After 6 months of good ministry here in Cincinnati, we’ve hit a little bit of a breather, and I have felt the call to begin thinking again. More specifically, I am getting a sense of a definite call to use my life to develop certain “reformational messages” in the church. This is because I believe I have discovered a basic principle of the world’s epistemology: the truth is almost never what the mainstream believes, and it is almost never what those who are reacting against the mainstream believe. It’s somewhere in the hard to find middle. Some have called this the “radical middle.” I find this to be true both in Christian theology/life as well as in secular life. I believe it is a result of the devil’s tactics to hide the truth from humanity.
Ultimately it is about idolatry. Men are prone to worship something. Some idols are made of wood, some are other people, some are images of ourselves. Some idols are actually ideologies. They are beliefs which cause us to feel more significant or more secure or otherwise minister to us something that God Himself is the only true solution for. This creates the phenomenon of people exalting an ideology that is false. Some people who are succeptible to the same kind of idolatry will follow it. Everyone else will experience a kind of “blackout” where they know that the idea idol is false, but they can not find a way to an alternative…. and every time they look for one they are punished by the conformers. This leads some people to rebel, which creates the reactionairies who are usually equally wrong. To find your way out of the maze you must refuse to believe the commonly held truth, but you must also refuse to become a reactionary. You may end up walking a very lonely road idealogically speaking!
After years of study to find the truth with the basic rubric above, I find myself there in many areas. First, I left the background of my youth in the mainline denominations, then I left the more mainstream evangelicals. So simply being a charismatic/pentecostal is itself a choice to leave the mainstream. But within that group I now find myself swimming against the tide. I am an Arminian, which moves directly against the Calvinistic current of our time. I am an Amillennial which moves against the prevailing premillennial and postmillennial movements of our time. I am a Reformation traditionalist in an “Emergent” generation that is becoming enamored with the New Perspective on Paul. I embrace canonical exegesis and typology in a sea of grammatico-historical Bible interpreters. I believe in demonic deliverance, but not in casting out the “spirit of python.” I believe that the Word of Faith movement has insights, but is largely in error. I am a strong Charismatic, but I believe in using the mind. I reject the Fundamentalist approach to life, but love Fundamentalist preachers. I embrace the Latter Rain revival, but part with some key ideals. The list could go on.
In all of this, I have a sense of mission — to light a new way. Or if you will, relight an old way. I don’t see anytihng particularly innovative in what I think. It has just been a rediculously difficult process to find my way out of the maze of popular thinking and to something that “solves the puzzle.” As I see the church moving in directions I think are counter-productive, I want to raise a standard for these truths. But that is going to take a lot of work. So I am repurposing this blog a little. I am going to put more notes and things on here related to solving these puzzles. Some of the posts may be less readable, but If you want to come along you’re welcomed.