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Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

on Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:17 pm
I appreciate Bickle's desire for a deep relationship with God and how he values cultivating that relationship. His idea that prayer is first of all a call to communion before anything else is great. I also would like to one day be considered a person of the Spirit because of my intimate relationship with him, but can't agree with Bickle's idea that this is primarily internal not external. I understand what he is saying, and agree that spirituality is more than external manifestations, but think his view of humans, as expressed in point II, is less than biblical.
Bickle quotes someone as saying we are spirit, have a soul, and live in a body. He goes on to define soul as what the Bible calls "heart," and never mentions body again. However his quote of 1 Thes. 5:23, which I guess he is using to show that the Bible views the human as a trichotomy, actually says all of who we are is to be preserved blameless at the coming of the Lord, not just our spirit.
I'm not trying to be nit picky here, and appreciate the basic tenor of the article, but have recently been challenged about the forgotten role of the body in Christian thought and practice. Until the last few years I probably would have said that it is our spirit that lives eternally, our spirit is where the Spirit of God lives in us, and salvation is a purely spiritual experience. Trying to be holistic, I would have said the rest of me is affected by my salvation and the indwelling of the HS, but not much more.
NT Wright and Scot McKnight have given me other ways to look at how we were created as humans and what a more holistic salvation would look like. Reading Dallas Willard this week has helped as well. He reminds us that the foundational facts of Christianity, incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, are bodily events. Two quotes help us see this connection even better:
"The surrender of myself to him is inseparable from the giving up of my body to him in such a way that it can serve both him and me as a common abode."
"To withhold our bodies from religion is to exclude religion from our lives. Our life is a bodily life, even though that life is one that can be fulfilled solely in union with God."
This week I've come to see fasting, along with other spiritual disciplines, as essential to bring my body back in line with what it was meant to be at creation. It is more than subjecting my flesh so my spirit can flourish, it is a bringing my body in line with all of who I am and what God intends me to be. Don't know if anyone else sees the difference, but its been huge for me.
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Role of the body in holsitic spirituality

on Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:42 pm
I appreciate your perspective Warren. Especially because it is borne out of your other reading and personal comtemplation and searching the Scriptures. Your response was not just an initial reaction, but a discernment of something missing as you have been pusuing something more complex and holistic. I have been reading John Ortbergs new book "Soul Keeping". He brings out that the soul is both the center of a person and the whole person, in that a healthy soul is one where the mind, the will and the body are all aligned and having fellowship with God and others. The soul seeks integration to be whole. Sin causes disintegtration and when James talks about a double minded man being unstable in all his ways, the Greek speaks more of soul than mind there. So basically when our soul is disjointed and out of alignment with with either our body will , or thinking than our soul is not stable. But he definitely I think lumps soul and spirit together much like the OT writers who saw them often as interchangeable. I am getting a lot out of the book but not because it articulates man's trichotomy perfectly. But I just add this because he sees this holistic aspect of having the different parts of us integrated adn aligned with God as key to soul health.
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Re: Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:36 pm
Again, Warren I see the value in these somewhat differing perspectives or approaches as they force us to see it is not always, this or that, but more like both and. The variety of input sources (N.T. Wright, Willard, and McKnight) combined with the others we have read/heard this week sharpen us. I told Sara the other day, from the distance of God's perspective, none of these guys are that far apart. It's not just semantics, just so often the fine tooth distinctions were more dividing and harmful than saying can we agree to disagree and come to a greater understanding?
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Re: Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:57 pm
Curt, I agree that we are all in the Kingdom, (well, not sure Piper would include us mostly Pentecostals) and are dealing with what God would see as trivia perhaps. But you're right, its not semantics, and at times the differences have some far reaching implications. If you've read "The King Jesus Gospel" by McKnight that Anita recommended to our group at Connect, the implications of what salvation has come to mean in most evangelical circles, including ours, is way more than semantics.
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Re: Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:58 pm
Warren, I think what you're saying is like what Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart (spirit?), with all your soul and with all your strength (body?) All together, in harmony/ obedience/partnership with the Holy Spirit. I have an idea that Brother Bickle's remarks are at least partly in reaction to people there who focus on outward worship and don't involve the soul and spirit, who raise hands and sing, but the mind is focused on problems and the soul is weighed down by troubles, and he is reminding them to worship with soul and spirit as well as the body.
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Re: Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

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