The gospel ought never to be entirely at home in any culture. If gospel and culture fit together as easily as hand-in-glove, then the likelihood is that the gospel has capitulated to the values of the culture.… There must always be some tension between gospel and culture. The trick is to tune that tension just right, so that gospel and church can play a transforming role in its host culture. The gospel doesn’t carry with it a culture of its own. It must always find its place in the culture of the time and place. Nevertheless, it always questions the local culture and holds it accountable before the cross.
—Ronald P. Byars, Christian Worship: Glorifying and Enjoying God, 110
Jesus beckons all the thirsty:
Come and taste, and drink, and live!
He will quench their deepest longings,
Life abundant He will give.
Praise the One with living water,
Praise the One who saves the soul;
Praise the One with grace sufficient,
Praise the One who makes us whole!
–Ron Man, 2014
This story is the good news (evangelion). In worship we signify it (leiturgia); in evangelism we proclaim it (kerygma); in fellowship we experience it (koinonia); in our ministry to each other and in our service to others we live it (deaconia). It is the very heartbeat of who we are.
–Robin Parry, Worshiping Trinity: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship, 20
“The glory of the gospel is that God has declared Christians to be rightly related to him in spite of their sin. But our greatest temptation and mistake is to try to smuggle character into his work of grace. How easily we fall into the trap of assuming that we can only remain justified so long as there are grounds in our character for justification. But Paul’s teaching is that nothing we do ever contributes to our justification.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, Know Your Christian Life (InterVarsity Press, 1981), 73