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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Quotes from David F. Wells

I just completed No Place for Truth, by David Wells last night. I thought I would paste some good quotes from the book. All of these particular quotes come from his last chapter titled, "The Reform of Evangelicalism."

On Modern Revivalism:

"At moments like this, the customary response to the sense of Christian inadequacy, whether in relation to God or some aspect of the Christian message, has been to call for revival. In the modern period, though, revival has frequently entailed little more than proceeding with business as usual and praying that God will spice it up with some new enthusiasm and effectiveness. This is the legacy of the Finneyite conception of revival as something that can be engineered by the Church with proper techniques. Working from such assumptions, the Church will almost certainly be inclined to think of its own rejuvenation as self-engineered. But this is simply to apply modernity's solution to a problem that modernity has caused, and that is a dead end (Wells, No place for Truth, 296)."

On the Image of God:

"If we view ourselves as beings made in the image of God, we will recognize in ourselves capacities for God, truth, and goodness--capacities that cannot be meaningfully filled by that which is not divine, not true, not good. As Augustine observed long ago, we will be restless and frustrated until these capacities find their satisfaction in the God for whom they are made (Wells, No Place for Truth, 298)."

On the Relationship between Theology and the Church:

"Why should theology not be content simply to think its deep thoughts alone in the learned guild, doing its work only among scholars? The answer, quite simply, is that the learned guild cannot properly serve as the primary auditor for theology, the wider culture finds it incomprehensible, and theology developed apart from the Church rapidly loses its character. A theology oblivious to the Church as the people of God soon loses a sense of wonder because it is cut off from worship, and it soon loses productive connections to the world because it is not driven by a commitment to service. It will lose its life and character. And, conversely, without theology there can be no Church, because theology holds the key to Christian identity, to Christian continuity, to genuine piety, to serious worship, and to the sort of Christian thought that seeks to bring the import of God's Word into our world (Wells, No Place for Truth, 292)."

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