Pearcey Report

Pearcey Report

Monday, October 10, 2011

Well, then. What Next?

Well, then: what does that mean?

Bottom line: every man does that which is right in God’s eyes!

Immediately, one expects to hear cries of “Anarchy”!

I personally find it strange when folk cry “anarchy” while at the same time holding to Romans 2:14,15 AND Common Grace.

Admittedly, Adam’s Stain is deep and pervasive.

Still, the goodness of God is such, IMO, that ADAM never completely governs creation. If such were the case, i.e. Adam’s stain completely obtained, it ought to be “hell on earth”.

Irrespective of the awfulness of sin’s impact in time, it cannot be compared with the horrors of Hell, how long those horrors obtain!

Believers are never, can never, be managed by “anarchistic” tendencies. Believers are ever and always subject to “…the law of Christ…”.

The question needing to be addressed is: how does the Law of Christ manifest itself in the life of a believer living under Mao, Benito, Adolph, Margaret, Ronald, GW. Hugo C, or whomever?

Typically, IMO, Evangelicals have trumpeted “passive submission” to authority, with the implication of servile obedience. This mind-set, IMO, only served the advance of evil, however well intentioned.

The believer and Government

Passive Obedience and the New Covenant.

Does the New Covenant inculcate a mind-set of passive obedience on the part of the believer as it pertains to the issue of submission to “the powers that be”?

Under the Old Covenant administration, obedience was the watchword since God was the Ruler of an ethnic entity under His divine tutelage administered via Covenant Document, King, Priesthood and His servants, the prophets.

But, all this changed that last evening when the Lord Jesus inaugurated the New Covenant; a Covenant distinctly different from the Old Covenant. This difference was signaled in Jeremiah’s prophecy, Jeremiah 31:31-34 and during Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7: but I say unto you…).

One suspects this change, its impact and associated implications were not immediately apparent to “the twelve” when uttered by the Lord, Jesus and their subsequent understanding grew during the unfolding years following Pentecost.

One might be justified in recognizing the cautionary admonitions of Paul (Romans 13:1ff), Peter (1 Peter 2:13), and Titus (Titus 3;1ff) given the developing conflict with Rome on the part of the Jewish nation. I say cautionary in that none of the three explicate the implications of “submission” vs. “obedience”.

At that historical moment I suspect the typical auditor would equate the two as synonymous.

Yet, they are not.

For nearly two millennia, “Passive submission” has been the prevailing mindset of not only the believing community, but that of the non-believing community as well.

Might I be so bold as to suggest “passive submission” is not an aspect of a “leavening influence”?

“Passive submission” might also be known as conformity, compromise, adaptation?

I readily acknowledge the value of conformity, compromise and adaptation but only to the degree that truth precedes. If truth does not precede, then error, in its multitudinous forms obtains or holds the day.

“Incrementalism”, as a political strategy is legitimate, IMO, insofar as Truth leads error or Pragmatism.

But, in almost every instance where Truth has yielded to Pragmatism, Truth has been lost.

The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization

My first experience with Vishal’s work and am prompted to explore more.

Having just completed for the 3rd time Carey’s bio by his grandson, I was encouraged to read the author’s observations and will read his personal work on Carey.

The book is well written, each section promoting a thesis and illustrated with personal experiences. I felt as if I were reading Barzun, Stark, Paul Johnson with a touch of Schaeffer lurking in the background. Certainly, non-evangelicals will bristle as they read but, for me, an enjoyable experience on my birthday.

Sat down to read and continued to the end. Will obviously recall this birthday experience among the decades of others.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Have you given thought to the subjectivity of the New Covenant Imperatives?

Love God.

Love your neighbor.

We know, via the Old Covenant, certain parameters relative to “loving God”: 1) He is to be Supreme, 2) We are prohibited from using images to represent Him, and 3) we are to “sanctify” His Name. Those represent the negative side, that is the “thou shalt nots”. But, what of the “shalt” side? Yet, is this not the very side whereby we “judge one another”? He or she doesn’t do…X…therefore, they don’t Love God.

