Posts tagged faith
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 9: The Gospel & The Gospels
Ep 9: Quote Image.png

Brandon gets to talk about his training and perspective on this foundation of the Christian faith. We talk culture, understanding our own culture, and stepping outside of how we grew up to see how others see us, and expand our worldview.

-Greek vs. Jewish worldview, and how these two are different, and bring different culture perspectives to how we read the Bible.
-ex: faith is something that you "embody," not just something that you "think."
How we are influenced by Greco-Roman thinking, shown in examples of hymns "I'll fly away."

Eternal life (heaven) begins now. If you believe it starts "when you die" then you're missing out on what Jesus can bring us now.

Susette talks about how she began to deconstruct what she had been taught in church in her first years of life, and how bible authors using language from Roman culture, to be provocative, brought her a lot of frustration and fear when she first learned it. It felt threatening to the idea biblical inerrancy to her when she first studied it.

Jesus as a revolutionary. He proclaims the Kingdom of Heaven in Mark as His first message.

The American Gospel: I'm a sinner, I can't save myself, I need a savior. Jesus died for my sins, if I invite Him in my heart, and believe he's the savior, my sins will be forgiven and I'll go to heaven when I die. All of this is TRUE, but it's not the full story of the Gospel.

We reviewed the 8 elements of the Gospel from Matthew Bates.
1. Jesus the King Preexisted with the Father
2. Jesus took on human flesh, fulfilling God’s promises to David
3. Jesus died for sins in accordance with the scriptures
4. Jesus was buried
5. Jesus was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures
6. Jesus appeared to Many
7. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God as Lord
8. Jesus will come again as judge (51)

Bible: 
Book of Mark
Romans 1:1-5
1 Corinthians 15:1-4

References: 
(You can check out all these authors on YouTube/other podcasts, too)
Our Father Abraham by Marvin R. Wilson
The Day the Revolution Began, by N.T. Wright
King Jesus Gospel, by Scot McKnight
Salvation by Allegiance Alone, by Matthew Bates

Quotes: 
"If your image of God is not a God that you can fall in love with, then your image of God is inadequate and incomplete."
"Ultimately, you have to be able to fall in love with God."
"Behind this Gospel story is a God who is ravishingly beautiful. Who is about protecting the marginalized, and the outcasts, and the poor, and the heart broken."