Six-Pack (67)

Welcome to the Six-Pack!

My apologies for missing last week — I heard no rumblings of revolution, so I think we’re all right. Back at it with the six worth-sharing pieces from recent days — about ministry or faith or who-knows-what!

If a half-dozen feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and move out.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) We Don’t Need Another Hero (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Sean Palmer takes issue with the relatively recent fascination everyone has with their “stories” — one particular issue. Bang on!

2)  What Cessationists Really Think About the Supernatural
Moving from what I describe as a Cessationist mentality into a life increasingly intrigued by the Holy Spirit, I was curious to see what Charisma Magazine would have to say in an article with that title.

3)  Clark Pinnock: Postmodern Pioneer
One of my favourite theologians was a Canadian man named Clark Pinnock. Capable of ruffling feathers and stirring pots while remaining absolutely humble and gracious, he passed away in 2010. This article of reflection back on his life and contributions was touching to me.

4)  Fundamental Greatness: The Oral History of Tim Duncan
I’ve been an ardent Tim Duncan fan since he entered the NBA many moons ago. This collection of quotes and comments is a fascinating chronicling of the “Big Fundamental’s” storied career.

5)  Six Subtle Things Highly Productive People Do Everyday (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
I like to think I’m productive; I like do dream how much more productive I could be. This piece from Business Insider has some valuable tips and reminders to get you closer to whatever productivity goals you’ve got set.

6) How One ADD Writer Focuses and Cranks Out Drafts
Jessi Stanley shares her approach for how to stop thinking and how to “get at it”.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

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Losing Faith (Part V): Invaded by an Uninvited One

This post is the fifth in a series on Losing Faith. All previous posts can be seen HERE, if context might prove helpful.

Somewhere near the end of our time overseas, we were home to visit. I must have been expressing some aspect of my changing perceptions on the Christian life. My slightly-older, significantly-wiser friend responded with a question.

O_Come_Holy_Spirit_by_LordShadowblade1“You’re not a cessationist, are you?”

The term felt awkwardly unfamiliar upon my ears, and my face must have said so. He clarified.

“You don’t believe the gifts of the Spirit ended with the New Testament, do you?”

For the first time, my mouth stated with my spirit had long sensed.

“No, I guess I don’t.”

This confession surely sent a unseen tremor through my tightly-wrapped-in-rationalism faith—a suspect form of faith, if there ever was one.

A Spiritual Sprinkling

Far more recently, it has dawned on me that my past version of a “Christian worldview” was actually a thoroughly naturalistic view, with a side order of God. According to Wikipedia, “naturalism commonly refers to the viewpoint that laws of nature (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the universe, and that nothing exists beyond the natural universe or, if it does, it does not affect the natural universe.”

abstract-word-cloud-for-naturalism-with-related-tags-and-termsMy particular version of naturalism was more personal in nature than Wikipedia’s. I have always been suspect of evolution as an adequate theory of how life originated, and I have long voiced that life’s richest realms are (relationships, art, love, dreams, morality, emotions, and more) fall somewhere beyond the horizons reached by verifiable facts.

My naturalism was a mutant.

I was convinced enough that God was real that He HAD to be part of my diagram, but I had no idea how to position the I AM within my tidy sketch.  So I simply placed Him on the fringe, where He wouldn’t mix up the other pieces.

And He had grown tired of that treatment.

Breaking Me by Breaking Free

In short, I have been forced, by a growing list of experiences and encounters, to acknowledge that my largely logical and rooted-in-reason approach to life is an insufficient processor for the reality in which I live. Its substance is too superficial, and it lacks the weight to grapple with life as I now know it. My former framework held fast so long as God respected my boundaries and operated within the office I had set up for Him. When He began to interact intimately with me and to surprise me through the lives of better-tuned instruments than myself, profound paradox unfolded. Logic imploded upon itself, as I was forced to admit my irrational inconsistencies, surely ever-present but now painfully exposed.

God of the Emoticon

In light of recent revelation, it would be intellectually irresponsible to insist upon the validity of my long-held worldview.

God has revealed Himself as undeniably present. In a shocking twist, the Supernatural invaded my naturalistic worldview, the world view that handed Him a long list of all He could not do.

In response, He has broken the door’s hinges with a one-line declaration: “Your naturalistic view is not nearly naturalistic enough, for it fails to handle life as you now know it. You will recalibrate, or your head will blow up and your spirit will bellow against you. But it’s your choice, right? Because you’re so in charge of what’s real and what’s not. ;-)”

(Yes, God used a winky emoticon.)
Imagine the unsettling nerve!

God showed up in ways that I could not explain and began threatening a cozy worldview, which had safe—and harmless—spots reserved for Him.

I have not simply lost my long-held faith; it was ripped from my hands!


Saturday Six-Pack (27)

Another weekend, another Six-Pack of noteworthy pieces recently discovered online.

As usual, these articles are typically ministry-minded or faith-focused, with enough flexibility to toss in the occasional who-knows-what.

With the links more thickly packed than usual today, the six has become four. If a third-dozen options still paralyzes you, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Louis Giglio… In… Then Out (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If you’ve somehow missed it this week, Louis Giglio was selected to publicly pray for the nation and the president at President Obama’s inauguration.  And then he was essentially uninvited. Reason? A sermon he preached 15+ years ago, on the subject of homosexuality, that found its way online.  One of the best summaries I’ve read was from Skye Jethani. Mike Lukaszewski offers this “what I wish Obama had said in response” piece, and Justin Taylor has compiled three sharp bits of commentary from others.

2) Dealing with Demons (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
A missionary from the same conservative Evangelical heritage as myself describes his experience with the supernatural in Rwanda.  Thanks to Jonathan Storment for the link.

3) Churches and Malls
A recent morning blurb from HBR bounced off of this piece by Thom Rainer gives some food for thought on the future of church facilities.

4) 33 HBR Posts You Should Read Before 2013
So we missed the deadline on this title, BUT there ARE some terrific pieces to be found here.  Among them are The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time, HBR’s most-read piece of 2012 AND I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why, the most-commented-on piece of the year.

Blessings on you, my friends.  May your weekend be refreshing in rest, play, and worship.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff above by making a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

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