Elite Eight – Final Day

The Writers

1 – Rachel Held Evans
“Baptism reminds us that there’s no ladder to holiness to climb, no self-improvement plan to follow. It’s just death and resurrection, over and over again, day after day, as God reaches down into our deepest graves and with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead wrests us from our pride, our apathy, our fear, our prejudice, our anger, our hurt, and our despair.”


3 – Lisa Sharon Harper
“Why didn’t Jesus fight? After all, that’s what the people wanted. They had been waiting for a Messiah to overthrow Caesar by force and take back the Promised Land. Why did Jesus rebuke Peter and heal the slave’s ear? Why did he choose the route of silent, non-violent resistance with Pilate rather than lashing out or arguing his case? Why did Jesus turn the other cheek and excessive meekness, which means disciplined power, in the face of terror? I believe it was because when he looked into the eyes of the chief priests or their slaves or the Roman soldiers, or even Caesar himself, He saw the image of God.”


Church Voices 

8 – Jonathan Aigner
“We don’t want to be entertained in church, and frankly, the church’s attempt at entertainment is pathetic. Enough with the theatrics. Enough with the lights, the visuals, the booming audio, the fog machine, the giveaway gimmicks, the whole production. Follow that simple yet profound formula that’s worked for the entire history of the church. Entrance, proclamation, thanksgiving, sending out. Gathering, preaching, breaking bread, going forth in service. Give us a script to follow, give us songs to sing, give us the tradition of the church, give us Holy Scripture to read. Give us sacraments, not life groups, to grow and strengthen us.”


2 – Amy Butler
“The message Jesus came to preach is a message of challenge—utter and difficult challenge—that pushes us all to places of discomfort—pain, even, a message that makes all of us look hard at our hearts and think about just how they need to stretch. True sacrifice that makes a difference in the life of someone who has less than I do; relationships that practice the difficult discipline of community, of truth telling; communities that work together even when we’d prefer to promote our individual agendas; people who engage in real forgiveness and reconciliation with someone who you’d rather forget altogether . . . doing the hardest thing ever to reach out and heal situations you’d rather leave by the side of the road and move on . . . so that your life reflects the radical reconciliation Jesus came to show us.”

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