John has been a believer for 40+ years and has never missed church or Sunday School. Yet, in all those years he has never read the Bible through, cover to cover, and couldn’t, for the life of him, recite other than John 11:35. Tom, on the other hand, is grossly infrequent at Sunday service, seldom at Sunday School, yet has read the bible through, cover to cover at least once a year since his conversion; has memorized in excess of 500 verses, and can quite adequately defend The Faith. Which one loves God?

Without beating a horse to death, I suspect you see the point. Evaluating another in terms of the negative aspects of The Faith is quite easy. Yet, when it comes to the positive affirmations, it is an equine of a dissimilar hue.

Might I be permitted to lodge the idea this very aspect is part and parcel the genius of the New Covenant?

Love your neighbor?

If such might be the case on the individual level, what might be the circumstance on the communal level, i.e. “government”?

So soon as I lift my eyes beyond my personal concern, a “neighbor” intrudes.

What is it to “love” this one?

What is “love”?

Again, we are confronted with the subjective.

What is “loving” to John, or to Tom, or to Eileen or Sarah?

Why are we not presented with a definition of Love in the text of scripture? All we have are examples of what seem to be “loving acts”.

Might it not be the case God expects us, you and me, to deduce from these examples and scriptural statements to construct a definition of Love whereby we, individually comport ourselves as Salt, Light, and Leaven?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Covenant “Political” conduct

Under the Old Covenant administration, the individual watchword was “obedience”.

God was the nation’s sovereign under the guidance of a Divinely selected King and dynasty, along with a divinely ordained teaching order, explicating a written covenant.

Then, things changed and, radically, with the institution of the New Covenant and promised through Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Under the tutelage of the Old Covenant, God dealt with Israel as with children whereas with True Israel (Galatians 6:16)

God now deals with spiritual adults.

No longer are we, the members of the New Covenant, provided detailed and specific guidelines for various circumstances; but, in their stead are three adequate guidelines: 1) Love God, 2) Love your neighbor and 3) utilize the former administration as principled examples ( 1Corinthians 10:11 & Romans 15:4).

Such are the parameters for New Covenant believers in any governmental context.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eye of the Red Tsar

Want a good read?

Sam Eastland’s Eye of the Red Tsar is one you will not put down, once begun.

I began the book without reading the data regarding his historical research, suspecting as I read, “this man has done his homework”.

Having read on this era for 40+ years, I was amazed at his insights and attention to detail. So much, so, I couldn’t put the book down!

His conclusion has me waiting for the sequel!

Pick it up.

I suspect he is going to develop for us a side of Stalin we haven't considered, yet will give evidence of what some theologians designate as God's Common Grace manifest amongst the worst of us.

A concept we generally seek to deny and or avoid

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shades of 1984

Wow! has it been that long since a posting on my part? Call me Bob van Winkle.

I haven't been asleep, though I wish that were the case: simply dormant and/or frustrated.

We are one step away from war on three fronts, as per Orwell’s plot.

Currently, we are engaged in six wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and the “global war on terror”.

Odds are, the man on the street paying the bills, hasn’t the foggiest as to the count.

Given the present state of our educational system, he/she couldn’t locate 2/3rds of the locations on a map, if asked.

Nor could a goodly number of our politicians, as history demonstrated prior to the launch on Afghanistan back in the day.

We have become a nation governed by the military/industrial complex, manipulating behind the scenes those ostensibly elected to represent us.

This is simply a new look for Junta.

We lost the republic a long time ago, proving Franklin right.

Now, what?

Reminds me of the scene in the movie Dr. Zhivago where the folk are being transported in the railroad car along with a “convict” chained to the bunk. Only the convict recognizes Freedom. The system has to chain him, whereas the rest acquiesce with the system’s dictates.

Once upon a time, those comprising the nation displayed a flag saying "Don't tread On Me". Seems to me, we have "advanced' to the place where our flag is a doormat saying "Walk on Me".

Shamgar! Where are you?

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Stimulating and Valuable Resource

Legion are the questions popping up in the believer's mind.

