Just One More Consumer Commodity

I often visit newcomers in town and find them to be church shopping. They want to know what they can get out of church. Churches are one more consumer commodity. Worship services are not a place for us to serve God and neighbor but a place where people expect to purchase the best: inspiring worship, good music, moving sermons, quality child care. As if we buy God and not vice versa.

Arthur Boers in The Other Side (May/June 1989)

101 Duties And God

What will it mean in practice for me to put God first? This much at least. The 101 things I have to do each day and the 101 demands on me which I know I must try to meet will all be approached as ventures of loving service to him, and I shall do the best I can in everything for his sake.

J. I. Packer in Your Father Loves You

Justifiable Rage?

In the course of two months that I spent in and around Mozambique last year, talking mostly with victims of the fighting and the famines it has caused, by far the most emotional voices I heard were in the capital city, Maputo, where great bellows of rage and grief often woke me in the mornings. The sufferers were always the same South African and Portuguese businessmen, playing tennis on the courts below my hotel-room window.

William Finnegan, in The New Yorker (May 29, 1989)

Climbing The Same Ladder

As churchpeople, we sometimes assume that we are immune to the temptations of power. We don’t make much money. Society gives us so little power that we think ambition—the drive to succeed, achieve and have prestige and influence over others—is a problem only for people in business or politics, not for people like us. We thus sometimes fail to see how we get caught up, for the very noblest of reasons, in the same ambitions ...

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