10 Quotes From My Favorite Christian Authors

I’ve written plenty about C.S. Lewis, whose writings — fiction and nonfiction alike — have challenged, sharpened, and encouraged my faith more than any other Christian author. But I haven’t spent as much time on some of the many other Christian authors whose writing has expanded my view of God and helped me live my faith in new ways.

In the list that follows, I’ve included one of my favorite quotes from each of my current 10 favorite Christian authors.

10. Brenda Salter McNeil
Seattle-based speaker, author, pastor, and professor
“It’s time for the followers of Jesus to embark on a prophetic journey that leads to reconciliation and transformation around the world. … We aren’t yet fully aware of injustices and inequality in our communities, and this understanding and awareness is absolutely essential if we are to be God’s agents of reconciliation. … We have to face the realities here at home, and we must also embrace the stories of people all around the world.”

9. Jurgen Moltmann
Professor emeritus of systematic theology, German soldier and prisoner of war whose faith journey began during WWII
“No one can answer the theodicy question in this world, and no one can get rid of it. Life in this world means living with this open question. … It is not really a question at all, in the sense of something we can ask or not ask, like other questions. It is the open wound of life in this world. It is the real task of faith and theology to make it possible for us to survive, to go on living, with this open wound. The person who believes will not rest content with any slickly explanatory answer to the theodicy question. And he will also resist any attempts to soften the question down. The more a person believes, the more deeply he experiences pain over the suffering in the world, and the more passionately he asks about God and the new creation.”

8. N.T. Wright
Former Anglican bishop in Britain, leading biblical scholar
“What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. … They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”

7. Soong-Chan Rah
Chicago-based professor of church growth and evangelism
“American Christians may be fearful of the dramatic changes that have already occurred in the world and in American Christianity. Could that fear be rooted in a loss of power as the demographics of world Christianity begin to favor non-Western nations? But these changes in Christianity may be exactly what God intended, requiring American Christians to relinquish a historical dominance and embrace a greater mutuality, equality and reciprocity in twenty-first-century world Christianity.”

6. Miroslav Volf
Widely acclaimed Croatian theologian
“If no one remembers a misdeed or names it publicly, it remains invisible. To the observer, its victim is not a victim and its perpetrator is not a perpetrator; both are misperceived because the suffering of the one and the violence of the other go unseen. A double injustice occurs – the first when the original deed is done and the second when it disappears.”

5. Reggie Williams
Chicago-based professor of Christian ethics
“The white Christ is the divine representative of white supremacy and a constant threat to the well-being of Jim’s black family. The white Christ can only hurt, humiliate, and kill them. But the heart of [“The Black Christ” poet Countee] Cullen’s critique of Christian white supremacy discloses a different Christ-centered reality; the religion of the pious, black Christian mother has nothing to do with the religious representation of white supremacy. She is not praying to a white Christ. … Her Jesus is very different from the Christ who is co-opted by forces that turn him into a weapon wielded against marginalized people.”

4. Sarah Bessey
Canadian author and blogger
“I want to be outside with the misfits, with the rebels, the dreamers, second-chance givers, the radical grace lavishers, the ones with arms wide open, the courageously vulnerable, and among even—or maybe especially—the ones rejected as not worthy enough or right enough.”

3. Nadia Bolz-Weber
Colorado-based pastor and author
“Getting sober never felt like I had pulled myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps. It felt instead like I was on one path toward destruction and God pulled me off of it by the scruff of my collar, me hopelessly kicking and flailing and saying, ‘Screw you. I’ll take the destruction please.’ God looked at tiny, little red-faced me and said, ‘that’s adorable,’ and then plunked me down on an entirely different path.”

2. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Germany-based theologian, pastor, and author
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. … Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.”

1. C.S. Lewis
Britain-based Anglican author and academic
“But please, please – won’t you – can’t you give me something that will cure Mother?’
Up till then he had been looking at the Lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.

‘My son, my son,’ said Aslan. ‘I know. Grief is great.”

 


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