Max Lucado has done admirable service in sharing with nus the questions to which he has been exposed in his ministry, and his responses in his volume: Max On Life.

Admittedly, your particular theological response might be somewhat different, but the response Max provides is a stimulus to each of us.

As I read, I thought, Wow! That is surely helpful. I might express it somewhat differently, but, on the whole I resonate with Max!

This is a tool which bears being placed alongside some of the other psychological offerings, while given priority of place, in my opinion.

Thank you, Max!

Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Constitutional History Unadulterated

As with The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Nullification provides first hand understanding of this issue from the writings of those directly involved in establishing the principle.

Tom provides chapter and verse, even attaching relevant documents as appendices.

Sadly, with few exceptions, those within the Beltway nursing off the udder of this overpowering central government will continue to ridicule and reject out of hand the clear and cogent argument.

It seems the struggle is in phase two, ridicule from those who oppose. Phase one was ignoring what Tom was writing and saying. So, there is a modicum of hope. The next phase will find them fighting and then, they will lose.

Power not only corrupts, but eventually eviscerates those wielding the power. Ask Mubarak, Ghaddafi, et al.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Terrors of the Law

Recently, a friend ask me to read Ray Comfort's God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life.

Now, it is to be noted I have personally been involved in Evangelical Ministries since 1964, resigning my commission in the USMC to "...hasten the coming of the Lord...".

Admittedly, my spirit resonates with the author's stated concerns relative to what seems to be the fruit of "easy believism".

But, in reading the Acts of the Apostles, I am hard pressed to find biblical justification for the author's argument. Save for those instances when an Apostle was addressing a Jewish audience, The Law was never put forth/promoted in the context of the evangelical message.

The Law was never the "tutor" to lead Gentiles to Faith. It was a Tutor for ethnic Israel.

Isaiah 8:20 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is still the standard...not cultural experiences...nor the interpretations of those drinking at the well of Puritans.

Maybe, one ought to consider article 25 of the LBC 1644?

'Nuff said

Day after day-horse-pucket!

Up front, I admit it: I am a political novice.

Still, after 60 plus years following high school, I have to admit every political administration has lied to me. OK, lied implies motive, which I am not privy to, certainly.

But, consciously misled seems fitting.

Promises, promises, promises on every campaign trail followed by the almost opposite of each promise.

Fool me once, my fault. Fool me umpteen times? Do not trust any Party endorsed politician!

I should have been informed of the likes of Lysander Spooner and Albert J. Nock while in high school and allowed to discriminate for myself. But, NO! Government knew what was best for me.

With the exception of maybe one or two current national politicians, whenever a politico opens his/her mouth my initial response is “horse-pucket”.

My strong suspicion being I will live to see, experience , the demise of this empire as it goes down the sewer of history.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Motivating or Chilling?

Andy Andrews is without doubt a masterful story-teller. His Heart Mender was an inspiring tale of an individual driven by humanity in a land gripped by fear. I couldn’t put if down, once begun.

This tale (The Final Summit)was different-I had to read it straight through though intuitively troubled in each chapter.

The cast of characters (travelers from throughout history who made significant contributions to civilization’s advance) are assembled in a final summit to discover the one thing necessary to save civilization.

Each character and the contribution selected was designed to drive home the story’s final solution.

Ignored is the fact some contributions of some of the characters directly contributed to the problem the council was assembled to correct, which contributions were themselves an application of what is determined to be the “final solution”.

Somewhere there has to be irony in this story. The Final Summit producing the final solution is awfully reminiscent of another final solution in which the “one principle” was implemented.

The summit’s process and the suggestions offered were in themselves motivating; but, the “one principle” was to me chilling.

Strange as it seems, I watch this principle being implemented even today in the Middle East and now, North Africa.


Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Challenge and Intrigue

Project Azorian is another example of US ingenuity and “can do spirit”, alongside an unfettered government agency’s power.

Because the American populace was brainwashed by its own government as to the Soviet threat, it was easy for agencies to justify their actions toward raising this Soviet submarine without the knowledge of the Soviet government or the American public which was footing the bill.

