Tuesday, December 06, 2022

How to Know the Will of God


For years I have used, in my praying times, Dallas Willard's Hearing God Through the Year: A 365-Day Devotional.

Here's today's entry.


Happy is the one who listens to me,

watching daily at my gates,

waiting beside my doors.

For whoever finds me finds life

and obtains favor from the LORD. 

Proverbs 8:34-35 NRSV 

James Dobson has given some of the best practical advice I have heard on how someone who wants the will of God and who has a basically correct understanding of it should proceed. On a radio broadcast he once described how he does it himself: “I get down on my knees and say, ‘Lord, I need to know what you want me to do, and I am listening. Please speak to me through my friends, books, magazines I pick up and read, and through circumstances.’” Such waiting is not empty, but expectant and alert. 

The simplicity of this should not mislead us. When we are in a proper, well-functioning relationship with God, this is exactly what we are to do. And then we are, as Dobson says, to listen. This means that we should pay a special kind of attention both to what is going on within us and to our surrounding circumstances.


Monday, December 05, 2022

Now Reading on... Cessationism


                                                                    (Redeemer's sanctuary)

I'm going to be interviewed on a Canadian (Vancouver) Christian radio station next Monday evening. The subject: the supernatural realm, signs, wonders, miracles, spiritual gifts, and healings.

Listeners are already sending me questions, which I will respond to.

Andrea writes: “I don’t believe in miracles because I don’t see any happening in the Church where I attend in Canada? I’ve even prayed for miracles but I have never received any for myself. Maybe I’m not good enough and frankly I don’t know what to think or believe right now.” 
Choo writes: “there are so many phony miracles today by flashy preachers who are trying to line their own pockets with money. They jet-set around the world in their expensive airplanes and fancy cars, while the rest of us are working hard just to get-by. Some say they have the gift of healing but all they do is cheat and steal. Why should I believe them?” 
 Ellen is asking: “what do I tell my cessationist friends who are trying to convince me that the Gifts of the Spirit does not apply to the Church? I’ve experienced supernatural miracles before and I know God was behind them but how I do tell my friends that I’m not convinced with their arguments? I don’t want to lose my friends.”

I'll interact with these, and more.

I will debunk cessationism; viz., the idea that "the “foundation” metaphor of the apostles, prophets, and Christ, somehow requires that as they died, their gifts died with them." (Jon Ruthven, On the Cessation of the Charismata: The Protestant Polemic on Post-biblical Miracles

I just bought Ruthven's book, and am reading it today.

And, BTW, I have never been a cessationist.

Next in line,,,


The Kingdom Case against Cessationism: Embracing the Power of the Kingdom (Authors - John Ruthven, Graham Twelftree, Randy Clark, Michael Brown, Derek Morphew, Robert Graves, Don Williams, James Hernando. Foreward by Craig Keener.)


Friday, December 02, 2022

Studying Jesus - Some Resources


(Jerusalem street)

One of my PhD qualifying exams was in Ancient Christology. Christology is still, for me, an area I study in. This is my first love: knowing Jesus, and making Jesus known. 

Here are books and websites I recommend for studying Jesus, with a few annotations. 

This list could be miles long! These are some I recommend. If you read these, you'll be well on your way in studying Christ and thinking Christologically. You will, increasingly, be able to separate the real from the false.


Gustav Aulen

Ruth Haley Barton

Richard Bauckham

Michael Brown

Greg Boyd

Greg Boyd & Paul Eddy
James Charlesworth
William Lane Craig
Paul Eddy and James Beilby

Craig Evans

Craig Evans and N.T. Wright
Gordon Fee

Gordon Fee and Cherith Nordling Fee
Simon Gathercole, Robert Stewart, N. T. Wright

Larry Hurtado and Chris Keith

Craig Keener
J. N. D. Kelly

George Ladd

Michael McClymond

Scot McKnight
Richard Norris and William Rusch

Eugene Peterson

Stephen Porter, Gary Moon, J. P. Moreland

Stephen Prothero
Fleming Rutledge
Klyne Snodgrass

Lee Strobel

Rankin Wilbourne 

Dallas Willard 

Ben Witherington

N.T. Wright (No one, except Craig Keener, is writing more about Jesus than Wright is.)


When the following New Testament scholars write a commentary, it's going to be worth reading.
  • Richard Bauckham
  • Craig Blomberg
  • D.A. Carson
  • Craig Evans
  • Gordon Fee
  • R.T. France
  • David Garland
  • Joel Green
  • Richard Hays
  • Craig Keener
  • Andreas Kostenberger
  • Scot McKnight
  • Douglas Moo
  • Klyne Snodgrass
  • Ben Witherington
  • N.T. Wright - especially see Wright's "For Everyone" series.



I'm re-posting my Real Jesus videos, one a day culminating on Christmas day.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

The Power of Influence

(Room, in our home.)

I’m not entirely against starting a movement, 
but most movements don’t amount to very much, 
On the other hand, people who know how to stand, 
and stand in the Spirit of Christ, 
change people all around them. 
They never fail. 
They never fail. 
When you have that, 
it will never fail to change people all around you. 

Dallas Willard, “How to Be 
in the World but Not of It”

(In Gary Moon, Becoming Dallas Willard, p. 175). 

This is the power of influence. It's not about trying to change people's hearts. But as your heart is broken in the right places, you will see breakthrough in people around you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Two Radio Interviews with Phillip Lee (on Progressive Christianity)


(Lake Erie, Monroe, MI)

Thank you Phillip Lee for interviewing me on your radio show!

The two interviews on Progressive Christianity aired on Keri 1410 AM (Bakersfield, CA), and WLMR Am and FM (Chattanooga, TN).

You can listen to the first interview HERE.

Interview #2 is HERE.

Philip's website is His Way Out Ministries - hiswayout.com