Friday, June 29, 2007

Reading the Scriptures Through the Eyes of Experience

Just under two months ago I had a conversation with John Armstrong. We discussed our similar experiences of being accused falsely, and how that has caused us to read the Bible differently. Now that is not to say that I have changed my theology, but I certainly have added something to it. It is as though I have seen Jesus responding to hypocrites a little more clearly than I had seen it before. I began to see His defense of humble God searchers, against the forces of legalistic religion, and it has enlightened my path, and encouraged my heart.

Oh, and by the way, read John's blog on Bobby Cox record for getting ejected from games. It's a great post.

I'm talking with John about having him come to Salem for a conference in November. I'll let you know more about the details should this come together.


Adam Gonnerman said...


The troubles I've been through caused me to nearly lose my faith, forcing me to rethink everything I've believed. Although a few points have changed, though, I'm finding that overall the content of my faith hasn't changed that much. Some of my reasons for believing as I do have changed, but the results in many ways are the same. Then again, my entire perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus is deeper than before, and I have a feeling that there is a lot of unexplored territory before me.

Honestly, my biggest fear is that I'll slip back into my legalistic mindset. It was poison, and would take me down the same dark path again. Really, I'm afraid it could happen. Maybe if I keep hanging out with people like you, Phil, I can keep that from happening. ;-)

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Adam,

Your fear of returning to the vomit of legalism is your greatest protection. Wasn't that a gross word picture? ;-)

I have to remind myself not to get legalistic about being anti-legalistic.

Helen said...

I have great respect for John Armstrong - I was pleased to be able to introduce John and Jim (Henderson) in May when Jim was here. I felt privileged to be with them, in the company of two of the kindest, most open men I know.

Phil, I hope I'll be able to meet you sometime too.

Agent B said...

Those glasses in the photo are cool.

Pastor Phil said...


John is quite the man. He introduced himself to me back when our story about getting removed from our former denomination came out, and has become a great understanding support since then.

Pastor Phil said...

B bro,

You should how the Bible reads with those things on!

Anonymous said...

Our experiences SHOULD leave us taking a fresh look at what we believe on a regular basis. Otherwise those specs would simply have rose-tinted lenses. :)

(BTW, not sure if my emails are getting through to you... I've sent a few recently and don't seem to be getting through.)



Helen said...

Phil, John mentioned to Jim and me how he got in touch with you after reading about you and being impressed with what you're doing.

I agree - he's 'quite the man'! :)

Anonymous said...

There is a stark difference between practicing a religion based on the OT/NT scripture, and having the same scripture open up one's heart to faith in the reality of the living presence of Jesus within.