Tuesday, October 25, 2005

truth or dare?

What is the nature of truth?
Is truth a static body which you can put boundaries around and is completely unchanging?
Do the boundaries of truth remain flexible? I mean do they operate under a set of principles much like physics or biology but are not restricted to a specific quantifiable entity.
The reason I wonder this is because of how we arrive at truth.
First of all truth is a completely subjective process based completely on what I am conditioned to understand and the faculty I have for comprehension. (agree or disagree)
Secondly I wonder this because of our inherent response to truth. Truth seems to have always defined the finiteness of our behavior. It assumes a controlling role over every perceivable human function.
Let me give you a little story to spark your thinking
Back before Columbus proved Aristotle’s ridiculous idea of a round earth, many people lived and died with what we would now call falsehood. Falsehood they considered to be truth. In saying that truth is static it could be assumed that once discovered truth remains unaltered. But in this case where truth is actually false the onus lies in the discovery which is completely dependant on human volition. So when our access to truth is completely voluntary can there be such a thing as restricted objective truth or is truth an endlessly expanding reality spanning correlated to human perception.
Obviously how we are responsible to truth is hugely impacted. Morality and function are affected as is most importantly our concept of God. Do the principles of truth allow us to hold two seemingly opposing truths in tension or are there boundaries around which we must falsehood?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

October 20th 1990...

Our marriage is a teenager
Fifteen to be exact
Not a childish fancy
Of playful boyhood dream
Not just a selfish storefront to sate my satisfaction
Or a blanket to bundle up in
Our marriage is a teenager
It used to be just twelve
When puberty came knocking
and really threatened it
new roles new goals
changes changes changes
hoping that something would blossom
develop, bloom, mature
Our marriage is a teenager
Fifteen on this birthday
Its clothes fit differently now
a sense of something sensual
beyond the lovers caress
that draws into discovering
the adult marriage to come
Our marriage is a teenager
Some day it will be middle aged
And we’ll fondly gaze in memory
As we sexually pretend.
And giggle at our foolishness for trying one more time
To arouse the childish fury
Of lovers, loving love more than loving
Our marriage is a teenager
It’s starting to fill out
There’s hair in places where it wasn’t
Or is it the other way around
It’s not yet what it will be but the notions are not as vague
a river that has quit wondering if the ocean’s near
Our marriage is a teenager
Some day it will retire
and lay back in the hammock
and lick the tonic off the rim of love’s deep pleasant cup
and then it will be over
from kiss to sigh
to wait for the magic up above
Our marriage is a teenager
Fifteen to be exact.
So light the little candles
And make the slices thick
Happy birthday marriage.

I wrote this poem to honor not just my wonderful and gorgeous wife but the amazing gift God has given us to share this marriage.
I love you Char.

Monday, October 17, 2005

God wrote this...

in the liner notes of the destiny's child album SURVIVOR Beyonce Knowles let's the world know that God wrote the songs for this album including these words:
Move your body up and down (whoo) Make your booty touch the
ground (whoo) I can't
help but wonder why My vibe's too vibealacious for you
babe I shake my jelly
at every chance When I whip with my hips you slip into
a trance I'm hoping
you can handle all this jelly that I have

for the song Bootylicious. I didn't know that God was into that smack but hey. I'm just glad there's nothing we can do about it. Becuase you konw when the Lord starts writing our music for us it only ever always ends up being a smash hit - whether in the charts or in the chapel.
Of course we are helpless beings who have no effect on our culture cause it is such a big bad bully always beating us into submission. I mean why else would I buy a Nelly Furtado album. Oh man I don't know if I shoulda been that honest. I'll go back in my corner now...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

on prayer...

