Update: Accepted as a Poster Session. Slides now available.
Abstract submitted for PassionTalks 2018 on Saturday, August 11th at Convergence House of Prayer in Fremont, CA.
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
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.
Faith: Wise Risk
It would be wonderful if everyone knew how to find real happiness, glory, and relationships by believing in the same God Jesus did.
However, believing in God is not learning a fact, such as:
- 2 + 2 = 4
- Grass is green
- I prefer berry pie to chocolate cake
Thank you that our family belongs to you.
We confess we need you to free us from our sin and shame so we can love like Jesus.
Give us the grace to:
- Trust you with our desires
- Face our fears
- Reflect on our anger
- Speak the truth in love, and
- Ask for help along the way
We ask this by the blood of Jesus, Amen.
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 We Dwell On God’s Word, As It Dwells In Us
The purpose of the disciplines is to bring us into the presence of God, and nothing is more effective for that that deeply meditating upon and memorizing Scripture. In contrast to Eastern meditation — which is about emptying and detachment — Christian meditation is about drawing near to the Father and being filled with His Spirit as we take on the mind of Christ.
Memory Verse: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” — 1 Timothy 4:15-16 (NKJV)
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…
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5:30 AM, Sunday, March 11th, 2007
I am walking down a street of some kind, carrying three stones I, um, excreted earlier. Semi-round, they are roughly the size of a quarter, nickel, and dime, respectively. Clean now, I juggle them in my hand, relieved to have them out, but not quite sure what to do with them.
It is night, but I am approaching a streetlight where i can finally examine them. They all have a fine texture, almost like a random-dot stereogram. More than almost — if I stare at each of them I can make out a word. Respectively, I see:
It is a bit surprising to see “Self” as the smallest pebble, but there you have it. Having named them, I understand why it was important to excrete them — so I could get them out into the open and deal with them. But, how to deal with them?
- Hi Ernie.
- What do you want from me?
- Your sin.