Not that I hope to be excused. I know I've been remiss. But I am banking on the goodness of the hearts of my friends to allow me this lapse. And for future ones as well.
These past few months have been devoted to helping a real, working ministry (www.mcni.org, www.villagehealth.wordpress.com and www.tribalchildrensliteracy.blogspot.com) and doing what we can to help prop up their efforts to help the tribal people in Mindanao so that they can do better in influencing their communities to receive the message of the Kingdom of the Heavens better.
And alongside that, selecting the books and podcasts that would best help me construct a more viable and workable worldview regarding the Kingdom (read: what does work, and what doesn't) to be able to proclaim it better.
It doesn't help that a great many don't share the view and the passion, and would rather prefer to "keep it simple", for a variety of reasons - and most of them are actually excuses disguised as "new and better ways" to proclaim the King that has come and will come again.
I really don't mind that, but my eyebrows go up when I'm chided for embarking on "uncharted waters" because it really isn't necessary. The Gospel is simple - let's keep it that way.
Or so most would like to think.
Or do they actually think at all.
Lest I become "puffed up", we're better off exploring those things that have interrupted the free flow of thought that must be typed down and posted online.
The three most significant developments I've come across is first, the matter of God's Kingdom "recovering territory" through the continuing work that the Lord Jesus began in the first century and how we should continue it in the manner by which He demonstrated during his three and a half year ministry.
The second, the way that we "lost it" along the way because of the events that transpired and the developments in Christian thought throughout history, and why we hold to certain beliefs that aren't necessarily true, but are held simply because they were passed on by those who were percieved to be "Godly", however erroneous in their thinking.
And finally, through the advent of the technologies made possible with the new internet and networking, we are now able to access the necessary resources in order to be able to work through all the available material, and through careful thought and reasoning, we can arrive at what something that we can truly believe in and make a better case of it.
I have been fortunate to have found the great and careful work of Dr. Douglas Groothuis (http://
His philosophical orientations exposed me more to the works of the late Francis Schaeffer (an author already introduced to me by my ministry mentor, and dear friend John Ricards) and other philosophers. These have helped me greatly in understanding why the Western Christian church continues in the way it does, proclaiming an emasculated Gospel and focusing on the things of this life (though not necessarily of this world), which are considerably temporary in light of the eternity that we are destined to enter.
For instance, I don't see how "Fireproofing" a marriage will help in an eternal Kingdom when marriages are no longer viable. And the Lord Jesus taught mostly about fixing our gaze on the eternal Kingdom that has "drawn near" and will be put in place when He returns as the conquering King.
Because of these inputs, I was convinced to acquire a classic, by Schaeffer - "The God Who Is There". And as a bonus, my good friend and ministry buddy, Byron Gary lent me his old copy of "How Then Should We Live". Powerful tomes on the way culture influences thought, and the way we then live.
To complete the next few months of reading is a two-volume work by Dr. Craig Keener on Miracles. A great work detailing the historical evidence to show that miracles did not die out after the last apostle (John) passed away, and thousands of documented supernatural events of healing, exorcisms and revivifications occuring in various parts of the world, including the Philippines. This, I believe to be very, very important.
In one instance in the book, Dr. Keener vividly describes a healing of someone that was bound to a wheelchair for years, yet crawled to the front of a church congregation to pray for healing. And got it. And a whole new congregation was brought forth because of that miracle. To say that these things don't happen simply because it's not the "uniform human experience" as propounded by David Hume or because your previous church background is your mental baggage is simply unreasonable, in the light of the evidence that does exist.
And if you look hard enough by yourself, you'll be surprised at what you'll find.
Question: would you be brave enough to actually pray for a miracle to take place - regardless of whether the Lord God would or wouldn't instantaneously intervene because of your appeal to Him in behalf of that person desperately seeking that divine response?
This, I find quite significant, as I have started to put together my own documentation of these supernatural occurrences which validate the truths about the Judeo Christian God we believe in, and the reality of the eternal future that we all face - with or without the God who is there.
I never quite thought that the study of Christian apologetics, church history, the history of the translations of the scriptures, New Testament criticism and philosophy, from a Christian perspective would ever be one of my passions. But it is. And in a really big way.
And what's amazing is that it has truly changed my perspectives, priorities and desires in such a radical fashion that if I had to reveal them to close friends and family that don't share my worldview, I'd be percieved to be as quite bizarre or just plain nuts.
Well, the Roman ruler said the same thing of Paul in the book of Acts. So I'm in good company.
Renovating my mind - or, in the KJV tradition "renewing" my mind - has taken on quite a different meaning and direction already and still challenges me to press on - though I must admit that it's not exactly something I relish simply because I realize that it will definitely entail losing out on more of what I would want or desire, as I must put in place what is desired by the God who is there.
The time for the eternal kingdom to be installed in the history of humanity draws near, and then the judgement - before eternity in it's final, perfect form will be restored in completion.
We must restore it first, where it must be firmly in place: In our minds.