Tag Archives: love

98: Examining Exceptional Experiences

In this podcast John and Gregg once again return to “the Eagle” in order to discuss the notion of experience and, particularly, to contrast everyday experiences with exceptional experiences.

Gregg begins by explaining how he wants to relate exceptional experiences, and particularly experiences of God, to something called Speech Act theory (by J. L. Austin). John seeks a definition for experience and Gregg believes that experiences in general are composed of—and require—three components: 1) an external event that I can recognize and evaluate as being “really there,” 2) my own action of recognizing and evaluating such an event, and 3) my responses to whatever I recognized and evaluated.

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96: Evangelizing a Church?

In this episode John and Gregg continue from last week’s podcast by resuming their conversation concerning Dan Dailey’s blog post titled “Sin of forsaking fellowship.”

Gregg notes, concerning his comment about being obligated to attend church in last week’s podcast, that this is, more accurately, an obligation to love others “rightly” (i.e., even as one loves oneself). And we best manifest this by offering to those in need. Particularly, where we are in a position to offer to other Christians this is an opportunity to follow the example of Jesus, as noted in John’s epistles, where Christians distinguish themselves on the basis of how they love each other.

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88: Church Isn’t Working

In this episode John and Gregg discuss an article from Relevant magazine, concerning an interview with Rachel Held Evans on how Millennials feel alienated from most church settings, and are looking for a committed community rather than for a church with “the right” programs or music.

John notes, despite not being in the Millennial age bracket, that for a long time he’s had similar feelings to Rachel’s. He explains that the worship music has never been that important to him and that he too feels more comfortable in the Episcopal church.

Where the article also focuses on church attendance declining, John notes that when his lack of church attendance comes up with others he is most often asked simply whether he is attending (and never about the deeper, more causal issues such as how he’s thinking or feeling about God, where he is in terms of his spiritual journey, etc.). Yet he finds this line of questioning assumes too much, such as that if you’re attending a church then it must be a good one (or good enough) and that ‘truth’ is being spoken there.
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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:
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72: Too Much Love and Mumbo Jumbo

In this episode John and Gregg discuss a post, “Are we supposed to balance love and truth?” on Gregory Boyd’s blog.

John is surprised to learn that Gregg has hesitations about the article’s view. Gregg explains that while evangelicals tend to fix truth over love, this article fixes love over truth. Yet in his view both alternatives are problematic: love and truth instead appear to be co-central and in tension with each other, but not fixed in a hierarchy.

For Gregg the lack of biblical references is worrying; for John the references used become far less straightforward when seen in their larger contexts (within the chapters they are situated in). Gregg also finds the terminology to be vague and confusing: what is “the command to love”? In other words, to help readers understand as best as possible why not cite the passages (Matt 19, Mk 10, Lk 10)?

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