The feat was an unbelievable achievement on all counts.

Personally, as I read the account my mind was drawn to a statement made by God and recorded in Genesis 11:6, “…and now, nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do…”.

In my lifetime, I have seen this evidenced in our space accomplishments along with some many other feats! If we can imagine it, given time, we will do it.

But, the costs associated with the achievements are quite often too high.

This achievement came to pass while the erosion of our republican form of government was accelerating. Prior to this, with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 an agency was created which since, has grown to an extent unimagined and currently unrestrained.

This agency controlled this feat…and unbelievable feat, to be sure, but one which ultimately contributed to the demise of the republic alongside that of The Bay of Pigs and other covert ops far too numerous to catalogue.

Still, let me reiterate, this feat is a commendation to the ingenuity, creativity, labor and sacrifice of all those involved. Those involved on all levels, save for the governmental, are to be commended.

The authors have made this bit of history a fascinating read…I couldn’t put it down til finished!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Provocative Read

The Fight Of Our Lives, Bennett & Leibsohn

To me, the authors sounded as “court historians”. I could not see where they acknowledged any errors on our part, nationally, in terms of Foreign policy.

Mercy: one might suggest we “turned right at third base” in terms of foreign policy in the late 1800s when we “enocuntererd” Spain and began our imperialistic advance, bringing democracy at the point of the gun. (Does Mao come to mind?)

From that time til today “nationalism” has been cloaked in the garb of “patriotism” such that when the national Anthem begins, the flag starts to wave, and the mantra “support our troops" is voiced rational thinking ends.

The authors are correct: Islam is a threat, be it radical or moderate.

Islam is a potent threat, in my opinion, for two chief erasons: 1) Ignorance of Islam as advanced in the Koran and the Hadiths and, 2) our Imperialistic policies masked under the Rubric of advancing democracy.

Islam is not simply a religious system.

It is a religious/political system, inseparably. As such, it cannot logically co-exist with any other religious system.

It is a different kind of “leaven”. That is, it is not a leaven of persuasion, but a leaven of force. Its tool of persuasion is the “sword”, making it philosophically incompatible with the American ethic.

Just as in the 1800s Mormonism had to bow to the American ethic in terms of polygamy, so too must Islam be “forced” to bow to the historical American commitment to religious tolerance exemplified by William Penn and others.

Bottom line: in my opinion Islam cannot agree to this.

Where does this leave us, in my opinion? In the Fight of our Lives.

As with our exclusion of religions given to Cannabalism, Polygamy, Human Sacrifice, etc. from our body politic it may be time to include Islam as a general category and those immigrants who religiously adhere to the teachings of Islam.


The authors suggest we are in “The Fight of our Lives”

Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Soul Food For The Journey

90 Days of God’s Goodness

The opening page of day one says it all: Conflict with a Purpose.

Our lives are not purposeless, but purposeful from God’s perspective and he is engineering every aspect.

The author has the gift of developing the right passage, and apt illustration, and a personal prayer relative to a suggested life experience.

Bottom line: the 90 Day journey suggests God knows what He is doing.

Our part is to recognize His hand, submit, and revel in the experience, difficult though it may be.

My suggestion: use this tool for 90 days, focusing on God’s sovereignty and providence and see if your confidence and personal security is not significantly enhanced.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas

Having read Cost of Discipleship and other Bonhoeffer works, I thought I had a handle on the man.

Was I ever mistaken!

Metaxas’ work has opened my eyes and motivated me to re-visit and re-consider what I have read. (Do I hear the resonance of “too soon old, and too late smart”?)

For those who know me intimately and my struggles in the mid 80s, Bonhoeffer’s struggles, in terms of ethics, really resonates. How I identify with him and wonder why God, in His sovereignty kept this awareness from me during that time frame?

Read the book…as I intend a re-read in the days ahead.

Applicability of his message?

That is for you to determine

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Old, Old Story Freshly Told

Randy Alcorn’s Chasm is a nicely woven presentation of the gospel in an allegorical format. It read rapidly at one short sitting and held my attention throughout.

