Tag Archives: knowledge

85: Listening to Yourself

In this episode John and Gregg again discuss the idea that Christians need “second opinions” about their faith. John sees parallels here with Wayne Jacobson‘s notion of listening to one’s “yuck meter,” where Christians need to attend to their negative reactions / feelings of unease regarding supposedly “Christian” responses (because this may be the Holy Spirit communicating that this is in fact a questionable response).

Gregg agrees with Wayne but also thinks that this mechanism is unlikely to function in those cases where it is needed most. Specifically, Gregg argues a culture exists within evangelical Christianity such that the more a particular situation challenges or even threatens one’s Christian faith, the more one has to act forcefully and without hesitation to preserve God’s truth or Christian vales (and so the less one will likely even experience any “negative reactions” when responding to such challenges / threats).

John wonders what practical advice we can offer to listeners? Gregg notes three points:
Continue reading

8: Knowledge or Intimacy | Chap 3 of Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman

John and Gregg discuss Chapter Three of Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman.  As Idleman’s use of the Bible in chapter one and chapter two seemed shaky, they are both pleasantly surprised to find that his use of Luke 7 squares with what they find in the Bible.

Gregg then dives into a discussion of “knowledge” and the different types of knowledge–knowledge of facts / events vs. relational knowledge / intimacy that parallels Idleman’s discussion of whether we simply have knowledge of God or intimacy (relationship) with him.

Gregg comments on how Jesus praises two people (centurion and prostitute) who are despised by society, noting how 1st century readers would be shocked (as Simon the Pharisee was) about Jesus’ interaction with the prostitute.  Yet the prostitute responded rightly and, against Kyle’s idea that “Christianity is Jesus interfering with our lives”, Gregg argues that the prostitute’s response was an extravagant, powerful response to Jesus as someone who is in love (there’s knowledge, but it’s about love).

We finish by discussing whether Jesus’ death or Jesus’ healing is a better basis for embracing Christianity and how, if faith in God is born out of something, Christianity is a love relationship not born from duty but from desire–a desire for God that responds to being known and loved by God.

5: When Your One Star Experience is Five Stars for Someone Else

Returning to part of our discussion in Episode #3, we delve deeper into John’s question about why people’s experiences differ.  Specifically, while John and Gregg have been mostly negative about Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman, the vast majority of Amazon reviewers have given it 5 stars (the highest review possible). How can so many people consider the book to be so good, yet we don’t?

In response we explore how our interpretation of our experiences of the world and God affect the conclusions we come to.  John wonders if religious communities allow us to have our own experience of God or if instead they try tell us how we to should feel or react to God.

Gregg explains how some painful past experiences contributed to his conclusions about God (and particularly, God’s justice).  He also notes how new experiences can expand these conclusions, but only when our goal is an honest attachment to truth (and not a need to preserve a certain self-identity).

Likewise, we discuss how to assess the difference between positive and negative responses to Not a Fan.  First, by vetting Kyle Idleman’s use of the Bible (his exegesis).  Second, by questioning readers about how their relationship with God is better after having read the book, and doing so in part by asking what truth value they have attributed to the Bible’s truth claims, and why.  We’ll be discussing what truth values and truth claims are in a future episode.

We conclude with a discussion of the value of testimony and the distinction between knowing about God (factual knowledge) versus knowing God through relationships (relational knowledge), and how these last two are reciprocal.