Criteria for testing messages based on unmediated experiences of God

Since I mentioned the importance of unmediated spiritual experiences of God, several people here have inquired about criteria for testing them. Others have objected that positing objective criteria undermines the immediacy of the experiences.Here is intend to propose some intersubjective criteria that all Christians should be able to agree on and use in testing messages, truth claims, brought forth as a result of unmediated experiences of God.  I have in mind messages such as prophecies … [Read more...]

Bewildered by “seeing as”

I admit to being a soft perspectivalist, but I also admit to being uncomfortable with it. My mind is wired to think rationally, to look at other people who radically disagree with what I see clearly as either ignorant (even if only in the sense of not seeing some evidence I see) or irrational (even if only in the sense of embracing paradox comfortably). And yet, I am convinced by experience that there is such a phenomenon as perspective--two people seeing the exact same evidence and "seeing" … [Read more...]

Reflections on Black Friday

Black Friday is not Good Friday.  Paraphrasing Tony Campolo, "It's friday but saturday's coming"--meaning any day, even tomorrow, must be better than Black Friday.I never cease to be amazed at what the media and advertisers can do to create a sensation. Today, one day after giving thanks, many people pressed into stores just after midnight to over spend and celebrate American consumerism. Once again, as for several years now, we will see reports on the evening news of being being trampled, … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.  I know it falls on a different day in Canada and some countries don't have this holiday at all.  However, I assume most, if not all, of you are thankful for something whether you father with family for a feast on this day or not.May I invite you to post here ONE THING you are thankful for OTHER THAN the usual things Christians express thanks for (viz., Jesus Christ, salvation, family, health, etc.).  Be original, please.I am thankful for the se … [Read more...]

My brief essay on Clark Pinnock (from The Word Made Fresh event)

On Friday, November 18, many of us gathered in San Francisco to celebrate the life and contribution of theologian Clark Pinnock.  Five of us read papers about Pinnock, including his daughter Sarah who teaches theology at Trinity University.  Other presenters were Scot McKnight, Linda Mercadante and John Sanders.  Below is some of what I said about Clark, one of my theological heroes, who passed away last year:"Clark Pinnock pioneered a new way of being an evangelical in theology.  I call tha … [Read more...]

Who is a Christian? Some suggested criteria.

Recently I received a brochure from an evangelist I admire.  He is well known in certain Christian circles.  I have myself traveled some distance to hear him (he also sings with his wife in a duet and I like the kind of music they perform. It reminds me of the church I grew up in.  He has also written many songs performed by other singing evangelists).The brochure quotes me and that is why I'm responding here.  But I don't want to do the man any harm.  I think everyone who knows him and migh … [Read more...]

At last, and reluctantly, some guidelines for this blog

I have always wanted to avoid laying down some guidelines about this blog because, after all, it's mine and I can do with it what I please.  However, to save some people time and frustration, I'll reveal some rules of thumb I use in deciding whose comments to post.  I haven't enforced all of these consistently, but I am going to try to from now on:1) This blog is for constructive dialogue, civil conversation.  When people come here they are entering my living room or office, so to speak.  It … [Read more...]


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