I guess I shouldn't apologize for long posts cuase here is another one:
I had to prepare this statement for one of my classes and I post here for your perusal...
Prayer is communion with God. That is prayer is the expression of a relationship with God at any level. This communication could be best described as a conversation where each side communicates with the other in many different ways. The efficacy of prayer then needs to be measured in the quantity and quality of communication that happens between the two parties, God and people. To measure the efficacy of prayer only using the parameters of granted requests or quality and nature of those requests is to put limitation on God as a store room clerk serving humanity as customers. This view of prayer as primarily requests, limits the true nature of prayer. As communion with God prayer becomes and alignment and realignment of our hearts with God and his with ours. It requires both speaking and listening. We speak to God with all of our lives. My philosophy professor at Steinbach Bible College, Archie Penner, is quoted as saying, “Prayer is your life and your life is a prayer.” Properly understood this statement reveal how crucial prayer is to the spiritual sustenance of the believer and how the life of each person is a prayer either for God and his purposes or against him and his purposes. We can then understand requests of God in light of our own relationship with him. We can neither presume upon him to intervene in time and space for our own benefit or anyone else’s no matter how righteous our motivations or lifestyle nor cease to ask him diligently for our perceived needs and desires as an expression of our own utter dependence on God. We are exhorted to continuously bring our petitions to God (1Thess. 5:17; Eph. 6:18) and that even in our ignorance the Holy Spirit acts as interpreter and intercessor on our behalf (Romans 8:26). It is easy to see how God, longing for intimacy with humanity, challenges us to present every aspect of our lives before him in submission. In this way prayer is not primarily a human activity. While it is true that God can choose to respond to our prayers by changing the circumstances of life, this cannot be the main focus of prayer. The power of prayer is then found in its ability to bring us into communion with God. This redefines our common understanding of the prerequisites for effective prayer.
It is easy to see that, no matter what spiritual condition the individual is in, prayer can be effective in drawing the individual into deeper communion with God. In the same way if my professor is right then the spiritual condition of our lives inextricably affects prayer. It seems clear from scripture that requests of God that come out of immaturity or a lack of discipline in our call to holy living, do not meet with God’s approval. And while the grace of God allows us access to the depth of his forgiveness, our intentional presumption upon that grace through sloppy lives of ignorance to faithfulness to God, displeases God and breaks down the depth of communion we are able to experience with him. As result we should not expect that requests made in this condition will be granted.
Prayer has a unique context in the life of the church. Jesus tells us that where two or three are gathered in agreement in his name, requests will be granted (Mt. 18:19-20). This is a perplexing statement. It is obvious that Christ wants to communicate the importance of agreement by believers and that the process of agreement is crucial to presenting a request with legitimacy before God. However it is also important to know that Christ was using this statement as validation of his own authority as part of the God-head. In essence he was saying that prayers offered in his name were as legitimate as the prayers offered to God in their old system. It is important to note that this passage also conveys spiritual authority to the body of believers in the spiritual realm. Clear instructions are given about the importance of humility and righteousness for the individual praying in the gathered body and Paul explain that prayers offered need to consider how they build up the body. Prayer in the church is corporate conversation with God as well.
Prayer is a deeply mysterious interaction between the King of Kings and his subjects. It is full of the nuances of conversation with call and response. Ours is the glorious benefit of such a wonderful encounter with the awesome God in personal immediate connection. It is our responsibility to learn well the discipline that is prayer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


here's a couple quotes from an article I read from the August 22,2005 issue of TIME magazine while i was waiting in the doctor's office with my son. Below is a link to the whole article...
Warren of Rwanda

"In fact, their bond now extends well beyond prayerful embrace. Kagame has committed his government to cooperation in a five-to-seven-year self-sufficiency project staffed by Rwandan volunteers but initiated, advised and at least partly funded by Warren's network of "purpose-driven churches." Warren talks of turning Rwanda into "the first purpose-driven nation."

"Warren says he was "looking for a small country where we could actually work on a national model," and Kagame, impressed by The Purpose-Driven Life, volunteered Rwanda in March."

"...Scott Moreau, a professor of missiology at Wheaton College in Illinois: "I've never heard of this level of cooperation in the last 100 years between any megachurch, mission agency or even a denomination and a national government.""

