Famous Quotes & Sayings

Andy Crouch Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 52 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Andy Crouch.

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If progress is not the right word for buildings or poems, what is the right way to evaluate cultural change? I suggest integrity. — Andy Crouch

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The greatest risk to human flourishing, then, is not institutionalization but the loss of institutions. In our time we have seen the rise of the "prosperity gospel," which in its crassest forms promises quick wealth in mechanical proportion to faith. But the prosperity gospel has not only a thin and unbiblical understanding of wealth (which in Scripture is never a private matter but an occasion for blessing for whole communities, not to mention the fruit and source of justice) - it has a thin and unbiblical understanding of time. In the biblical mindset, prosperity that does not last is not true prosperity at all. The only biblical prosperity gospel is a posterity gospel - the promise that generation after generation will know the goodness of God through the properly stewarded abundance of God's world. — Andy Crouch

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Making room for gleaning limits and disciplines our daily exercise of power. Any of us who possesses any significant power should ask each day what we might leave undone that day for the sake of others' creativity. But on a weekly basis we are commanded not just to leave margins around our exercise of power but to withdraw from it altogether. In the practice of sabbath, as of making room for gleaning, we once again play in the footsteps of the Creator God, whose work was not without rest and within whose sabbath all the rest of the story has unfolded. — Andy Crouch

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On the very first page of the Bible, then, power, flourishing and image bearing are connected. Power is for flourishing - teeming, fruitful, multiplying abundance. Power creates and shapes an environment where creatures can flourish, making room for the variety, diversity and unpredictability of coral reefs and tropical forests, but also the surprising biological richness of high deserts and ocean depths. And image bearing is for power - for it is the Creator's desire to fill the earth with representatives who will have the same kind of delighted dominion over the teeming creatures as their Maker. Which means image bearing is for flourishing. The image bearers do not exist for their own flourishing alone, but to bring the whole creation to its fulfillment. — Andy Crouch

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Four Ingredients Plus Three Generations The recipe for an institution, then, is four ingredients plus three generations: artifacts, arenas, rules and roles that are passed on to the founding generation's children's children. Fail to follow this recipe by neglecting the transmission over generations and you are likely to leave little of cultural significance behind - at best, a few mysterious artifacts and hazy, nostalgic memories. Likewise, fail to follow this recipe by neglecting one of the four essential ingredients, and enduring impact is equally unlikely, because only the fourfold combination of artifacts, arenas, rules and roles is strong enough to sustain a cultural innovation through time. — Andy Crouch

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True greatness and true power is faithful all the way down, including humbly quick to admit limitedness, sin and brokenness, and to ask for forgiveness. — Andy Crouch

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If we are known mostly for our ability to poke holes in every human project, we will probably not be known as people who bear the hope and mercy of God. — Andy Crouch

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At its worst, privilege is blindness, allowing us to blithely go on in our god playing, not even aware of the insults to image bearers that happen under our noses every day. — Andy Crouch

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It's not hard to figure out who has the power in any large gathering in our mediated culture: they are the ones with a microphone, their image projected larger than life above the crowd. — Andy Crouch

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In this world, this life, "flow" [the times when our work or play so absorbs and attunes our energies that we lose track of time] comes to an end. The canvas is dry, the fugue is complete, the band plays the tag one more time and then resolves on the final chord. And, too, the book is finished, the service is over, the lights go up in the darkened theater and we emerge blinking into the bright lights of the "real world." But what if the timeless, creative world we had glimpsed is really the real world -- and it is precisely its reality that gave it such power to captivate us for a while? What if our ultimate destiny is that moment of enjoyment and engagement we glimpse in the artist's studio? — Andy Crouch

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No story shows more clearly Jesus' utter disregard of human privilege - disregard, not antipathy or distaste. He is swayed neither by Jairus's prominence nor by the woman's poverty, but by the faith and desperate need of each one. Jesus is not a strategic political calculator, currying favor with the local leaders; nor is he a revolutionary, ostentatiously undercutting the powerful. He is a restorer of daughters, known and unknown, socially central and socially marginal. And while he is indifferent to human power, he is so exquisitely aware of his own power to restore health (which is simply another way to say flourishing image bearing) that the slightest faithful brush with his cloak brings him to a halt, not content to have power flow anonymously and disconnectedly, searching out relationship with the ones who seek him. — Andy Crouch

