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God’s Restoration

2012 June 14
by Mike

The “stages” of my faith journey:

used by permission


1) The goal is to be right. About everything. Doctrinal precision. If you’re not right, you’re wrong. Way wrong.

2) The goal is to be the Right (or, possibly, the Left). We get done what needs to get done through the power of civil religion. (This was a very short-lived “stage” stemming from my educational environment.)

3) The goal is to join God in his setting things Right. This is such a joy. Thank you, thank you to my guides—N. T. Wright, John Stott, Barbara Brown Taylor, John Howard Yoder, Walter Brueggemann, John Willis, Richard Hays, Henri Nouwen, Dallas Willard, Megan, Eugene Peterson, Scot McKnight, Landon Saunders, Michael Gorman, Luke Timothy Johnson. And so many others.

14 Responses leave one →
  1. janice permalink
    June 14, 2012

    Yes, that sounds about right. I’m still surrounded by wonderful people who are caught in the first two stages. Either they think they’re the only true followers; or they see themselves as part of the army of God (Gary Bauerish).

  2. June 14, 2012

    Awesome!

  3. kathy s permalink
    June 15, 2012

    Yes, and speaking of my own similar faith journey, the joy is far greater than I ever anticipated as I can truly say, “I once was lost but now I’m found.” And thank you for the list of guides, many of whom are my usual companions as well, but I’ve spotted a couple of names that I’ve yet to explore beyond a simple name recognition. I’m looking forward to getting to know more about them.

  4. Kathy permalink
    June 15, 2012

    Blessings for you, Mike – you have been one of my principle guides to this glorious and joyful third stage.
    I still struggle with the other two now and then. They seem to be jealous that I’ve gotten away from them, but I prayerfully slip out of their returning grip. ;o) Praise Him!! \o/

    Still missing you. Hope to catch a glimpse of you at Highland one of these days. When next you’re in town, if you call, I’ll fix the coffee, tea, Dr.Pepper, or whatever in trade off for a few chat minutes!! I so truly believe in Hope! :o)

  5. Tina permalink
    June 15, 2012

    No one who knows you has to ask, “Megan who?” :-)

  6. erin permalink
    June 16, 2012

    That’s funny, Tina. I thought the same thing. There is only one person on the list who doesn’t need a last name for full identity!

  7. Chris permalink
    June 17, 2012

    Do your “guides” agree with each other?

  8. June 18, 2012

    Chris – On 100%? No. Would you expect that?

    Two I mentioned are (were) from my own congregation. One is a brilliant Old Testament scholar and wise shepherd; the other was a mentally disabled child.

  9. David U permalink
    June 18, 2012

    Amen! My guess is that you were in-between stages when preaching in Searcy. What say you?

  10. Chris permalink
    June 18, 2012

    What does #3 mean?

    What I mean by my previous comment:

    If these people are your guides, and they don’t agree with each other, how do you decide which ones to accept?

  11. james permalink
    June 18, 2012

    Ah, yes. The places where all guides agree.

    Or as those places are known: cults.

  12. Gene Garrison permalink
    June 19, 2012

    Mike
    Did you get my email?
    Gene

  13. June 20, 2012

    4) Everything finally made right

    The list gets less and less about self and more and more about God. The list starts with self as the focal point and ends with God being our single, solitary focus. That is maturity that only comes over time and experience. Somehow Megan must have gotten it quicker and with less experience than Willard, Johnson, McKnight, or even her daddy! Thank you for sharing that with the rest of us.

  14. June 25, 2012

    I love this!

    Thank God we don’t have to agree on everything 100% or have everything figured out. I am so thankful that God can use even children (to us right now, even our unborn daughter) to guide us toward God’s love.

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