Something about this story makes me angry. I guess I can't help seeing how taking the "Purpose-Driven Whatever" to use as a nations operating system is really quite arrogant. I'm sure it could be argued that Warren sees this as a ways of serving out of his area of strength. But i cannot possibly see how this is anything more than 'glorified' colonialism - and it's sick. Twisted how a minister from California can think that he can absorb the nuance of this bizzarely disfunctional and complex nation into his cookie cutter methodology which he developed as a church growth model.
Let me see the 5 purposes of RWANDA are ???? somebody is on grass man this is just too far. What's next surveying Harry and Mary Nigerian to see what they want in a country so we can make it for them? Come on.
OUCH! God spare us the embarassment. Please!

Monday, October 10, 2005

okay i am back

yeah sorry for the big long posts here and for the ramblin but i really wanted to capture a few thoughts on the way through these weeks of study.
here's a quote i got from the now deceased Mike Yaconelli (Wittenberg Door Dec.74/Jan75 (when i was but a wee pup and Morgun was...) "…My strong disillusionment with the organized institutional church. It has been difficult to be very optimistic in the face of a structure that has allowed the American culture to define it. By that I mean that it continues to espouse a theology in practice that has been culturalized to the point of impotence. The liberal response has been to emphasize a weak social platform based on anemic social gospel while the evangelicals have countered with a sentimental doctrinal isolationism. Both are repugnant. Both are so structuralized that change is almost impossible. That in very general terms is the source of my disillusionment. But I use the word disillusionment purposefully I could have used disgust, disdain, or rejection, but disillusionment suggests shattered expectation or better yet a frustrated hope because I’ve always had a hope for the church. I love it! I need it! Although most of my critics read my criticism of the church as an honest camouflage of my own inadequacies, God seems to have taken me seriously..."

that right there is probably as close to saying things the way i might like to as it comes...
i think my expectations for the church are still high and even though i can see little out there in 'church world' that reflects the goodness i think should be there, i still have an enduring hope that it is possible to see the changes we really need. I realize too that this not jsut about MY hope and MY dreams. I want to be submissive to the ways we want to shift collectively (but intentionally). These words are my own "I’ve always had a hope for the church. I love it! I need it!" and i hope too that through my criticism will shine more than just my own camouflage over personal inadequacies but a genuine love and persevering anticiaption of what it might become. I know that i have often despaired -and i'll be honest- wished to be free from the grasp of the local church context with a disillusionment that seemed insurmountable. But somehow it haunts me. to be sure there is not much about the institution that we now call church that appeals to the hope i have for Christ's body, but for now this is pretty much the only context we have to relate to. I am responsible to that hope. I am extraordinarily tied to finding a way through the mess into something more. It makes me sad to see my local church losing steam so that it almost doesn't have the energy to fall apart but i am not sad really for anyone other than the kids. You know this 'institution' is all they see right now. If it fails them, as it has for so many already, will they even have a frame of reference with which to carry on the legacy of the body. So i cling to hope - and i wonder if i will see the fruit of that hope.
I will build my church... - Jesus

