In this episode John and Gregg discuss some of Gregg’s ideas about how / what it means to “experience God.”
Reflecting on their past discussion in episode #77, John wonders if Gregg views God’s action in the world being solely for the purpose of furthering God’s kingdom rather that touching / engaging with people individually?
Gregg counters that he views God to have acted in a very personal way in his life, as an individual, and that people should expect God to act personally. Yet Gregg’s belief is that this “personal action” will not necessarily occur individually, and so we need to be careful not to confuse the expectation that God will act in meaningful, personal ways in people’s lives with the expectation that God will necessarily so act in my life.
John finds this perspective discouraging, because he believes that he needs some experience of God (such as God meeting certain needs or having some form of significant, palpable connection with God) in order to “put him over the top” and solidify his belief that God is real and that Christianity is worth committing to. John offer such examples as the book of Acts, where droves of people had transformative experiences of God.
On the one hand, Gregg is hesitant to consider the book of Acts as an example for contemporary Christian expectations, because the catalyst for book’s activities was Pentecost: the most powerful and immediate event of the Holy Spirit in human history. On the other hand, Gregg argues that “experiences” of God as a notion is misleading: such events are never simply “experiences.”