“Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationships, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role, as agents, heralds, and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God’s new world, which he has thrown open before us.”—N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, 237.
“Only under great duress does a religious person admit they have sinned—because their only hope is their moral goodness. But in the gospel, the knowledge of our acceptance in Christ makes it easier to admit we are flawed (because we know we won’t be cast off if we confess the true depths of our sinfulness). Our hope is in Christ’s righteousness, not our own—so it is not so traumatic to admit our weaknesses and lapses. In religion, we repent less and less often. But the more accepted and loved in the gospel we feel, the more and more often we will be repenting. And though, of course there is always some bitterness in any repentance, in the gospel there is ultimately a sweetness. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. The more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more you are able to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions of your sin. The sin under all other sins is a lack of joy in Christ.”—Tim Keller, All of Life is Repentance