Posts tagged N.T. Wright
Episode 15: Patterns of Spiritual Development

Every faith journey is different, but are there discernible patterns that are common among us?
Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in Jesus.

There often will come a point where you have to get off the paved path. Often times it’s suffering or some sort of inner conflict, or a product of the Christian culture that we're living in today.

“If you ask anybody, ‘What’s the activity that you had that made you who you are?’ no one says, ‘You know I had a really great vacation in Hawaii.’ No one says that. They say, ‘I had a period of struggle. I lost a loved one. I was in the Army. And that period of struggle or that period of toughness made me who I am.’”

This idea of the dark night, some period where your faith seems inadequate or your suffering makes you ask, “Where is God?” is one of the key characteristics in the pattern of spiritual development

Every journey is different, but are there discernible patterns to the spiritual journey?
This can help us normalize our journey! We are not alone.
“It hurts to become real”
-The Velveteen Rabbit

SCRIPTURE
This development is actually normalized in Scripture
We are all being changed (2 Corinthians 3:18) What matters is becoming new creation

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Law-NT
Paul: law is a baby-sitter (Galatians 3:24)

Law was good, but it could never transform
It was good, it taught you that we live in a moral universe, you weren’t designed to live under a baby-sitter for ever, meant to mature and live by the Spirit
It’s openness to God that transforms, Jesus is the path to openness in God, in his death, he demonstrated his absolute trust—his absolute openness—to God and to resurrection life in God
Development in the nation of Israel
Jesus: Kingdom of Heaven: Mustard seed
NT Wright: every generation must wrestle with…
“We must stop giving 16th century answers…”

PSYCHOLOGY
James Fowler Stage of Faith

M. Scott Peck
The Road Less Traveled
http://www.whale.to/b/peck1.html
-Stage I Chaotic, Antisocial
Antisocial in that it’s all “me” (perhaps Hedonistic)

-Stage II Formal, Institutional, Fundamental
Boundaries good
Dark side: very either-or, all-or-nothing. Have difficulty explaining, or comforting when experiencing suffering.

-Stage III
Skeptic, Individual, Questioner
Life is more gray than previously acknowledged

-Stage IV
Mystic, Communal
Open to God

Notice, Every pattern or theory of development we’re going to talk about today ends in some sort of “union”

It's possible, or probable to be in more than one at once. Not linear.
We may be in both or all at different times.

Exercise: In the midst of a painful thought, relationship or memory, asking God: "How can you be so good?"

Episode 11: Salvation & The Church

Gospel is bigger than the "plan of Salvation" or bigger than the question of "where am I going to go when I die? Heaven or Hell?" The story of the Bible in big picture is to restore the original “Garden of Eden”, where we were able to walk with God daily, intimately, unashamed. Jesus came to restore that intimacy for all of us.
Jesus breaks down tribalism. We look at denominations, and doctrine, and how we tend to leave tension earlier than we should.
Check out the Welcoming Prayer, posted on Episode 6 blog post.
Contemplative prayer connected to focus, and Philippians 4:6+7.
Cultural understanding of individualized culture that we live in in the West, and using Susette's experience with her husbands family in Mexican-American culture in examples of family centered/collectivist culture that's closer to 1st century Judaism.
How have we interpreted the idea of salvation through our Western eyes, while trying to live by the Bible, who's authors do not come from a Western American perspective culturally?

“Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into heaven, it has, by a kind of ignorance, been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by, while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire.
Wendell Berry

N.T. Wright: The Day the Revolution Began

Here's some video/podcast recommendations for N.T. Wright: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX1GSVR0Tdc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AukgNlAgiI

Scot McKnight: What is the Gospel?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HdyhUQ3Krs

Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-n-t-wright-podcast/id447840163?mt=2

Episode 10: The Gospel & The Kingdom of Heaven

What does "heaven" mean? What does "going to heaven when you die" mean? We take a look at the Gospel, Gospels, heaven and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Is heaven a place that you go when you die? Or is the Kingdom of Heaven here? We talk about how Jesus, in the Gospels talks about His message of the Kingdom, and how His coming completes God's plan for new creation.
Both tell stories of spiritual development and how our perspective started to change when we began to study the bible in college and read through the whole thing. There was a time when Susette began to be allow herself, through invitation from pastors and professors to ask questions and change her thinking.
N.T. Wright quote: "Heaven is important, but it's not the end of the world."

The Gospel: an invitation to participate with God the King in new creation that was introduced when Jesus came, loved, taught, died, and rose from the dead, conquering death, and ascended to the Father.
Our RESPONSE to the Gospel is often viewed as the Good News itself. It's not "you accept Jesus into your heart and he forgives your sins" (which is true) but not the central message


Jesus is the King. Our response to this good news is:
Confessing: Confess our sins, recognize what we've done.
Repenting: We turn from what we worshiped before.
Believing: We believe He's the King, and new creation is here.
Following: We follow Him and engage in relationship for our life.


Cognitive theory: Piaget
https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html

Assimilation and Accommodation
Jean Piaget (1952; see also Wadsworth, 2004) viewed intellectual growth as a process of adaptation (adjustment) to the world. This happens through:

Assimilation
– Which is using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation.

Accommodation
– This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.

Equilibration
– This is the force which moves development along. Piaget believed that cognitive development did not progress at a steady rate, but rather in leaps and bounds.
Equilibrium occurs when a child's schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation. However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurs when new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas (assimilation).

Equilibration is the force which drives the learning process as we do not like to be frustrated and will seek to restore balance by mastering the new challenge (accommodation). Once the new information is acquired the process of assimilation with the new schema will continue until the next time we need to make an adjustment to it.

Jean Piaget's concept of adaptation

Example of Assimilation
A 2-year-old child sees a man who is bald on top of his head and has long frizzy hair on the sides. To his father’s horror, the toddler shouts “Clown, clown” (Siegler et al., 2003).

Example of Accommodation
In the “clown” incident, the boy’s father explained to his son that the man was not a clown and that even though his hair was like a clown’s, he wasn’t wearing a funny costume and wasn’t doing silly things to make people laugh.

With this new knowledge, the boy was able to change his schema of “clown” and make this idea fit better to a standard concept of “clown”.
New information includes disorientation, because it shakes up what we've always thought was truth.


Quote from Frank Viola, "Pagan Christianity"
“As stated previously, the sinner’s prayer eventually replaced the biblical role of water baptism. Though it is touted as gospel today, this prayer developed only recently. D. L. Moody was the first to employ it.
Moody used this “model” of prayer when training his evangelistic coworkers.

But it did not reach popular usage until the 1950s with Billy Graham’s Peace with God tract and later with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Four Spiritual Laws. There is nothing particularly wrong with it. Certainly, God will respond to the heartfelt prayers of any individual who reaches out to Him in faith. However, it should not replace water baptism as the outward instrument for conversion-initiation.

The phrase personal Savior is yet another recent innovation that grew out of the ethos of nineteenth-century American revivalism. It originated in the mid-1800s to be exact. But it grew to popular parlance by Charles Fuller (1887–1968). Fuller literally used the phrase thousands of times in his incredibly popular Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio program that aired from 1937 to 1968. His program reached from North America to every spot on the globe. At the time of his death, it was heard on more than 650 radio stations around the world.”


Recommendations to Learn More:

Dr. Matt Hague from Azusa Pacific University

Scot McKnight: "The King Jesus Gospel"

N.T. Wright: "Surprised by Hope" and "The Day the Revolution Began."  

Walter Brueggemann