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Monday, September 19, 2011


CitySquare attempts to operate from a strong foundation defined by four very clear value propositions.  We are beginning to weave these priorities into all that we do and wherever we engage others.

Here they are without commentary:

Community:  WE over me.

Faith:  The power that's ours.

Justice Focus of our fight!

Stewardship Commitment to accountability.


Anonymous said...

Strangest definition of faith I've ever heard of.

Larry James said...

Anon 11:05, really? You find no power in your faith? No motivation? No calling? No life direction or force that provides direction, strength, endurance and ultimate purpose? How would you/do you define faith?

Anonymous said...

more liberation theology b.s.

Larry James said...

Anon 2:25, I don't mind acknowledging connections to LB when they are present. In this case, we're coming out of scripture. Ever hear the phrase, "the power of he that is in you" being "greater than he who is in the world?" Sometimes if all you got to work with is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

Anonymous said...

New International Version (©1984)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

As we accept our weakness we trust in His strength. My faith contains no power. The object of my faith is all powerful.

I think your definition of faith is not really faith. If we really have all that strength, why would we need faith?

Don't say this is just semantics. I think you knew when these words were penned that you were appealing to the inner pride of your target audience. Keep telling them they are strong and they might just act like it. But then, what might happen to real faith in God?

Anonymous said...


"The power of he that is in you."
"The power that is ours."
I can't see how these are mutually exclusive unless you're just determined to see it that way. 'The power that is ours' says nothing about the source of the power or where it resides, as you seem to imply. It's simply about identifying and claiming the power that is in you - i.e. (as in the passages you quote) God.

I think Larry's point about a hammer and a nail is right on.

Larry James said...

Anon 2:38, your statement: "I think you knew when these words were penned that you were appealing to the inner pride of your target audience. Keep telling them they are strong and they might just act like it. But then, what might happen to real faith in God?" could be the most paternalistic, judgmental statement I've ever read about "my target audience."

I pity you if you find no power, practical strength in your faith. I can tell you I would not be here if I felt that my faith was w/o affect in the world and on my work. The One I follow once said that we would do even greater work than he did because of the coming source of power. Just because you don't like me shouldn't alter your view of God's very real, practical power exercised among God's people--the poor, marginalized and discounted.

Anonymous said...

1 John 4:4
New International Version (NIV)
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

It would help if Larry quoted the Scripture accurately. There is no passage that incorporates the phrase "the power of he that is in you." The greatness is in the one who is in us, if we are believers. Not in us directly.

He is strong, we are weak. He does great things, we are used by Him as He does great things.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:26, thanks for the helpful correction re my quoting skills w/o a text before me. . .still, the one, he who is in us brings the power, i.e. "Faith: the power that is ours" because he works in/thru us. . .the same one who told John the Baptist that blessed was the person who did not stumble or take offense that his Messiahship was defined by his work among the rejeted, marginalized and poor Luke 7:23 and context.

Anonymous said...

It is a slippery slope when we conflate faith with political action. Some may think their faith is a form of political action, while others may think their political action is a form of faith.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:36, all I want to do is claim all the benefit I can for the suffering poor of this naiton and world. Is that faith or is that value-based politics? Take your pick. I call it my faith.

For the record, I'd rather be on a "slippery slope" for and with the poor than on "solid ground" with the tireless religious.

Anonymous said...

"The power that's ours" could be followed quite easily by the phrase, "so let's use it." But that's not how faith operates. Faith is a frame, not an instrument. We can become instruments (of righteousness), through faith. But that is a function of submission, not of intention.

The mustard seed parable comes to mind. It's not the size of the faith, rather its the quality or character of the faith. What do we believe in? Do we believe we have the power to change things? Or do we believe that God causes things will change and we can be used by Him?

faith is a good value for you to use in your ministry. But I also think you can more clearly state it than the current statement.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:49, I'm sure you are correct.

Anonymous said...

Oh, joy, I feel like I'm back in the church of my youth parsing the Greek root and proof texting.

Some people just cannot see the forest for the trees.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I think our faith is the only thing that really changes anything.