for those beliefs as you seek from Christians for theirs – you will discover that your doubts are not as solid as they first appeared” ~ Tim Keller in “Reason For God” xix

“…skeptics must learn to look for a type of faith hidden within their reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seen, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt belief A except from a position of faith in belief B” ~ Tim Keller in “Reason For God” xviii

Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your belief to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous of offensive. And, just as important for our current situation, such a process will lead you, even after you come to a position of strong faith, to respect and understand those who doubt. ~ Tim Keller in “Reason for God” xvii

The church growth movement has made many lasting contributions to our practice of of ministry. But its overemphasis on technique and results can put too much pressure on ministers because it underemphasizes the importance of godly character and the sovereignty of God. Those who claim that “what is required is faithfulness” are largely right, but this mind-set can take too much pressure off church leaders. It does not lead them to ask hard questions when faithful ministries bear little fruit. When fruitfulness is our criterion for evaluation, we are held accountable but not crushed by the expectation that a certain number of lives will be changed dramatically under our ministry. ~ Tim Keller in Center Church p14

“A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain. This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines—they are a way of sowing to the Spirit. The Disciplines are God’s way of getting us into the ground; they put us where he can work within us and transform us. By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”

“The real sermon is made in the closet. The man-God’s man-is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages were received when alone with God. Prayer makes the man: prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor. The pulpit of this day is weak in praying. The pride of learning is against the dependent humility of prayer. Prayer is with the pulpit too often only official-a performance for the routine of service.” ~ E.M. Bounds in “The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer: Experience the Wonders of God through Prayer”