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Day 4

Almost Done
I’m not sure – but my expectations were probably too high. I knew from past experience that the prof was going to go through all his slick powerpoint presentations but I guess I hoped we would be able to spend a bit more time really digging into the meat be3hind some of the issue that we raised – not really the case but maybe this is not what the course really is all about.
Most of the day was spent working through the Parent ministry model that Penner has developed and while there are really good things in that – my evaluation was that the whole thing was geared to getting parents of church families on board with your ministry. It really did not deal with the diversity of chaos that is real to so many of the family situations that we are facing and how to work with them in the context of youth ministry. We did have a good discussion on the fact that it seems that youth ministers are almost the only ones who are interested in parent ministry in the church. Of course that is probably tied to the fact that their blessing allows us to do the work we love so… but it would be amazing if other parts of the church would realize how crucial it is to have a comprehensive ministry to all these people who are parenting this next generation of adults…
Chapel was interesting
They had a grad who quoted this guy B.B. Warfield
It goes something like this:
“A minister must be learned, on pain of being utterly incompetent for his work. But before and above being learned, a minister must be godly. Nothing could be more fatal, however, than to set these two things over against each other. Recruiting officers do not dispute whether it is better for soldiers to have a right leg or a left leg: soldiers should have both legs. Sometimes we hear said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. ”What!” is the appropriate response, “than ten hours over your books, on your knees?” Why should you turn from God when you turn to your books or feel that you must turn from your books to turn to God? If learning and devotion are as antagonistic as that, then the intellectual life is in itself accursed, and there can be no question of a religious life for a student, even of theology.”
I like that quote because you know I think we have separated the two into exclusive functions. Intellect and Spirituality seem to be riding on distinct planes in many ways these days. Balance is good. Experiential people always justifying their experiences to intellectuals cause they are afraid that their experiences are some how not a refined view enough view of God and intellectuals who are always justifying their refined view points cause they are afraid that their lack of experiences somehow makes them less.
So there you go. I don’t know where that ends up in the mix but I know I have done a lot of looking down the nose in both areas of my life. If there is one thing this week is teaching me is about my own failings in arrogance. That does not mean that I have to stop pursuing the differentiation between good and bad ideas in fact it makes that pursuit the part and parcel of my religious experience.
If you want more on this Warfield guy see Selected Shorter Writing of Benjamin B. Warfield #1
Okay so one more thing while I am trying not to be arrogant
I am struggling in my acceptance of the Focus on the Family guy (a student in my class). He got all excited about how FotF is developing this family resource that, “is totally non-Christian – it doesn’t even mention God” as an ‘outreach’ tool. Wow it struck me that that might be what Hauerwas was worried about also reaching out without dumbing down by Marva Dawn

Any how there you go we had presentations in our class from class mates reviewing categories of resources. If this is what that student centered learning is what your classes are like Char I feel really bad for you. I had a hard time not smoking these yahoos in the head. I am paying a lot of money for this and I don’t need to hear a shortened history of the church before you tell me which resources you chose to endorse - I mean get to the bloody point. Good lord almighty please spare me from this in the future.

Most of you have no idea how much I long to be with my wife and family I actually ache inside
I fell asleep last night at 11 and did not move till 7 I woke up then from a dream that I had about being in a review meeting from the pulpit committee that had gone very wrong. So yeah 24 hours and I’m home and but before that I get to eat some great food at John and Sarah’s tonight

Carcinogenic products of fire and the seeds of the sunflower all the way home

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

more day three

Okay so here it is…
More stuff on Day three
I think we started this morning right where I needed to go
Deut. 8:2 I have spent a lot of time in my life trying to find legitimacy. Especially as a youth worker I often feel overlooked, misrepresented and misunderstood. After 12 years at this church and 15 years in youth ministry I guess I can look back with some confidence and a sense of legitimacy. But this passage reminds me to not let my apparent success (I hate that word) make me vulnerable to failure. So this is my prayer
“In my struggle for legitimacy, I have presumed on your blessing God as something I deserved. Remind me daily of the posture of sacrifice and servanthood that you call me to. Thank you for clear evidence that you are working in my and, embarrassingly enough, through me in spite of my many failings.”

We talked today about discerning the call to youth ministry. This is an area I would like to do more work on. Our prof. took some time out of the class to talk about some things he’s been thinking about putting spiritual formation at the core of the training experience instead of the content being the focus as is clearly the case in many training establishments. I really resonate with that – what with my practical bent and all Gilbert. Here’s a comment someone told him, “this is why we don’t send you anymore people to train. We send you passionate people who want to serve God in their giftedness and you send us back spiritual geeks who know Hebrew.” Ouch city wow I don’t know if I would put things like that but hey I can certainly sense the heart that that comment is coming from. I think if schools could see how sour a taste some (many) of their graduates leave in the mouth of people in the field and churches in general they would change their methods. Now mind you I think Bethany has got a lot going when it makes the fourth year a practicum. But I wonder if that practical experience and let’s not forget spiritual formation, needs to be more front and center. Let’s not leave content behind. I certainly don’t want to be seen as a pendulum swinger but…

The premise we worked from today is that incarnational ministry is foremost relational. You know that book we were gonna write Mark – yeah that’s it. Here’s something we did not touch on class that I would like to know more about. How does recruiting and maintaining volunteers change in relational ministry? I have some clues but I would like to see how people have worked with this successfully for comparative reasons. You know we have volunteers who will gladly run stuff but don’t really want to get involved in kids lives etc Mark you have mentioned this frustration from time to time and yeah I have it too…