As I read, I kept thinking of John Bunyan and Bedford jail! Having read something of the author’s background, I thought, “Now, there’s a connection!”

I especially appreciated the manner in which the author weaved The Spirit’s calling, the doctrine of sanctification and progress while in Charis and the relationship between the Woodsman’s felling of the tree and the ministry of the Lord Jesus prior to the crucifixion. Awesome.

Not having read The Edge of Eternity, my appetite has been whetted.

I received this book free from Multnomah Books as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

What About…..? For Starters

Entitled A Conversation with God, the title is a bit mis-leading. It is really more like What Does (blank) Say About (blank).

The book was an easy read and an apt tool for new believers. Obviously, it flows from a particular theological perspective affording one the opportunity to suggest additional considerations.

The topics addressed are:

The Bible.
The Future.
Pain and Suffering.
The Kingdom of God.Heaven and Hell.
Christian Living.
Today's World.

I would recommend the book, having found it helpful.

Received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Handbook for ground-level Apologetics

Manifested In The Flesh, Joel McDurmon, 2007

Joel Mcdurmon has done a tremendous service to the laymen and women within the body of Christ with the penning of this book.

Clarity, insight, astuteness of observation with a measure of humor and ridicule mark the presentation.

At the moment, it fails me to recall the source of the observation: “if something is ridiculous, it ought to be ridiculed”, but Joel does a masterful job of gracious ridicule!

The appendices are worth the price of the book, alone.

Joel’s observations relative to the implications of the serpents presentation in Genesis 3 are worthy of serious reflection: 1) the quest for secret knowledge…”hath God said”?, 2) THE OUTRIGHT REJECTION OF God’s sovereignty in history “…ye shall not surely die…”, 3) the promise of enlightenment by the quest “your eyes shall be opened..”, and finally, 4) the promise of becoming divine “,,,ye shall be as gods…”.

The observations on Liberty and the absurdity of man’s demand to know what he need not know are awesome! (Deuteronomy 29:29).

I so enjoyed this book and highly commend it to every Intentional Discipler.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Book To Challenge Your Heart And Mind

Revolution In World Missions, K P Yohannan.

This is the story of God’s movement in the life of one man and his vision for reaching the people of his homeland via the use of indigenous laborers.

On the one hand, the obvious response is: Duh!

Naturally, this is the most effective methodology.

But, pragmatically, this flies in the face of established, pragmatic Missions’ philosophy. This sets the stage for God’s movement in the author’s life and the establishment of the ministry of Gospel for Asia.

As I read this story, my heart was both warmed and challenged. In reading, I had to set aside my personal theological convictions and acknowledge the reality God’s works as he deigns to work in non-Western cultural contexts.

I praise the Lord for raising up Gospel For Asia and heartily recommend this book for inclusion in one’s Mission reading list

A Tool To Be Used Judiciously

Finding Our Way Again, Brian Mclaren

My observation in the use of the term judicious is founded upon the host of opinions abounding on the religious pike regarding this author.

The initial comment in the book was a bit “off-putting” for me: “…Buddhism presents itself as a way of life, and Christianity presents itself as a system of belief…” Nuts. Every practice, way of life is founded upon a particular belief. Buddhism, as much as Christianity, is a system of belief.

‘Nuff said.

I appreciated the author’s explication of the various practices one can embrace and employ as one seeks to grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ. Each of them has value. No one of them is a be-all and end-all in the process. The objective is to grow “in grace” and in “the knowledge of” Christ.

I suspect the various suggested practices resonate differently with the various temperament types. Give them serious consideration. Try each of them and then focus on and employ those which best suit you and the way in which God has wired you together.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Whet the appetite, spur reflection, satisfy while leaving an indefinable dis-satisfaction.

Desiring God,John Piper, 25th anniversary edition.

Throughout the book, the author expands on what it is to “Delight thyself in God” (Psalm 37:4).
The objective is to know what God has revealed of Himself and His purposes, to allow these truths to take root in one’s mind and “heart” til one is overwhelmed with the implications of God’s majesty and glory.

