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Os Guinness quotes (showing 1-30 of 215)

“Interestingly, God's remedy for Elijah's depression was not a refresher course in theology but food and sleep... Before God spoke to him at all, Elijah was fed twice and given a good chance to sleep. Only then, and very gently, did God confront him with his error. This is always God's way. Having made us as human beings, He respects our humanness and treats us with integrity. That is, He treats us true to the truth of who we are. It is human beings and not God who have made spirituality impractical.”
Os Guinness, God in the Dark
tags: faith
“The question the doubter does not ask is whether faith was really useless or simply not used. What would you think of a boy who gave up learning to ride a bicycle, complaining that he hurt himself because his bicycle stopped moving so he had no choice but to fall off? If he wanted to sit comfortably while remaining stationary, he should not have chosen a bicycle but a chair. Similarly faith must be put to use, or it will become useless.”
Os Guinness, God in the Dark
tags: faith
“Christianity is the only religion whose God bears the scars of evil.”
Os Guinness
“What has happened to create this doubt is that a problem (such as a deep conflict or a bad experience) has been allowed to usurp God's place and become the controlling principle of life. Instead of viewing the problem from the vantage point of faith, the doubter views faith from the vantage point of the problem. Instead of faith sizing up the problem, the situation ends with the problem scaling down faith. The world of faith is upside down, and in the topsy-turvy reality of doubt, a problem has become god and God has become a problem.”
Os Guinness
tags: faith
“Thus, for followers of Christ, calling neutralizes the fundamental position of choice in modern life. “I have chosen you,” Jesus said, “you have not chosen me.” We are not our own; we have been bought with a price. We have no rights, only responsibilities. Following Christ is not our initiative, merely our response, in obedience. Nothing works better to debunk the pretensions of choice than a conviction of calling. Once we have been called, we literally “have no choice.”
Os Guinness
“Sometimes when I listen to people who say they have lost their faith, I am far less surprised than they expect. If their view of God is what they say, then it is only surprising that they did not reject it much earlier.

Other people have a concept of God so fundamentally false that it would be better for them to doubt than to remain devout. The more devout they are, the uglier their faith will become since it is based on a lie. Doubt in such a case is not only highly understandable, it is even a mark of spiritual and intellectual sensitivity to error, for their picture is not of God but an idol. ”
Os Guinness, God in the Dark
“Mastering our emotions has nothing to do with asceticism or repression, for the purpose is not to break the emotions or deny them but to "break in" the emotions, making them teachable because they are tamed.”
Os Guinness, God in the Dark
“We are not wise enough, pure enough, or strong enough to aim and sustain such a single motive over a lifetime. That way lies fanaticism or failure. But if the single motive is the master motivation of God's calling, the answer is yes. In any and all situations, both today and tomorrow's tomorrow, God's call to us is the unchanging and ultimate whence, what, why, and whither of our lives. Calling is a 'yes' to God that carries a 'no' to the chaos of modern demands. Calling is the key to tracing the story line of our lives and unriddling the meaning of our existence in a chaotic world.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“Either we conform our desires to the truth or we conform the truth to our desires.”
Os Guinness
“To believe in God is to "let God be God." This is the chief business of faith. As we believe we are allowing God to be in our lives what He already is in Himself. In trusting God, we are living out our assumptions, putting into practice all that we say He is in theory so that who God is and what He has done can make the difference in every part of our lives.

This means that the accuracy of our pictures of God is not tested by our orthodoxy or our testimonies but by the truths we count on in real life. It is demonstrated when the heat is on, the chips are down, and reality seems to be breathing down our necks. What we presuppose at such moments is our real picture of God, and this may be very different from what we profess to believe about God. (God in the Dark, ch. 4)”
Os Guinness
“There is no problem with the wider culture that you cannot see in the spades in the Christian Church. The rot is in us, and not simple out there. And Christians are making a great mistake by turning everything into culture wars. It's a much deeper crisis.”
Os Guinness
“We cannot find God without God. We cannot reach God without God. We cannot satisfy God without God—which is another way of saying that our seeking will always fall short unless God’s grace initiates the search and unless God’s call draws us to him and completes the search.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“Calling is not only a matter of being and doing what we are but also of becoming what we are not yet but are called by God to be.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“In terms of distance, the prodigal's pigsty is the farthest point from home; in terms of time, the pigsty is the shortest distance to the father's house.”
Os Guinness, Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype & Spin
“Christians simply haven't developed Christian tools of analysis to examine culture properly. Or rather, the tools the church once had have grown rusty or been mislaid. What often happens is that Christians wake up to some incident or issue and suddenly realize they need to analyze what's going on. Then, having no tools of their own, they lean across and borrow the tools nearest them.