I ended up in a discussion with some of the other students about YC. They thought it was great I did not. Their defense of the event was that the organizers put so much time and effort into the event so it must be good. I don’t think they really got what I was saying about the thing being pretentious but it led nicely into our topic in the afternoon on points of decision.
Currently we see spiritual decisions as coming after we have explained a series of ideas to kids (often mixed with a pile of emotional manipulation). Then we work at the follow through of those decisions.
What if we saw spiritual decisions more like we currently do marriages and engagement. What I mean is we help kids make decision on personal level and within the context of community but the point of celebration is not at the point of decision (as in an alter call) but in after the kid as given evidence of the decision made. I know this walks us into the land of proving your faith with works and I’m not sure I am totally ready for that but maybe some of you guys have some thoughts on this stuff

I also wonder if any of you have heard or read anything toward a theology of spiritual agenda or progress. I thought I saw some stuff on one of the websites on Hauerwas but I am not sure. Basically what I am asking is this: to what extent do we have responsibility in the lives of other believers to develop/grow their faith. What is the nature of the agenda we should have in a relationship with another person? I might write more on this again but hey I am hungry and I think I just left the rest of that gross Chinese food in the toilet a bit ago so I gotta fill up…

Miss you Char

Day 3

I'll start this morning with a couple of odds and ends
so last night John took me down tot he basement and showed me his toy collection it was amazing i wish i coulda brought my camera along with me to show the boys but one of these days we'll make it back there to show them
anyways he restores tractors and old toys and he has a toy farm yard set up as if it were the place that Everette grew up. super cool. I just can't get over that man's voice silk i tell you deep silk
Hey oh yeah go to http://www.bostonbruins.com/ and guess who the mighty B's are taking on you guessed it the HABS - it will be nice to start the year with a win and over our arch rival no less how sweet it is.
I ate some Chinese food yesterday it was terrible
worse than the house of cat in coaldale which is actually pretty good
so yeah i was kinda sick
i probably wouldn't have eaten there except that i was starving
as some of you know i have not been eating during the day so supper time is a treat for me
anywho hope you all have a great morning

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Day 2

Okay so day two
So we start off today talking about understanding today’s teenager and how different they really are compared to the way they were years ago. I have to say things are different not so much in the core issues but in the way the specific aspects of culture apply to their lives. I think it takes a smart youth worker to evaluate the culture and then make applications to give direction to the myriad of issues that face kids today.
Marv seems obsessed about the whole cutting thing. Now don’t get me wrong I think this is an issue – I might even have someone in my group that is cutting but Marv is writing a book on it so he seems to be pretty focused on that. That’s okay cause I think we do have to be aware of the stuff that is out there but I wonder if we don’t miss a lot of equally painful problems when we just focus on the latest most shocking issue in the mix.
Marv asked the question whether pop culture is directive or reflective for youth. My take is that we have to see it as reflective. Sure I can see that the marketing gurus and the pop culture corporations are setting an agenda. But it is mostly all market driven or money based. I have a really hard time remembering a trend that did not somehow involve money – and specifically more money spent by kids. So it would seem kids have the power to set the agenda for pop culture. Basically what sells is what is in or cool. As ministers we need to see this as an opportunity to give kids some control over their environment. The problem is that we have bought pop cult for so long that it has become a very insidious phenomenon in the lives of our kids. So that now it seems ludicrous for us to suggest come of the ways that students could take control back from these marketing machines. But I predict that one day people will rise up and call down the power of these corporations in much of the same way we dismantled the communist regimes of the 80’s and 90’s. People just wanna be free. Granted this revolution will take on a totally different approach but… (there’s some hope for ya!)
Really good definition of adolescence as opposed to what is classically understood as neither childhood or negative rather (ala Marv) a wonderful, unpredictable, bizarre, often chaotic mix of child-likeness and adult-likeness.
Two things I am gonna need to check out with Char my medicine girl
apparently boys increase the production of testosterone btwn 800 – 1000% in puberty and…
btwn 12/13 there is a huge upswing in the development of brain cells with an increase in the production of the mylon sheath. That’s almost a direct quote and I know Char is going to shudder at something so vague so look for her comments on this one.
Another thing I have been reminded of this week is the importance of helping kids develop their identity – more on this at another point.
I wonder about the use of rights of passage in the strategies for youth ministry

