Core Authors: Sitting and Soaking...

With C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
More than twenty years ago, I came across an idea from Bobby Clinton that not only confirmed what I had already been doing, but which set me even more firmly on that path. Bobby Clinton, emeritus professor i the school of world missions at Fuller Theological Seminary spoke on the great value of having Core Authors.

A Core Author is an author who so resonates for you, who so powerfully and compelling writes and addresses the themes of greatest interest - that you should read AS MUCH AS YOU CAN by these authors.

I Find People Extremely Exhausting

Bonhoeffer quote, Life Together, I find people extremely exhaustingNot My Words - but Those of Dietrich Bonhoeffer*
Who deeply loved people. Who was fully commiited to people. Who made great sacrifices for people.

And who taught those who were studying to become pastors, that before they seek to be excellent in preaching and leading - they must be excellent in serving. When I recently read Life Togehter, the chapter on ministry, I was really struck by the first FIVE TASKS OF MINISTRY Bonhoeffer described.

Martin Luther and Life Long Learning

On Finding and Reading Many Books by an Author
Life Long Learning, Note 11

Here is an insight from Martin Luther that I first gained from Bobby Clinton about 20 years ago. It was very rewarding to see this same "gem" goes back a lot further in history.

Martin Luther quote, reading authors intensively

From Bobby Clinton I learned about finding "Core Authors" to become mentors. What Clinton understood was that a wise and deep immersion into the mind, thinking, heart, soul, perspective of an author takes time. It means you must read as many books as you can by an author. As you read a variety of books by an author, two things happen.

12 Reasons to Read Life Together

This is a Classic by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Well Worth Reading

Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote, life together, Christian community

I recently preached on one of the core vision components of Living Word Community Church - the theme of Life Together. When our leadership team sat down this past year and developed some new ways of thinking about our vision:  Jesus Encounters, Life Together, and Beyond Sunday - I don't think anyone said, "hey, let's use the title of Bonhoeffer's great book." On the other hand, as the phrase was used, we realized it was indeed a title of a great classic.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

This image and this quote from Nietzsche are very moving for me. I believe this is the mindset needed for all who will follow Jesus in our "post-Christian" culture, which is also becoming steadily "anti-Christian." 

Bonhoeffer called it the "cost of discipleship."

Jesus said, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).

The Apostle Paul says (paraphrased) "I have not yet arrived, but I know where I am headed and I press on: (Philippians 3:12-17).

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