They don't realize that, in their haste, they are borrowing not an isolated tool but a whole philosophical toolbox laden with tools which have their own particular bias to every problem (a Trojan horse in the toolbox, if you like). The toolbox may be Freudian, Hindu or Marxist. Occasionally, the toolbox is right-wing; more often today it is liberal or left-wing (the former mainly in North America, the latter mainly in Europe). Rarely - and this is all that matters to us - is it consistently or coherently Christian.

When Christians use tools for analysis (or bandy certain terms of description) which have non-Christian assumptions embedded within them, these tools (and terms) eventually act back on them like wearing someone else's glasses or walking in someone else's shoes. The tools shape the user. Their recent failure to think critically about culture has made Christians uniquely susceptible to this.”
Os Guinness
“Modern life assaults us with an infinite range of things we could do, we would love to do, or some people tell us we should do. But we are not God and we are neither infinite nor eternal. We are quite simply finite. We have only so many years, so much energy, so many gray cells, and so many bank notes in our wallets. 'Life is too short to...' eventually shortens to 'life is too short.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“In practice it undermines the transformation of faith. When Christians concentrate their time and energy on their own separate spheres and their own institutions-whether all-absorbing megachurches, Christian yellow-page businesses, or womb-to-tomb Christian cultural ghettoes-they lose the outward thrusting, transforming power that is at the heart of the gospel. Instead of being 'salt' and 'light' -images of a permeating and penetrating action-Christians and Christian institutions become soft and vulnerable to corruption from within.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“Calling resists privatization by insisting on the totality of faith. Calling resists politicization by demanding a tension with every human allegiance and association. Calling resists polarization by requiring an attitude toward, and action in, society that is inevitably transforming because it is constantly engaged. Grand Christian movements will rise and fall. Grand campaigns will be mounted and grand coalitions assembled. But all together such coordinated efforts will never match the influence of untold numbers of followers of Christ living out their callings faithfully across the vastness and complexity of modern society.”
Os Guinness, The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life
“Just as to a man with a hammer, everything is a nail, so in the age of science and technology, everything is a scientific and technical matter to be solved by scientific and technical means.”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“Americans might ponder two quotations. One is the much-cited, self-congratulatory saying attributed to Tocqueville (but whose source no one has so far been able to show me): "America is great because America is good." The other is the very real saying of Samuel Johnson, attacking the similar self-congratulatory "greatness" of the English: "We continue every day to show by new proofs, that no people can be great who have ceased to be virtuous.”
Os Guinness, A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future
“To come to faith on the basis of experience alone is unwise, though not so foolish as to reject faith altogether because of lack of experience ... the quality of a Christian's experience depends on the quality of his faith, just as the quality of his faith depends in turn on the quality of his understanding of God's truth.”
Os Guinness, In Two Minds
“The age of the Internet, it is said, is the age of the self and the selfie. The world is full of people full of themselves. In such an age, “I post, therefore I am.”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“In other words, we are never freer than when we become most ourselves, most human, most just, most excellent, and the like.”
Os Guinness, Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype & Spin
“All good thinking is a matter of asking and answering three elementary questions. What is being said? Is it true? What of it?”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“far too much Christian evangelism and apologetics is based on the assumption that almost everyone is open, interested and needy—when most people most of the time are quite simply not.”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“Balaam’s ass is the patron saint of apologists. Madness, as we shall see, is an appropriate term for the unreality of unbelief.”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“We betray our modern arrogance and forget the place of mystery in God's dealing with us.”
Os Guinness
“The key to changing the world is not simply being there, but an active, transforming engagement of a singularly robust and energetic kind.”
Os Guinness, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times
“Once when the great slaver turned abolitionist John Newton was praised for what he had achieved, he responded quickly: “Sir, the devil already told me that.” In a similar situation, when the eminent Scottish preacher Robert Murray M’Cheyne was congratulated by a parishioner for his saintliness, he replied sharply, “Madame, if you could see in my heart, you would spit in my face.” In each case, they refused to let others think that they were what they weren’t. They resisted hypocrisy by exposing the gap that was its essence—the gap between the inner and the outer, appearance and reality.”
Os Guinness, Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion
“God is the ultimate source of all power. All human power is therefore derived, limited, unstable and transient.”
Os Guinness, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times

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