Though God’s revelation reveals to us our real state as a result of Adam’s stain, yet our focus is not to be on ourselves, but rather on the glorious wonders of our God and His purposes.

When we find ourselves face to face with the questions of sovereignty and providence and how they play out in our lives and the lives of others we ought to assume the posture of the Psalmist in Psalm 131:1 “…LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me…”.

Finally, we must admit we are finite creatures; created as his image, marred by Adam’s stain, redeemed through His matchless grace, and challenged to grow in our understanding of Him such that we can become fully satisfied on this side of the veil and in anticipation of what lies in store when we are blessed with an unhindered vision.

Personally, I found the chapter on Missions to be challenging without being subjected to guilt and pity manipulation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Surfing The High Points

Defiant Joy, by Kevin Belmonte is a rapid tour through some of the major works of GKC, with only brief biographical observations. Initially, I expected this to be a biography but settled for a reasoned development of GKC’s works. Reading this presentation reminded me of my failure to finish The Everlasting Man, a failure immediately remedied!

How I wish there had been an index so as to retrieve the ample display of apropos quotes!

Still, I recommend the book highly for a broad overview of an insightful individual, an unembarrassed, thoughtful Christian.

The Obligatory Disclaimer: I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson Publishing, through their BookSneeze publication.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A handy Resource For Disciplers

Randy Alcorn’s little book The Goodness of God is an ideal devotional resource addressing the age old question: “Why is there evil in the world?”

Randy focuses to reader’s attention on Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Or, in other words, God, Man, Sin, and salvation.

Into this mix we are led to see God’s purposes. This is His creation; we are His creatures; and he is working out His sovereign plan. As fallen creatures we demand to know precisely WHY we have to experience, endure, and embrace this manifestation of evil. Curiosity drives us, making us unwilling to submit patiently under His hand and in the context of His plan.

This little booklet needs to be kept close at hand as a resource in managing our own dose of difficulty or horror and for sharing with others.

Especially helpful are the suggestions in chapter 11 entitled What We Can Do. In the chapter randy suggests four steps: 1) Look to God’s promises for comfort, 2) Anticipate God’s rewards, 3) Lighten the load through prayer and, finally 4) Share your life with others who suffer.

I highly recommend this little booklet along with the larger version If God Is Good

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Cautionary Read

I am always troubled when a sermon or book starts out using the example of the individual blessed with “immediate” contact with God. By immediate contact I mean said individual had some form of Theophany, a burning bush, an audible voice, an obvious angelic visitor, or whatever of that nature.

Though the lessons or examples drawn are true, they carry far more weight, I believe, than what I experience via a “mediated” encounter with God. By mediated encounter I mean encountering God via the written word.

Such was my mindset when reading Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. (I would have enjoyed hearing the chapters preached!) The reading was engaging, at times some of the examples used to illustrate a pioint brought tears to my eyes and, at other times outbursts of joy! Sounds like Elevation Church is an exciting venue.

The book is full of pithy observations: “The Process is the Point”, “Pray and Push”, and others.

I was “put off” by the observation about using a qualifier in our prayer, such as “if it be thy will” . James 4:15? In the chapter Pray Like A Juggernaut, each example ends with the comment “…would you ….”. Qualifier? Give me a break!
The example of a “page 23 vision” and its qualifiers was encouraging, as was the inclusion of his Twelve Audacious Faith Confessions (might this serve as the next Twelve Step Program?).

I don’t see Peter or the Twelve exercising “audacious faith” in the early chapters of Acts, but obedient faith. Had they been audacious they may well have launched out of Jerusalem carrying the gospel to Judea and Samaria without waiting for the persecution? I don’t see Paul exercising audacious faith, but obedient faith in the face of trying and challenging experiences. Maybe it is a question of definition?

To me, ordinary men and women living in biblical obedience are “audacious”. Its expression is probably more of a function of basic temperament.

I would recommend the book as an enjoyable read of the unusual growth of a new church and its pastor.