|#||Expanding Our||Beyond Just||To Also Include|
|1||Identity||Exclusive Tribes||Expansive Unity|
|3||Goals||Moral Causes||Multi-level |
|7||Following Jesus||Joining a Crowd||Carrying a Cross|
|8||Trust||Our Leaders||Our Followers|
I consider myself a “Paleo-Evangelical” Christian. Like my counterparts in the first century, I have had transformational encounters with the person of Jesus Christ and am devoted to making him known as the Risen Lord; but am still working through which of my inherited cultural understandings and religious teachings are worthy to bear His name.
- I am a child of God
- I am omnipotent within scope
- I am the One who brings the dawn
- I am Gandalf the White
- I am the super-father of Silicon Valley
- I am a Spiritual Entrepreneur
- I am the best thing that ever happened to you
- I am the one who loves my wife like Christ loves the church
- I am the window being cleaned so my children can see their true Father
I am from the future, and I’m here to help
Enjoy, Love & Glorify
God, Ourselves & Others
As Jesus Does
Corollary: The Meaning of Life
God, Us & Others
Enjoying, Loving, & Glorifying,
God, Ourselves, Others & the World
[Final version of Spiritual Christianity: Theology, Simplified]
PassionTalks Poster Session, August 11, 2018
Convergence House of Prayer, Fremont, California
Thank you for creating me in Your image, and for loving us like Jesus.
Make me more and more like Jesus as I listen to your Word, your Spirit, and your Body.
Heal the wounds in my spirit that keep me from loving You, myself and others as Jesus did.
Help me show Your love to the world by practicing the generosity and vulnerability Jesus showed on the cross.
Teach me to always rejoice in the privilege of being your child.
I ask this because of everything Jesus did for me. So be it!
When I was a student at Caltech in Pasadena, I used to visit the Fuller Seminary Bookstore. One day, I saw a small shelf labelled “Practical Theology.” I turned around and looked at the rows upon rows of bookshelves filling the small building and asked, “Then what in God’s name is the rest of this?”
I still haven’t found a satisfying answer.
Don’t get me wrong. I am fully convinced of the idea of theology. It is essential to know what we believe, and I completely agree that our concept of God ultimately shapes every aspect of our lives. I have been deeply moved and blessed by many of the theologians I have read and studied under.
Update: Accepted as a Poster Session. Slides now available.
Spiritual Christianity arose from a series of blog posts I wrote to prepare my seven-year-old daughter for baptism. I wanted her to start out with a faith that was:
- Resilient to disappointments
- Relevant to culture
- Revolutionary to society
- Reviving to the church
Anjali’s Catechism: The Book is coming in Summer 2019. Preview now.
Are you ready to:
- Embrace the One who created the universe as the Heavenly Father who loves you like Jesus?
- Submit your awareness, values, and goals to becoming more like Christ’s?
- Receive God’s Spirit, Word, and Body to reveal and heal the wounds in your spirit that hinder you from becoming like Jesus?
- Value God’s happiness, glory, and relationships more than your own?
- Practice generosity and vulnerability so others can see Christ in you?
- Surrender childlike happiness for the grown-up joy of loving like Jesus?
Spiritual Maturity: Thanks
God made all of us on purpose. We are happy when we obey that purpose. We become happier the better we understand and live out that purpose.
We share many purposes with other people, because God made us the same:
- Our bodies are happy when we eat healthy, rest well, and use them as they were intended.
- Our souls are happy when experience beauty.
- Our minds are happy when we discover truth.
- Our hearts are happy when we share love.
Joy is happiness of the spirit. It is the deepest and most important kind of happiness. But there are two very different ways our spirits can be happy.
Worship: He’s Worth It
The whole point of becoming a Christian is to know and love God, ourselves, and others the way Jesus did. But what exactly is love?
We use the word “love” whenever we strongly desire or value something. But there are three very different kinds of love:
- Happiness: because it what we want and makes us feel good
- Glory: because it helps us become or be known as our best
- Relationship: because we feel or want to be connected to it
Holiness: Open to God
Lots of people admire Jesus. Even those who aren’t Christians often consider him a model for how human beings should treat each other.
Last time we talked about skills that help us become more like Jesus. So why doesn’t everyone practice those skills? Why do we ourselves often do the opposite of what Jesus wants us to do?
Because we have a wound in our spirit.
Discipleship: Make Us Like Jesus
As we mentioned last time, the whole point of being a Christian is to become like Jesus: knowing God and loving others the way He did. In fact, the very word “Christian” means “little Christ.” We are supposed to be pictures of Jesus Christ, the way Jesus is a picture of God the Father.
So how do we get there?
The Gospel: God Loves Us Like Jesus
You are an amazing person. You have a lot in common with other people, but there is nobody quite like you.
- You have a body. Head, fingers, toes, belly button.
- You have a soul. You think. You feel. You want.
- You have a spirit. You can reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and desires. You can decided what kind of person you want to be.
God is amazing. We are like God, but God is not like us.
- Our whole universe — including us! — is like a small part of God’s body.
- He knows everything that happens to us. He feels everything we feel. He wants us to know Him, and enjoy the life He give us..
- He has a Spirit that our spirits can talk to, and hear from.
Part 5 of 6 in the series Childlike Theology:
As children, we express faith in our parents by obeying them to stay safe. As adolescents, we risk danger in order to express faith in ourselves.
I have come to believe that the hallmark of a mature faith is wise risk. Which implies we should be designing our lives — and churches — to maximize learning rather than avoid failure.
Part 4 of 6 in the series Childlike Theology
Discipleship is hard. It requires facing ugly truths about ourselves, letting go of coping strategies that served us well in the past, and taking responsibility for larger dysfunctions that really aren’t our fault.