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This father, indeed, is what the various fathers of the biblical story - from Noah to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to David - never quite managed to be with their own families. He does what they rarely managed to do with their own power: use it for ever-increasing abundance and blessing. He is an icon of the true image. Indeed, in the holy hilarity of his greeting, the lavishness of his feast, and the eagerness of his pleading, we glimpse not just an image bearer but the very One "from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name" (Ephesians 3:15), whose image is meant to be refracted in his sons and daughters. Like him, we are meant to pour out our power fearlessly, spend our privilege recklessly, and leave our status in the dust of our headlong pursuit of love. — Andy Crouch

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The followers of Jesus will begin to demonstrate a new set of horizons for human life to their neighbors and even to their enemies - the horizons of shalom, the horizons of true humanity living in dependence on God. — Andy Crouch

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If there is a constructive way forward for Christians in the midst of our broken but also beautiful cultures, it will require us to recover these two biblical postures of cultivation and creation. And that recovery will involve revisiting the biblical story itself, where we discover that God is more intimately and eternally concerned with culture than we have yet come to believe. — Andy Crouch

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Initially, all idols seem to deliver exactly this escape from mere goodness into transcendent greatness. Consider the weather. In our scientific age, amidst the technological achievements of modernity, we have lost much of our reverence for and sense of helpless dependence on the weather. But imagine the sense of mastery and awe that must have overwhelmed the first people who pounded out an exuberant and desperate dance, in hopes of cajoling the sky god into bringing rain, when they were rewarded by an unexpected cloudburst an hour or a day later. Or the sense of awed gratitude and newfound power when a libation poured out on the ground seemed to deliver an abundant harvest. There must have been some such moments - how else would the rituals have become credible? — Andy Crouch

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To live fully, in these transitory lives on this fragile earth, in such a way that we somehow participate in the glory of God - that would be flourishing. And that is what we are meant to do. — Andy Crouch

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The powerful have a hard time seeing their own power and its effects. We do not see when our exercise of power is cutting off life and possibility for others; we do not see the ways others are resisting or undermining our own power. — Andy Crouch

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I rarely feel such clear signs of fatigue and anxiety on days that are filled with travel, meetings and assignments - only when I stop to rest. Without sabbath, I would be dangerously ignorant of the true condition of my soul. — Andy Crouch

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There is no more reprehensible god playing than the use of children for sexual gratification, the exploitation of widows and their children by distant relatives after the death of a father, the misuse of police powers to extort false confessions and protect the perpetrators of sexual violence, or the serial enslavement of generation after generation to extract payments on unpayable debts. All of these and more are abuses of power that IJM targets in countries around the world where the public justice system does not work on behalf of the poor and powerless. — Andy Crouch

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Grace is not a shortcut around our effort; it is the divine blessing on efforts that are undertaken in dependence and trust on God. — Andy Crouch

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The best way I know to define privilege is the ongoing benefits of past successful exercises of power. — Andy Crouch

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Far from being aloof or detached from power, the church is all about power - the end of power, meaning the purpose of power, the taming of power, and the unleashing of power for true flourishing. The church proclaims the true story of power. By telling the whole story from Genesis to Revelation, with its astonishing bookends of good, very good and glorious news, the church recognizes and affirms our human ambitions and aspirations, placing them in the context where they truly make sense and can find their rightful place. By telling the full truth about idolatry and injustice, not least by recalling the stories of how our own heroes fell into compromise and foolishness, the church makes clear just how damaging our pride is to ourselves, our neighbors and the whole groaning creation. And by recounting over and over the immense cost of redemption, the church leads us to abashed and grateful humility before the one who gave up everything for us. — Andy Crouch

