Prodigal Thought Podcast – Experience Shapes Theology

PodcastHere is episode 3 at Prodigal Thought Podcast.

In this session, I discuss how experience actually shapes our theology, our understanding of God. And I would argue that this is a very acceptable aspect of knowing God.

Listen to or download the 21-minute podcast episode below. Continue reading

Forming Hearts & Minds, Love & Desire

desiring-the-kingdomIn a post last week, I shared some thoughts about desire, which we prompted by my reading of the introduction to Jamie Smith’s book, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Smith was basically advocating that education is not simply about ‘passing on information’, but about forming people holistically – in body, spirit and mind.

And I would add that the word education might put us off a little bit. Too many connect it to something like university studies. This is why a word like formation might serve us better.

However, trying to simply pass on information will never be enough. There is more. But why do we approach education (or formation) like this. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we easily see ourselves as thinking things, or mainly thinking things. Of course, the Christian believes we are more than the mind (or the brain). However, our formation of people – through the sermon, Sunday School, Christian education, etc – is normally done through the dispensing of information. Let me tell you what this Scripture says and how to apply it to life.

This is why Smith introduces words like desire and liturgy in regards to forming actual human beings designed for God and the kingdom rule of God. Continue reading

Desire Runs Deep :: Desiring the Kingdom

bono-picture-1Bono and U2 wrote a song many years ago called Desire. The song begins this way:

Lover, I’m on the street
Gonna go where the bright lights
And the big city meet
With a red guitar…on fire

Desire runs deep within us. Though many Christians might associate desire with ‘the flesh’, the sin-loving nature that has marred us so well, such is not inherently the case. As missionary E. Stanley Jones said: We’ve been naturalised in the unnaturalWe were not created for sin.

Desire runs deep across all of life. And it’s a good thing. Imagine desire-less folk, the droves going through the routine each and every day. I’ve been there. Imagine such folk even within the church. Well, we don’t have to imagine much, for the droves also harken the stone-erected buildings or palatial fortresses on many a street corners.

As Nietzsche said: God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

[Note: Yes, that sentence and more gives the better context.]

His lament is our lament as well. We’ve killed God…or we’ve at least made him the oldest, most boring white-bearded Gandalf. And a God who is dead or almost dead cannot carry any desire. Right? Continue reading

Sense & Subjectivity

Guest post by my colleague over at To Be Continued, Marv.

This is the story of two sisters–and the man who loved them.

“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” (John 11:5)

Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus–Jesus was their particular friend. There’s not a friend like Jesus–the soul of kindness, and if anyone had a just claim on that kindness, it is a particular friend.

But one day He disappointed them. Lazarus fell ill, and though they dispatched word to Jesus, they sat at their brother’s side, day after day, and watched him–anxious, frustrated, dumbfounded–as he sickened, dwindled and died. And where was Jesus? Where was their particular friend?

Now you know these ladies, daughters of the same mother and father, but so very different in their characters. Continue reading

The Voice of the Father

There truly is nothing like hearing the voice of the Father. He still speaks, you know. His actual voice.

From the beginning in Genesis 1, God set the precedent for His desire to communicate:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

And it continues right through the whole of Scripture, capped off with our Lord Jesus saying in the final verses of Revelation – Yes, I am coming soon. (Hmmm. Soon. Ok, this article is not about eschatology….) Continue reading