What does it mean to “Encounter” God?

Tim Keller, as we have noted in an earlier post, sees prayer as a conversation, but this conversation has a particular shape: God speaks in the Word (the Bible) and we respond in learning to communicate with God in light of that word-y revelation. Thus, Timothy Ward has shown that the words of God given [Read More...]

A Pastor and Energizing Prayer (John Frye)

By John Frye: A charming mechanical bunny beating a bass drum crosses our TV screen. Known affectionately as the “energizer bunny,” it is hawking long-lasting batteries that have more energy than the competitors. What gives long-lasting energy to prayer? Scot McKnight makes this observation: “As the Son of the Father, Jesus shows the disciples how [Read More...]

Spiritual Disciplines: What should we expect?

Ah, those spiritual disciplines. What are they? What do they accomplish? Which ones are most important? What are we to expect from the spiritual disciplines? Barry Jones just might capture the whole picture in these words from his book Dwell: Life with God for the World, and I have reformatted these into “teaching points” (pp. 102-103): Whether [Read More...]

Prayer as Word-based Conversation

Dallas Willard taught us that our relationship with God is interactive and that prayer was a genuine conversation with God. This can be seen in most of his books but Hearing God is perhaps the best example. (By the way, Willard also defined the kingdom of God as this “interactive relationship” and this is a [Read More...]

What is Prayer? Tim Keller

Two features of prayer rise to the surface in any discussion about prayer: that people of all parts of the world and of all times pray, and that prayer practices shift from one group to another. Those practices reveal, often enough, what each thinks prayer is. But notice how people pray in different ways, from [Read More...]

Lord, we pray

Lord, We pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, That we may continually be given to good works; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. From BCP [Read more...]

Tim Keller on Prayer

Many, perhaps most, of us have a favorite book on prayer. Some would appeal to Augustine’s Confessions, others to Gregory of Nyssa or St Bonaventure or Teresa of Avila or to Luther or Calvin, or from our modern times Andrew Murray or A.W. Tozer or a manual like that of Donald Bloesch. What should be in [Read More...]

The Inhale-Exhale of the Faith

In the 80s and 90s more and more churches took on board “spiritual disciplines” and began to teach and develop programs about spiritual disciplines. The primary movers of this movement were Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Dallas Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines).  Any number of books and programs flow from these two authors, [Read More...]

What is a Morally “Good” Person?

Here is the essence of virtue ethics: character produces behavior. Even more: a good character acts out in goodness. Virtue ethics, to be sure, contends that habits produce the character that then lives the good life. But what is a good person? Dallas Willard and Gary Black, Jr., in The Divine Conspiracy Continued, in their pivotal chapter [Read More...]

O God, because without you…

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [Read more...]