Human experience is a slippery concept. Because of its subjective nature people don’t often place great value in its rational potential or practical functionality. Yet, experience is fundamental to what it means to be a human person. So to speak of faith in nonexperiential terms is to misunderstand its human significance. With this challenge before us, today we address the topic of experiencing Christ’s sufficiency.Continue reading “Feeling our Faith”
Some things can only be known by experience. We’ll never understand the meaning of “peace” or “love” or “hope” until we personally encounter these realities ourselves. No amount of books or courses will ever suffice until such things are actually known by experience. While few people would challenge the truth of these claims, why is it that we tend to be so hesitant to speak of the need for an experiential faith? For many, it’s as terrifying as facing uncharted ocean waters.Continue reading “Beyond the Fear of Uncharted Waters”
As a Christian, is it possible to have a faith that is rationally sound and experientially meaningful? Can we really “have this cake and eat it too?” While such a faith is eagerly sought by many, there’s often an unspoken skepticism against the quest for a more experiential faith. Clearly, cases of unhealthy and unorthodox emotional practices have given reason for such caution. Yet, I think more is going on than just the concern of an unhealthy emotionalism. Why is this?Continue reading “Having and Eating our Cake”
Humans are wired to seek pleasure. This drive alone has forged the destinies of individuals and nations. Because of our capacity for pleasure we have seen this pursuit focused on a multitude of ends—ranging from base hedonism to noble causes. Yet, somehow even in the acquisition of our ends, we’re still left wanting even more. People spend their lives and fortunes ever pursuing this elusive yearning. Why is it so difficult to satisfy? Perhaps the best way forward is to question the very nature of this drive. Might this unrelenting craving actually be a sort of premonition that we were created for more than this world has to offer?Continue reading “Frequent Feasting”
December in Brussels averages only a little more than one hour of cloudless sunlight per day. The days are short and heavy clouds rule the sky most of the time. Many people emotionally suffer from the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Doctors have a name for this condition, they call it SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder.Continue reading “Weather of the Heart”
My wife and I awoke once more to another pummeling wave of grief and sorrow crashing through our minds, “Oh God, why . . . why . . . why?” Though it had already been several weeks, we still could not make sense of the premature death of our baby girl, Isabella. Every medical report was positive all the way up to week 21, then at a routine sonogram the devastating news was still echoing in our minds—“I’m sorry . . . I can’t find a heartbeat.”Continue reading “Knowing in our Guts”
Emotions are a mixed bag. They can take us to the heights of joyful bliss and the depths of human despair. For some, they are the spice of life and for others . . . humanity’s curse. Such unpredictability has earned emotions a reputation of bad news for the life of the mind. Yet, interestingly, recent breakthroughs in the cognitive sciences have redeemed the perceived cognitive value of emotions. Believe it or not, these findings actually bear directly on our understanding and experience of Christian faith.Continue reading “Rethinking Faith, Knowledge, and Emotions”
This week we launch our eleventh devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem.
When I am tossed,
When I am thrown,
And when I feel a little bit blue . . .
In the ebb and flow of my churning emotions
I hear His whisper in the wind,
“I am enough.”Continue reading “Devotional Poem: The Ebb and the Flow”
The next several weeks of blogs will be based on our most recent animated reading, “Nothing Changes but Everything is Different.” Click here to see the full text and watch the video.
The service was charged with excitement as the preacher man picked up the microphone and yelled, “God is good!” Then raising it towards the crowd, they all screamed back, “All the time!” Upon which the preacher repeated, “All the time!” And the crowd returned, “God is good!” Continue reading “The Rich New World of Holy Surrender”
Human beings are emotional creatures and this is both a blessing and a bane. We have all experienced their ability to carry us to the highest heights and plummet us to the lowest depths. And so, we have developed our own ways of dealing with emotions… of managing our passions. Yet regardless of how we feel about emotions, we all hold one emotional behavior in common—we are most excited about those beliefs to which we are most committed. In fact, we even tend to question whether somebody truly believes something if they are not moved by it. Continue reading “In Search of Joy”