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power is creation, and that when power takes the form of coercion and violence, that is actually a diminishment and distortion of what it was meant to be. — Andy Crouch

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Is the result of cooperation the seizing of power? Not so: cooperation mysteriously creates more power than there was before, so that the more we work together the more power we discover is available to us. — Andy Crouch

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I wonder what we Christians are known for in the world outside our churches. Are we known as critics, consumers, copiers, condemners of culture? I'm afraid so. Why aren't we known as cultivators - people who tend and nourish what is best in human culture, who do the hard and painstaking work to preserve the best of what people before us have done? Why aren't we known as creators - people who dare to think and do something that has never been thought or done before, something that makes the world more welcoming and thrilling and beautiful? — Andy Crouch

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Very few institutions thrive when they are left solely to "professionals," people who have made it their life's work to master a given domain of culture. — Andy Crouch

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And so Jesus' power leads to overflow, abundance and excellence, that is, to flourishing. — Andy Crouch

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So do you want to make culture? Find a community, a small group who can lovingly fuel your dreams and puncture your illusions. Find friends and form a family who are willing to see grace at work in one another's lives, who can discern together which gifts and which crosses each has been called to bear. Find people who have a holy respect for power and a holy willingness to spend their power alongside the powerless. Find some partners in the wild and wonderful world beyond church doors. And then, together, make something of the world. — Andy Crouch

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King wrote. Silence is the underlords' failure. — Andy Crouch

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What was missing, I've come to believe, were the two postures that are most characteristically biblical -- the two postures that have been least explored by Christians in the last century. They are found at the very beginning of the human story, according to Genesis: like our first parents, we are to be creators and cultivators. Or to put it more poetically, we are artists and gardeners. ... after the contemplation, the artist and the gardener both adopt a posture of purposeful work. They bring their creativity and effort to their calling. ... They are acting in the image of One who spoke a world into being and stooped down to form creatures from the dust. They are creaturely creators, tending and shaping the world that original Creator made. — Andy Crouch

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the whole reason for John's Revelation is to encourage the churches strewn around the rim of the Mediterranean to lift up their eyes from the imperial power of Rome and every earthly Babylon. John is commissioned to bring these churches a vision of ultimate reality, in all its glory and justice, so that they can live faithfully, candles set in lampstands in a dimly lit world. — Andy Crouch

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Stewardship means to consciously take up our cultural power, investing it intentionally among the seemingly powerless, putting our power at their disposal to enable them to cultivate and create. — Andy Crouch

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All true cultural creativity happens at the edges of the horizons of the possible, so by definition our most culturally creative endeavors have a high risk of failure. — Andy Crouch

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Status is about counting, numbering, ranking and ultimately about excluding. — Andy Crouch

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if the work of creating consistently leaves us depressed or drained, it is likely that we have somehow missed the path. — Andy Crouch

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It is an almost precise inversion of Lord Acton's observation: the more power we have over our children, the more we are willing to sacrifice for them. Love transfigures power. Absolute love transfigures absolute power. And power transfigured by love is the power that made and saves the world. — Andy Crouch

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it is extraordinary how few Christians make any concerted effort to keep the commandment of sabbath rest. We have somehow twisted Jesus' pithy rebuke of the Pharisees, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27) from a warning against legalism into a license for neglect. We seem to forget that in the very next breath Jesus asserts, "so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath" (v. 28), thus asserting his lordship over - not exemption from or indifference to - this very good gift from God to his image bearers. — Andy Crouch

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The bigger the change we hope for, the longer we must be willing to invest, work for, and wait for it. — Andy Crouch

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So the best defense against porn, for every member of our family, is a full life--the kind of life that technology cannot provide on its own. This is why the most important things we will do to prevent porn from taking over our own lives and our children's lives have nothing to do with sex. A home where wisdom and courage come first; where our central spaces are full of satisfying, demanding opportunities for creativity; where we have regular breaks from technology and opportunities for deep rest and refreshment (where devices "sleep" somewhere other than our bedrooms and where both adults and children experience the satisfactions of learning in thick, embodied ways rather than thin, technological ways); where we've learned to manage boredom and where even our car trips are occasions for deep and meaningful conversation--this is the kind of home that can equip all of us with an immune system strong enough to resist pornography's foolishness. — Andy Crouch

