Well, I’ve been off the www for a while. I’ve been recovering from a shoulder injury, trying to get the house cleaned up, doing some reading and trying to get ahead on various church (and personal) projects. I won’t bore my readers with church projects (i.e. working ahead on sermons, working out bible study material, etc.), but I will tell y’all about a project that I’ve now got running on my mental back burner.
After talking with some other ministry friends, I’ve been discovering a common issue in their church issues and struggles. It seems like there’s a growing interest and unrest on the issue of divine guidance, manifesting in questions ranging from “how can I know God’s will for my life?” to “how can I develop my prophetic gifting so that I can help others know what God desires of them?” It seems like this is an issue for a lot of people, and I’ve already written a little on the issue by engaging 1 book that deals with the topic.
So, I’ve got a backburner plan, meaning that this will be something near the bottom of my ‘to do’ list for a while, but on the list none-the-less. First, I’m going to attempt to do a minor survey of some of the popular teaching/literature on the issue, manifesting in a basic presentation of the common elements in some of the popular literature. I’ve picked up some popular treatments on the issue by some who are well known proponents (Rick Warren, Charles Stanley, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham, Jack Deere) and some who are not well known (Vern Heidebrecht, Brad Jersak), I’m going to attempt to grab a few more books, as well as find a few more web-based resources, and I’ll then try to give a general overview of their common tenets/arguments.
Second, I’m going to attempt to write a general rebuttal to the common tenets/arguments with help from some well known opponents (Bruce Waltke, Kevin DeYoung, John MacArthur) and some who are not well known (Garry Friesen & J. Robin Maxson, Robert Thomas). I’m going to attempt to grab a few more books, as well as find a few more articles/web-based resources, andI’d like to write a series of essays on the various issues and questions that surround this whole question. I’d like to possibly make something that is both informative and broadly useful to the question of divine guidance in it’s major manifestations (i.e. people who think that the will of God involves a specific person, place, or thing and spend their lives worrying if they’re in the ‘center’ of God’s will, or people who wrongly think that they’re a prophet and run around telling others “God told me to tell you to ____________).
Once I get into the issue things will be slightly difficult since there’s a fair amount of related issues and questions that can make this whole thing one big series of rabbit trails. So, I’ll take my time (maybe a year or more, depending on scheduling) and slowly work through it all. Here’s hoping that I can free up an hour or two a week to work on it and get something in writing before next Christmas. Here’s hoping!
In other news, I was out preaching at Valley Heights Community Church in Chilliwack this past weekend and it was great! We met some of the elders, enjoyed the hospitality two wonderful physicians and their familes (who knew that those who work in hospitals would also be good at hospitality?), had great fun hitting the MCC Thrift Shops in Abbotsford for cheap baby clothes (and some books…yes!), went swimming, enjoyed a load of fellowship with some fantastic new friends, and basically had a jolly time all around. My wife decided that Chilliwack is *hand on the heart* “wonderful” and decided that we need to find more excuses to scurry out there.
In other other news, my dad had a heart attack last Thursday (June 30th) and had a quadruple bypass this past Wednesday (July 6th). My sister is out there visiting for a few weeks and helping out Mom with her B&B, and Dad will have a long recovery. If anyone reads this (which basically means you, Cam), I’d appreciate prayers for Dad, Mom, Stef and I.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “The confined-to-an-armchair Theologian” Unger