I also attend the general chapel which was interesting. The worship was great by worship standards – I’m sure it was not Hillsong Vicky but yeah I guess it was good…
What struck me was that if the songs we are singing were true this is the air I breathe etc we are kinda pathetic almost like the prophets of bail* beating their chests to hear from their gods “desperate” for something to happen. The music was great but the pretense was right back were it was supposed to be front and center. So… We need a good theology of music somebody please write one – Gil please!
Again today was a humbling experience for me as I evaluated my own failings. Here’s somethings I was reminded of that I need to work on. Arrogance hmmm this is a theme; not making excuses for the job not getting done right especially not blaming other people; bitterness over past hurts/disappointments; self discipline. Yup that’s me – not God incarnate as I must often portray myself to others.
A wonder sometimes that God still wants to use me – or puts up with my blunders many
Hope you all had a good day

Hey pray for my family they are by themselves at home and Char is cramming to get a bunch of homework done so
Hey I love you Char I miss you and I am looking forward to Victoria

Monday, October 3, 2005

First Modular Course Journal

Today was interesting. Char told me before i left yesterday that i was arrogant. no she was not trying to be mean - mostly just commenting on my preoccupation with doing well in this course and stacking up against the other students or ideas. I guess i would have to agree with her in a sense cause yeah
Anyways i thought i'd journal my way through these modluar courses so as not to lose the ideas that I have been perculating through this class
Essentials of Youth Ministry
Nothing really new was thrown at me today but i have to say a few ideas sparked my interest
#1. Creating ministry as a Safe Place was presented as one of the objectives of youth ministry. Marv Penner said that kids are looking for a safe place and that the world is dangerous. But i find myself wondering are kids really looking for a safe place? is the world really that dangerous or as Penner said more dangerous than it used to be? The question that haunts me is should we be striving for safety in our ministries? I don't know. If safety means acceptance no matter who you are then i guess i would have to say yes. if safety means that we are going to protect or shelter kids from the reality of a sacrifical life with Christ then i think no. Yeah there are alot of hurting kids out there but i'm not sure that we are supposed to be the place where all their problems vanish. But then again if we can't offer somekind of hope for the redemption of kid's messed up lives then what is the point? I am definately going to need to chew on this one abit more.
#2 Marv said that youth culture has nurtured a moralistic therapuetic deism. Interesting term. How did that term come about?
#3 Authenticity. Marv commented that we needed to be authentic with our kids but that that needed to be 'healthy' or in some way restricted. In the last few years of ministry i have found more positive results in being transparent with kids. the idea of restricting that transperancy seems somehow contrived to some sort of end. I realize that i would not share the intimate details intercourse with my wife with my kids but that just seems common sense. Penner seemed to think that we have hold things back from kids about our own strufggles with faith. I'm not sure. He used Eph. 4:29 as a guideline in this area. Of course you have to be careful in what you share but i guess maybe i don't know where he was going with that...
#4 Youth Ministry as a stepping stone
Marv said that he used to be against the idea of using the youth ministry as a stepping stone to the senior pastor job but now he thought maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. Simply becuase you use som many pastoral skills in youth ministry that it would be a beneficial training ground for someone going on to other areas of ministry. I guess in a way i can see that but i still have a problem. It owuld seem to me that youth minsitry is still struggling from a form of illigitimacy* when it is seen as training ground for something else. I would prefer for it to be seen as a calling that requires not only a specific skill set but a clear proficiency in several specific areas of expertise - both practically and conceptually. Really youth ministry is a specialty much in the same way brain surgery is a specialty in medicine. We deal with a specific age range and specific context that makes our work highly speicalized. It also makes me feel pretty good that I might be considered a speicalist compared to a senior pastor but ego is not the point. Sucky youth pastors are the point and i've tons of them in my day.
Today was interesting i caught several attempts at emotional manipulation videos on blow jobs, and pictures on cutting, it was all very slick and I have to say it caught me a few times. I guess this really is an emotional business i am in - i just hope we can get beyond that to some real hard core stuff...
I miss Char and the kids already and yikes it's only monday
john and sarah are really nice
i hope i don't disappoint them cause i probably won't be there much...
till tomorrow...

