Validation of Faith

The Cartesian-Kantian split between thought and experience [1] affects theology and faith practice in profound ways. It allows us to be pedantic, debating an idea without practicing its truth, all the while seeing ourselves as people of faith. In Scripture, however, thought and experience are bound together in a holistic way. There is no concept…

Loyal Devotion

“No other gods” is a call for an exclusive relationship with Yahweh. There is “none like Him.” The search for other gods turns faith on its head. God-shopping seeks the god whose magic best meets ‘my’ needs, the god who will most often and most completely satisfy me. This is the essence of lust posing…

Unity vs. Discord

Union is the bond that enables the harmonious music called unity. The mindset of our culture, in contrast, is fiercely autonomous and independent. The individual reigns over the corporate, the particular over the whole. The self-styled and differentiated unconventional are championed. That is true even in church culture. Intimacy, on the other hand, is the…

True Transformation

The moral shock suffered by us through our mighty break with the high will of heaven has left us all with a permanent trauma affecting every part of our nature. There is a disease in both us and our environment.[1] Our pragmatic, bottom-line reaction results in a search for “what, where, when, how” answers. The…

Freedom Through Obedience

Adam and Eve were created for intimacy with God and one another. The discipline to resist the desirable, but forbidden fruit, was the one condition necessary to sustain intimacy. They had been blessed; but they had also been given the principle of boundaries. Their refusal to observe the boundary, forced the forfeiture of the blessing…

Evidence of the New Inner Life

Intimacy with God is the essential characteristic of a healthy Christian life and community. The disciplines measure our will to experience such intimacy. Without discipline, we squander the opportunity for intimacy or waste its impact. Without intimacy, there is no authentic and transforming context. Intimacy demands an investment of time that expresses the worth-ship, the…

Defining Intimacy with God

John, the Apostle, proclaimed “God is love!” Many wrongly accept that truth as the definitive and all-inclusive statement on the nature God. It is not. Eastern religious movements do not focus on the person of God, but on the essence, thus for them, “Love is god!” They interchange the descriptive adjective and subject. The declaration…

Jesus and the Spiritual Disciplines

Jesus encourages three disciplines in Matthew 6:5-18 – prayer, fasting, and giving. Other disciplines orbit around these primary directives. In each case, He warns against ostentatious displays. Each is deeply personal, quietly embraced, but rewarded by God only if offered in a sincere and humble manner. These three disciplines control all of life. They provide…