To friends and followers of this blog:
I appreciate very much that many of you have been checking in on me. It's very encouraging to see that despite the fact that I haven't posted in a while, people have felt that there was something of value here and have come back. So I'm writing this post to update you all on what's been happening for me recently. Actually I'm a feeling quite inspired again, but still don't feel ready to jump back into blogging. This has been a season of deeper evaluation of my theological beliefs as well as seeking the Lord for future direction.
You see, for the last few years my wife and I had been attending Pentecostal/Charismatic churches (two). Especially because of my wife dealing with illness, we were drawn to the bold message of healing often proclaimed by this type of church. With the calling away of our pastors to Florida, the home church we were attending came to a sudden, unexpected close, and we began looking for another church. But it was at this time I realized that my unresolved questions about the doctrines of healing we had been hearing, coupled with other questions about charismatic practice and my consideration of reformed theology, was perhaps leading me in a different direction.
Partly this had to do with my previous year of blogging, in which I was often exposed to much Reformed thinking. I found myself in agreement with many Reformed people about various issues, and also in much of their critical analysis of the American church. So recently I have been doing further reading and investigation into reformed theology. What bothered me before is that many reformed bloggers/teachers are cessationists. And since to this point I've not been convinced by the biblical arguments of those who argue that charismatic gifts such as tongues, prophecy, healing are no longer valid today, I continue to believe that these gifts are possible today. If so, I long to see fuller expressions of such gifts in myself, and in the the body of Christ. Yet because of my unanswered questions I feel that I can only be confident in pursuing these gifts, personally and corporately, by developing a solid doctrinal understanding of how these gifts should function today.
So I have also been contemplating further theological study, perhaps formal, and considering the possible ways God might be calling me to develop/use my gifts in music, writing and teaching to serve Him more fully. I have long felt I would be happier and more productive doing something more full-time in these areas, especially in some kind of Christian context. With all this on my mind, I have also been considering how it is that a Christian should make important decisions. Should I be seeking direct revelation of God's individual will to me, via some kind of impression or vision? Or should I ask God for wisdom to make good choices, given my circumstances, opportunities, and the application of biblical priorities/principles? As a result I have been re-reading a number of books/articles regarding God's will, mostly from a more reformed viewpoint.
One thing I do concur on very strongly with Reformed thinkers is the sufficiency of Scripture for figuring out these sorts of questions. I certainly don't want to put myself in a position of not being open to God's supernatural direction through, let's say, a vision. But at the same time, I don't want to delay making important decisions in order to wait upon a more personal revelation from God--if in fact waiting for such revelation is not biblically supported or necessary.
So, as you can see, there's a lot on my mind these days, but I'm trusting that this season will bear fruit in terms of helping me to sharpen my pursuit of God's call on my life, that I may love and serve Him more productively.
Faith continues to progress slowly in her healing, with her energy levels better in these past few months. She also has not been working as she has sought to be closer to the Lord. Please continue to pray for her complete healing, for our marriage, and for the wisdom and clarification of future mission that I have been diligently seeking after.
Blessings to all of you in the name of Jesus Christ!