Why I call myself a Christian Mystic

Why I call myself a Christian Mystic

I know it is risking as the term “mystic” is seen in a negative light by a lot of folks within the American Christian culture. Yet when I wrote the biography for my upcoming book, I called myself a “Christian mystic.” Why did I do that? I did it because I think we need more mystics with their embracement of the mystery of life in the American Christian culture. The last few hundred years have been spend trying to define everything. And why this desire to know gave us a lot of cool technology, it also cost us something (NT Wright touches on this in chapter three his book Surprised by Scripture). The Oxford American College Dictionary defines “mystic” as “a person who…believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that are beyond the intellect.” In a similar manner the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “mystical” as “having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence.” So in a lot of ways, the term “Christian Mystic” is an oxymoron in that Christianity begin with an understanding that people would have a spiritual experience that is beyond our understanding. Yet in reality most of what passes as “Christianity” these days denies any spiritual experience as it is all about rules, logic, behavior, etc.  This is true even in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles where folks are taught how to get God to do something (i.e. having enough faith, pray long enough, fast long enough, etc.) If one looks back towards history we see Christian mystics who promoted a deeper understanding of God and an embracement...
Confusion Over Kingdom Theology

Confusion Over Kingdom Theology

In my upcoming book (The Here and Not Yet: What is Kingdom Theology and why does it matter?) I define Kingdom Theology as a way of life that acknowledges that through the person of Jesus, the new age of life broke into human history and provided humanity with a new way to live life, while also acknowledging that the rule of evil, sin and death is still actively resisting the leadership change (i.e. enacted inaugurated eschatology). We are only six days into 2017 and already there has been two news articles written about Kingdom Theology. And unfortunately, they both miss the mark on defining Kingdom Theology. The first article (Jan 1st at PJ Media) directly defined “Kingdom Theology” as the desire use government power to create the God’s kingdom “here on earth.” The author then proceed to tell his readers that this view was incorrect. Rather the modern Christian shouldn’t “try to force” the kingdom to come down to earth “before the right season has come.”  In doing so, the author not only reduced the kingdom of God to a political nation, but they also embraced a delayed eschatology worldview (i.e. God’s kingdom is in the future somewhere and Christians just have to wait until it comes). The second article (Jan 3rd at Religion & Politics) talked about an “attitude shift about Kingdom theology” in which the kingdom of God changed from being a “religiously pure…and established after a period of apocalyptic upheaval to a vision of communities of mutual concern that support diverse forms of human flourishing in the here-and-now.” In other words, this article defined Kingdom Theology...
Spirituality is NOT a Substitute for Psychology!

Spirituality is NOT a Substitute for Psychology!

“We need to realize that not only is psychology not a substitute from spirituality, but spirituality is not a substitute for psychology. While most Christians would not tend to make the first assertion, many would and do tend to make the second… Psychological brokenness needs treatment in the same way that a broken bone needs to be set and healed. While physical therapy is an integral and essential aspect of healing for a broken leg, the therapy alone, without setting of the bone, will never enable the bone to heal properly. Likewise, spiritual formation is an integral and essential part of recovery of human wholeness from psychological brokenness, but spiritual formation alone will never bring full and complete wholeness of being.” I read the above quote today and just had to share it. It was penned by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr. and released in his book Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation. While the quote may sound self-evident to some of you, I have heard Christian leaders tell people that psychology is of the devil and is to be avoided. Yeah. Much sadness…. There is a time and a place for psychology and professional counseling.  While a pastor or other Christian leader can cry and pray with you, they aren’t there to fix you or solve all your problems. They are there to remind you that the Creator King entered into our broken world to walk with us through the dark valleys of life. Let us all run fearlessly into the dark places of our souls this year with Jesus. Let us pursue spiritual disciplines, professional...
Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

Help me publish a book about the Kingdom of God!

It’s happening! The editor has returned my manuscript and will be going to the page layout lady later on this week!! =D I do, however, need your help getting this book over the finish line. Even though the book been accepted for publication by Vineyard International Publishing there are lots of expenses. This is where you all come in as I need help generating the necessary funds to pay for the book editing, layout, and cover design. Please check out my crowd-sourcing campaign to find out more about the book and how you can help. Thank you and God bless!...
Let us increase our dedication…

Let us increase our dedication…

I wanted to include this quote by St. Antony of the Desert on my last post…but it was way too long for that post, so I decided to post it separately.  I would, however, highly recommend everyone to read The Life of Antony by St. Athanasius as soon as possible. Written in 360 C.E., it was one of the best known works of literature in the West for a thousand years or so. And, wow, is it good! =D So do yourself a favor and find a copy today! Enjoy. “[L]et us hold in common the same eagerness not to surrender what we have begun, either by growing fainthearted in the labors or by saying, ‘We have spent a long time in the discipline.’ Rather, as through making a beginning daily, let us increase our dedication… “Let us not think that the time is too long or what we do is great, for the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. And let us not consider, when we look at the world, that we have given up things of some greatness, for even the entire earth is itself quite small in relation to all of heaven. If now it happened that we were lords of all the earth, and renounced all the earth, that would amount to nothing as compared with the kingdom of heaven. “For just as if someone might despise one copper drachma in order to gain a hundred gold drachma, so he who is ruler of the whole earth, and renounced it, loses little, and...
The Spiritual Battle Behind Simple Living

The Spiritual Battle Behind Simple Living

For the past 13 years I have worked in an office where the majority of my coworkers regular go out to eat each and every day. Fancy to-go boxes fill the breakroom refrigerator while I carry around an old lunch box cast aside by my son with a simple sandwich or last night’s leftovers inside…. Closing time comes with talk of concerts, drinks at a local pub, or other such money intensive activities. On those rare times when I choose to join the after work pub visit, I typically drink water or perhaps just one alcoholic drink…all the while wishing I could buy multiple drinks for myself and my friends like those around me …. Lest I forget, the mid-day talk of boats, cars, concerts, sports games, TVs, sound equipment and the like don’t really help… rather they all seek to tip my envy scale dangerously into the dark green slime of jealously…. Over the years I have fought my envious urges by consoling myself to the fact that I had very little debt and that my coworkers most likely had lots of debt. I read books about simplicity and hung onto stories about people who lived simply and gave away lots of money to help others. It didn’t really work. Oh, it kept me out of debt (for the most part). And it helped take the edge off the desire to experience the finer things in life… but the fight never really left my heart and mind. It was always there in the shadows ready to pounce when things got difficult, bringing with it negative thoughts and questioning...