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RSVP stands for the four steps I have been using to help my spirit align with God’s purposes for my life:
[Final version of Spiritual Christianity: Theology, Simplified]
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:
Anjali’s Catechism: The Book is coming in Summer 2019. Preview now.
Are you ready to:
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.
God is amazing. We are like God, but God is not like us.
Psalm 151A psalm of Ernie, while waiting for funding
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Exalt His holy name.
For the LORD is good at being God, and deserves the highest praise.
The evil one laid many snares for me
Wicked and immature men plotted against me
But the Lord delivered me from them all.
Death, where is thy victory?
Shame, where is thy sting?
Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.
Even if my body should be burned, and all my possessions sold to the poor, yet I shall be rich in Him.
His rod of justice and staff of correction, they comfort me in my light and momentary afflictions, for they are achieving an eternal weight of glory.
Rejoice, you who call on the name of the Lord. Remember all His mercies towards us. His kindness never fails. His love never ends.
Bless the Lord, all Ye children of Zion. Praise Him with harmonica and ukulele, with GarageBand and six-string guitar.
All those who surrender to Him will never be put to shame.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
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.
boIn Which Diligently Searching God’s Word Leads Us to Truth
Few disciplines are as essential — or as dangerous! — as studying the words and works of God. Used in the wrong spirit, theology can become a heavy burden or a useless distraction (cf. Matthew 23:4). But when taught by the Holy Spirit, God’s word becomes the very source of life itself (cf. Luke 4:4). The challenge to us, as to Timothy, is whether we will apply God’s word rightly…
Memory Verse: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” — 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
In Which Our Souls Find Hope Amidst Suffering
Hope is the primary virtue of the Soul. It provides Reasons to encourage positive Emotions, and the Emotional energy to search for better Reasons. It can be defined as “the ability to joyfully pursue a higher purpose — even when painful.”
Hope is particularly needed by the Mocker, who is driven by both the need to control (due to fear) and the illusion of control (due to pride). Yet if they can unclench their soul enough to hope in God’s wisdom, Mockers may yet discover that true freedom comes from giving up control.
Though such learning usually only comes after great suffering…
In Which Unseen Faith Transforms the Visible World
Faith is the primary virtue of the Mind. It enables us to base Decisions on Reasons, as well as to deduce Reasons from Decisions (axioms). It can be defined as “the ability to believe what is true — even when difficult.”
Faith is particularly needed by the Simple, who otherwise would only trust what they can touch and feel. Yet God’s invisible wisdom is in reality more powerful than all the armies of flesh and blood which rail against it. And thus pursuing that wisdom, in faith, is actually the most practical decision of all…
[click to enlarge image]
In Which Our Character is Conformed to God’s Name, Via The Pursuit of Wisdom
In our first twelve-week series on Theological Foundations, we focused on what it means to be “baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit“, moving from sin to sanctification as the body of Christ entering into His Kingdom.
In this our second series, we focus on how we can appropriate that “name” in our own lives — as well as those of the people we lead and serve. This is the essence of Christian Character, the second leg of our “LEAD” tripod (the third and final one being “Skills for Service”, coming in Spring 2009).
The goal of character formation is to bring our “whole person” into alignment with the “whole name” of God — His identity, character, and purpose. We can define the whole person using the “triplet” model below, which has:
Having finished writing the lessons for Part A, we now turn out attention to the second trimester (which the class will start in January). This blog post is for the initial outline; as before, the final version will be part of the living syllabus at https://2transform.us/lead/
In Which We Become the Church, As We Grow Into Christ Our Head Via His Gifts
Continuing the theme of Sanctification, we explore how we are discipled into the name of Christ through His body — the Father’s principle vehicle for forming His Kingdom, by His Spirit. Specifically, we see how the fact that we serve One God requires us to worship Him as One Church.
[Note: I am now using the New King James Version for my interlinear; hopefully this will increase the readability.]
In Which We Are Set Apart For Obedience to Jesus, And Suffer For It — Becoming Holy in The Process
This week we round out our discussion on salvation and conviction by focusing on sanctification, or holiness, words that include being both “set apart” and “made righteous.” The overall idea is forming God’s character in us the way we were originally created to be, before mankind was corrupted.
Continued from “Three Stones“…
[I open my eyes. I am lying with my head on Jesus lap. I am a child, perhaps a tween. We are in a garden — beneath the cross. It is early morning, but already hot. A light mist blows from somewhere, cooling us. It is very peaceful and secure. I could lie here forever with my Jesus.]
Good morning, Ernie.
Good morning, Jesus.
How are you feeling?