Today I am going to share some quotes from a book I am reading, Jesus Among Secular Gods by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. The quotes are excellent and parallel what I have been writing about for the last few days. The authors wrote it better than I, and so I want to share what they have written. I hope that you will be encouraged and challenged. Later today I will be writing a full review of the book.
“This is the Christian ethic at work. I am given the freedom to choose, and I am loved even when I make the wrong choices. But I am graphically reminded in the mission and work of Jesus Christ that, though I can choose my behavior, I cannot transpose the consequences that are inextricably bound to a particular choice. The greatest reality is that even in my wrong choice, I am still loved by God who woos me back to Himself by making the most sacrificial gift of all-a Savior for my rebellious heart… Charity is a soft word. A sacrificial love is the substance of that expression, a love that reveals the pain of wrong choices by paying the price in One who did not make the that choice. That is why the supreme expression of the gospel is the word grace. –Ravi Zacharias (P. 59)
“What is it about a human person that is equally true of every other human person and can never be lost, and therefore can justify the equal value of every person and the universality and inalienability of human rights? Only the love of God. God’s love is the one and only thing that will never change and cannot be lost.” -Vince Vitale (P. 123)
“Jesus didn’t go looking for his own pleasure but went looking for other people’s hurt. He went looking for trouble because it was in the place of trouble that God had work to do; it was in the place of trouble that healing needed to take place.” -Vitale (P. 189)
“Truth so often has been abused as a power play, experience has taught us that disagreement goes hand in hand with devaluing… Because truth has so often been used as a weapon to manipulate, abuse, and control, many have stopped valuing truth altogether. We have lost the ability to disagree in love. Even more, we have lost the ability for disagreement to be itself an act of love. Our experience of human nature has taught us that disagreement leads to devaluing, which leads to intolerance, which leads to violence. Therefore, disagreement becomes an act of hate and of war.” -Vitale (P. 212-13)
“We need to redeem disagreement not as an act of devaluing but as a gift. We need to redeem truth not as a power play but as an opportunity to love others sacrificially.” Vitale (P. 217)
“Christianity offers Jesus as an alternative, countercultural truth bearer. On the Cross, He literally bore the truth. He bore the truth about us-even the shameful truth. We can therefore love the truth because the bearer of truth was willing to bear the truth about us. Only a Christian can be a lover of truth, in the deepest sense of love, because only Christianity is an invitation to a personal loving relationship with the truth… Not just any truth will do. Only loving the truth will cast out fear. Only loving the truth will stop our abuse of the truth. There is nothing worse than unreturned love. But, for many, that has been their experience of truth because, if truth is not personal, there is nothing there to love you back. For someone who loves the truth, seeking the truth in anything other than a person is inevitably a failed relationship.” -Vitale (P. 230)
Vitale, Vince, Zacharias, Ravi. Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ. (Nashville: Faith Words) 2017