17: Digging Deeper into Experience

In this episode John and Gregg discuss Jerry Bridges’ view that “In order to trust God, we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense” (Trusting God, p. 18).

John notes that he would have put the book down right there. Gregg comments that viewing negative circumstances solely through “the eyes of faith” contradicts the biblical importance of memory and experience, as God’s command to Israel to “remember” how God acted in past to deliver them (such that they would have faith that God will continue to deliver them in the present and future).

John raises the question of free will–the ability to choose his actions vs. being controlled by God.  Gregg notes that we are always trusting something, and that there has to be enough background or evidence to be able to trust God (as is what we remember).

Gregg notes that bible verses (e.g., Romans 8:28) can be used to manipulate outcomes: to blame certain people and exonerate others (most often oneself)!  This leads to a discussion of the problem of false religion: determining when religion is religiosity, which Gregg argues requires a multi-disciplinary approach (theology on its own is not enough).

John finishes by asking Gregg about his experience of being loved by God.  Gregg recounts his experiences as being a significant pointer to God where these experiences had the quality of being truly known, deeply loved, and being both affirmed and critiqued in his understandings.  So Gregg notes the importance of remembering his own experience of God’s love and goodness when adverse situations arise.

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