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Unchecked power, driven by self-interest, scarcity, grandiosity and aggression, is deadly to God's original fruitful purposes. — Andy Crouch

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The language of worldview tends to imply, to paraphrase the Catholic writer Richard Rohr, that we can think ourselves into new ways of behaving. But that is not the way culture works. Culture helps us behave ourselves into new ways of thinking. The risk in thinking 'worldviewishly' is that we will start to think that the best way to change culture is to analyze it. We will start worldview academies, host worldview seminars, write worldview books. These may have some real value if they help us understand the horizons that our culture shapes, but they cannot substitute for the creation of real cultural goods. And they will subtly tend to produce philosophers rather than plumbers, abstract thinkers instead of artists and artisans. They can create a cultural niche in which 'worldview thinkers' are privileged while other kinds of culture makers are shunted aside. But culture is not changed simply by thinking. — Andy Crouch

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The deeper and more debilitating form of powerlessness is to be cut off from making meaning. — Andy Crouch

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If culture is to change, it will be because some new tangible (or audible or visible or olfactory) thing is presented to a wide enough public that it begins to reshape their world. — Andy Crouch

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Every idol makes two simple and extravagant promises. "You shall not surely die." "You shall be like God. — Andy Crouch

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no man is the slave either of another man or of sin": Augustine, City of God 19.15, ed. and trans. R. W. Dyson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 943. — Andy Crouch

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Why is power a gift? Because power is for flourishing. When power is used well, people and the whole cosmos come more alive to what they were meant to be. And flourishing is the test of power. — Andy Crouch

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We are continually being nudged by our devices toward a set of choices. The question is whether those choices are leading us to the life we actually want. I want a life of conversation and friendship, not distraction and entertainment; but every day, many times a day, I'm nudged in the wrong direction. One key part of the art of living faithfully with technology is setting up better nudges for ourselves. — Andy Crouch

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So finding our place in the world as culture makers requires us to pay attention to culture's many dimensions. We will make something of the world in a particular ethnic tradition, in particular spheres, at particular scales. There is no such thing as "the Culture," and any attempt to talk about "the Culture," especially in terms of "transforming the Culture," is misled and misleading. Real culture making, not to mention cultural transformation, begins with a decision about which cultural world - or, better, worlds - we will attempt to make something of. — Andy Crouch

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Here is what we need to discover about power: it is both better and worse than we could imagine. — Andy Crouch

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The End of Idolatry At the end, idols completely fail. They not only fail to deliver the godlikeness and immortality they promised at first, they rob their worshipers of even the most minimal human dignity and agency. Of all the charges the biblical prophets file against idols, the most damning is this: "Those who make them become like them." The very human creativity that was able to fashion a god substitute is undermined and eventually eradicated by idolatry. The idol maker, originally an image bearer, becomes as inanimate and mute as a statue, no longer able to move, feel, care or love. The idol, originally invested with all the human hopes for power, ends up robbing human beings of their power. — Andy Crouch

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When we try to establish justice apart from worship of the true God, at best we will, as Jayakumar reminded me, simply replace one set of god players with another. What will never be addressed by these thin, secular conceptions of justice is the heart of the biblical understanding of justice: the restoration of the human capacity to bear the image in all its fullness. — Andy Crouch

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We have somehow twisted Jesus' pithy rebuke of the Pharisees, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27) from a warning against legalism into a license for neglect. We seem to forget that in the very next breath Jesus asserts, "so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath" (v. 28), thus asserting his lordship over - not exemption from or indifference to - this very good gift from God to his image bearers. There is perhaps no single thing that could better help us recover Jesus' lordship in our frantic, power-hungry world than to allow him to be Lord of our rest as well as our work. The challenge is disarmingly simple: one day a week, not to do anything that we know to be work. — Andy Crouch