Saturday, October 1, 2005


I just read the first 60 pages or so of "Christ Plays..." I think Peterson is saying what I want to. And by the way if you make sense out of that last blog entry then....

this 'verses' that in Biblical interpretation...

A recent conversation on Gil’s blog has got me blogging my own stuff on the topic (Interpretation of Scripture)
So likely this will not make sense unless you read Gil’s blog entry on Hauerwas. So go there and then come back here… (his blog is the professor)

Sure I guess one does discover truth when one encounters God. I should be clear, I am not trying to identify a dichotomy between experience and intellect as a method of interpretation and as I think you may have understood me to say. I will try to refine once more:
1. Humanity will corrupt the interpretation of Scripture in either a community hermeneutic or through one person. People set agendas for power and exclusion (another form of power). Scripture is full of evidence where both systems of understanding God were abused. It really doesn't matter what system you of interpretation you use the potential for error is great. I see Benny Hinn distorting scripture for his own benefit (and it does not take rocket science to figure that one out) and I see that we can’t trust the bishop method of interpretation. Then I look at my church for instance who maybe in a more insidious way develops doctrine designed to exclude people from entrance in the body. So the potential for error is great. Plus look at the Bible – King Saul got it wrong. But then so did many of the churches Paul wrote to in the NT. Sure we can swing back and forth on the pendulum highlighting whatever emphasis we think is needed to correct the errors of the past but…
There are many dangerous questions that start creeping up when we slide in either direction. Just sitting in the middle is not an option either. Maybe it’s really both and.

2. The proposition of knowing what truth is not related to the method we use to interpret this instrument (the Bible). My suggestion is that our concern should be in the nature of truth and how it is tied to the nature of God instead of these methods. So truth is tied to our relationship to a mysterious God. In a sense it is about training our spiritual eyes to recognize the mystery truth – part of it is clues and part of it is gut level instincts. Truth becomes the payoff of the spiritual disciplines – practiced corporately and individually.

Let me comment briefly on a letter found in the MB HERALD http://www.mbherald.com/44/13/letters.en.html
It could be suggested that Richard Loewen’s comments are the negative result of allowing everyone access to the Bible and letting them interpret it for themselves. And he would certainly suggest, although it seems in a very convoluted fashion, that the community that discerned the position that David Wiebe identified as the recommendation for the conference position on women in ministry, has erred in its hermeneutical approach. So we are at an impasse. But for me this letter identifies how we try to use our interpretive methodology as some sort of spiritual one-upmanship. And our convoluted pretense on this issue obviously results mainly in conflict that calls into question each other’s spiritual integrity rather than trying to resolve this issue fairly.
David wants women in and Richard want women out (of ministry) so fine why do we have to question each others spirituality in the process.
Of course we care about this issue but to use terminology as Loewen does with ogres and liars is inflammatory. And in using the words that he does he heightens the tension that exists in this conflict rather than dissipate it. To me there is a higher calling in this particular issue, one that is revealed to through the spiritual disciplines. The higher issue is how we as a body are going to reflect Christ to the world in this.

The other day I had one of my students answer a question I posed like this: “I have a real fascination with the supernatural works of God like speaking in tongues and being slain in the spirit.” I wanted to jump out of my skin. “So now this stuff has become a fascination for us?” I thought, “much in the same way space exploration or poker is a fascination?” GREAT! I would say my friend needs to mature in his spiritual understanding – what he does not need is to be belittled for the apparent ignorance of his thinking. If the world ended today I am quite sure that we would both stand in front of God and be really fascinated by all He had done.

To me it is amazing the tools we use to exercise our superiority over each other spiritually. Maybe that was kinda the point of the my thing on coffee...