Different

Sam Peilow highlights some quotes from David Martin’s new book, Different:Our witness and the sins that work against it.

Sam Peilow highlights some quotes from David Martin’s new book, Different:Our witness and the sins that work against it.

P12: “[One] of the most pressing issues confronting us in our engagement with culture and our efforts in evangelism is our own credibility: our credibility as those who ought to be not only enjoying God’s good but broken creation here and now, but more importantly focusing on the world that is yet to come. The main burden of this book then is a concern that today’s Western Christians worry far more about our credit-ability than we do about our credibility. We worry about our financial, social or own personal emotional capital, while all the time not realising that our spiritual, holy and eternal capital is suffering as a result... Given this, no one would ever dare even contemplate becoming a Christian, for all they see is a spiritualised veneer of their own lives as they already are.”

 

P18: “The local church must live in its culture while being distinctive. This requires a continual critical assessment of its own culture – a tricky and demanding exercise. It must be in the world but not of the world. It must seek to win the world by both affirming what is good and at the very same time condemning what is bad. A church earnestly engaging with its surrounding culture in this way will be noted as being full of grace and yet seasoned with salt. This is part of the mission of every Christian and any faithful church.”

 

P23/25: “Jesus gives a very clear warning: if there is no (or even just a minor) difference between you and the rest of the world in how you view your financial capital and what you do with your time, Jesus will be hard pushed to recognise you on the ultimate pay day.... [Above] all we need to exercise our trust in God more. We need to trust him that when we sacrificially invest both these resources in His service, we will be acting in the only sensible way for Christians.”

 

P34: “Jesus was the most loving man who ever lived and yet he drew a line – a very definite line – in the sand. This line, unlike the sandcastles we build, is not washed away by the tide of time. In fact this line is what divides everyone for eternity. On one side are those who are still building their lives on the shifting and shaky foundations of this world. These are people who want to leave a mark on this world, but make no preparation for the world to come. On the other side are those who have come to their senses and can see that there is only one city whose foundations cannot be moved because its designer and builder is God himself (Heb. 11:10).”

 

P37: “My prayer is that this understanding will redirect many from being fatally short-sighted. Your time and money spent building your family up in godliness will not go wasted. Your time and money spent building up your church family in godliness will not go wasted. Join me in doing something for the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ. Then in a mere twenty or thirty years or so (if God should allow that), when your life really is all over, the true party can begin!”

 

P50: “It is my experience that the greatest need among younger generations such as mine is to find older people who are prepared to be courageous enough to remain sober-minded and steadfast in the face of massive cultural shifts. These two qualities are at a premium today because as the older generation looks to their progeny, they feel a huge emotional investment. What loving father or mother does not want to embrace their children in all that they are and chose to do? What devoted grandparent does not want to see their little grandchildren affirmed and encouraged in their loves and passions? But the trouble today is that so much of what the younger generation wants to be applauded for is simply madness. We experiment with absolutely everything, and it is tearing our society and indeed our very selves apart. Jobs are temporary, marriages are expendable, sexuality is fluid and personhood is a guessing game. The last thing we need is to be affirmed in these patterns.”

 

P65: “[Jesus] says that those who want ‘to save their life’ – here and now – will actually ‘lose it’ in the long run (Luke 9:24). Materialism cannot deliver you when it matters most... Again, those who may ‘gain the whole world’, achieving all their earthly ambitions, will in the end ‘forfeit their very self’ (Luke 9:25). Careerism will only carry you so far, leaving you short when it matters the most. Similarly, on the last day, when you are face to face with your Maker and Judge, he will not accept your going soft in your old age: ‘Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them’ (Luke 9:26). Sentimentalism will put you in such a position before the King of the universe.”

 

P67: “In the end, though, no matter what sort of border the Brexit negotiations produce, it will never be as solid and as clearly defined as the insurmountable border that already exists in the mind of many Northern Irish Christians towards their nearest neighbour. It is well documented that the Republic of Ireland is in great spiritual need... Among the English-speaking nations of the world, the Republic of Ireland is one of the least serviced in terms of biblical teaching. Yet Northern Ireland, with its abundance of Christians, sits and for the most part looks idly on.”

 

P69/71: “Jesus is the Christ of God for all people. Such lordship should radically overthrow any prejudice, bigotry and hatred – be it traditional, systemic or even endemic – among God’s churches. Our puny excuses based on our passports, flags and accents are not going to be accepted when the King of kings appears... Hate crimes are truly hateful, as the whole world knows. One day Jesus will come as the Prince of Peace and usher in an eternal reign of joy and delight for the entire universe. Until then, today, his people are to be visible signs of this great imminent reality. The lives we live, share and encourage one another in are meant to be reflections of what Jesus will perfect when he comes again. Let us not commit hate crime by remaining silent about this Gospel reality.”

 

P74/75: “In the end, this book is aimed at lending more authority, authenticity, and sincerity to your Christian witness... Christians don’t need to have caravans, careers, comforts, or even a country to call their own. Christians have Christ. What we need is the courage of our convictions.”

Sam Peilow