Recent Ruminations

September 10th 2007 by Dan in Uncategorized

A friend has been pestering me to update our blog, and at the moment, I would rather do anything other than the assignment I’m supposed to be working on.
Let me begin by saying that I love Brennan Manning and his writing. I hope that most of you have heard of him, and that at least some of you have read his stuff. There are definitely times when he is a bit too mystical and others where he focuses too much on experiential knowledge; but for the most part – he’s wonderful.

Begin digression.

I have to preface the rest of this post by saying this – when you’re in seminary it is really easy to lose the “emotional” aspect of your walk with Christ. Things that were once intensely personal and heartfelt can easily become merely academic. For those of you in seminary, I imagine that you know what I’m talking about and if you don’t – that’s impressive… or maybe I’m just an oddball.

End digression.

So, last night I was feeling particularly detached from my pre-seminary faith and I picked Manning’s book Ruthless Trust. Ruthless Trust(I have to make a Jen plug here: She, being the lovely bride that she is, got Manning to sign a hardback edition of the book and gave it to me as a wedding present – isn’t she amazing!) It’s been one of the most influential books in my life, definitely in the top 5, and, unfortunately, I haven’t picked up since I begin seminary two years ago. Like always, Manning doesn’t disappoint. Last night, his compassionate, Christ-saturated writing penetrated deep into my current situation. Jen and I have been thinking a lot about the future lately – children, graduation in May and what comes next, and other things like that. Here are just a few quotes from the first chapter:

The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise.

Of what avail is our life of prayer, our study of Scripture, theology, and spirituality, if we do not trust the insights that we have received? Waffling back and forth between a decisive ‘yes’ and a discouraging ‘no’ keeps us in a state of terminal procrastination. Likewise, an exclusive emphasis on the burning theological issues of the day (many of which are neither burning nor theological) or a one-sided emphasis on the pressing issues of social justice can temporarily or even permanently postpone a decision to trust in the love of God, thus keeping us in a state of spiritual limbo.

We need to remember and trust the things which God has used to grow and enrich us in the past even as he is teaching us new insights in our contemporary circumstances.

If you don’t own it, buy it. If you do own it, buy someone else a copy. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you have read it, read it again.

6 Responses to “Recent Ruminations”

  1. Travis Says:

    Loving the bloggage. Keep it coming. By the way, I need to talk to yous’uns. ;)

  2. amber burger Says:

    yo. so i pretty much stalk you two. I love your blog oh so much that even though i have it RSSed to my bloglines, i still check it just in case my feed was slow or something! haha! This particular post was wonderful, as were all of them. I loved this line, “We need to remember and trust the things which God has used to grow and enrich us in the past even as he is teaching us new insights in our contemporary circumstances” This is what i do with music. I make playlist of certain songs that represent certain moments when the Lord grew and enriched me. When i am having a dry time i set that playlist on repeat and remember HIS faithfulness.

  3. Andrea Bowman Says:

    While you’re thinking about “the future” you should think about moving to DFW…it’s fun here and all the cool people are doing it! I mean seriously!

  4. mom born Says:

    i miss you two. looking forward to seeing you. love mom

  5. Jeremy Says:

    Do 10 posts make a completed blog? Is it over?

  6. Tory Says:

    The intensity if fading… You should spend more time blogging and less time looking at sleeping bags.

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Dan and Jen