Living missionally might, with all of its connection with New Monasticism and intentional community, seem impossible for those living within the confines of a school schedule and a minivan.
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Conclusion - One Year:
The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit, Week 10
This journey into the life of the Spirit has been both revealing and cursory. I could sit and type for years and never nail down the proper metaphor. There is no book to study, no theology to memorize, no sage to question that could reveal the truth of the Spirit. We could never meditate or contemplate long enough or well enough to truly see what the Spirit is.
Receiving the Spirit with Humility:
The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit, Week 9
by Adam White
Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
For me, I would much rather give than receive. I have gotten better with this over the years, but my preference to giving and my aversion to receiving are two issues I still wrestle with every so often. It is not that receiving something from others, be it help, complements, or a gift, is above me. I get that we all need help, remember?
Freedom from Failure:
The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit, Week 8
by Adam White
Nobody likes to fail.
Even just reflecting on the words “fail” or “failure” bring back memories from school assignments, sports performances, and life moments that still find ways to linger in my mind. You have heard of a cloud of witnesses; I think of this as a cloud of failures. I think we each have our own cloud of failures that arise and follow us around during certain periods of time. This cloud can stay with us for quite a while if we let it hover over us and pour down things like doubt, insecurity, and fear.
Living In, Guided By, and Bearing Fruit of the Spirit:
by Adam White
We all need help.
I do not know specific predicaments you may face, but needing help is a truth for all of us. I don’t think I truly embraced the reality that I needed help, holistically, until I met, and committed my life in sacred union with my partner, Blair.
Hear me out—I knew I needed help before that time and sought support from others for certain issues that surfaced throughout my life. For instance, I desperately needed help with math during high school and sought out a tutor—Thanks, Mrs. Pyle, for making sense out of Algebra for an ADHD teenager, no easy task! Or when I struggled with the pain of my mother’s suffering due to dementia, I needed support from friends, family, and ultimately a counselor.
Joining the Dance:
The Active Presence of the Holy Spirit, Week 5
How, then, shall we live?
For me this is the central question of all theology. If we spend ten breaths talking about what the Spirit of God is, we should spend ten hundred talking about how that understanding should shape our behavior and ten thousand walking, along with Christ, doing whatever it is that our theology calls forth from us.
Truly, how, then, shall we live?
The Holy Spirit is like the breath.
The Holy Spirit is like the womb.
The Holy Spirit is in the swirl of the Trinity's dance.
When I was a kid, I could beat seminarians in Bible trivia. It depended on the version, but most of the time, I could win against a team. This was not the social boon you might imagine. I read through the entire Bible, including the genealogies, before I was twelve. I memorized piles of Bible verses. Incidentally, many of them focused on obedience and kindness; well played, Mom, well played. I had the answers. I could recite creeds, prayers, and doctrines, and I knew they would keep me safe.
You know those moments in life that expose you for the faker you are?
I have no clear understanding of the Trinity.
There. I said it.
I have an understanding of God as an unknowable entity to whose operations we apply different names.
A Life and Death Matter of the Holy Spirit
By Adam White
“Theology is truly a matter of life and death.”
This is what my then-professor, Dr. Joerg Rieger, said to all of us students on the first day of our Systematic Theology class at Perkins School of Theology in the fall of 2012. My immediate reaction was thinking – “I don’t think I signed up for the right course…I wonder if there is enough time to still swap classes. I hear Prayer and Spirituality is being offered this semester.”