Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Cessationists and Their Ironic Mysticism (Part 3)

Some resources:

First of all, the hands-down best public teaching I ever heard on guidance and God's will prior to my present church was a series of seminars taught by Greg Mazak of Bob Jones University. As best I can tell from his comments in the audio it was a singles retreat at the Wilds, probably in the mid-90s. A colleague gave me audio tapes and I'm pretty sure I wore them out. Mazak argued 3 points: 1) Obey the commands of Scripture. 2) Apply the principles of Scripture. 3) Do what you want to do. (If you're obeying the commands and applying the principles, your desires will be shaped to reflect God's priorities and desires.)

Second, the hands-down best public teaching I ever heard on the "call to ministry" I ever heard prior to landing in my present church was an Entrust conference at Covenant Life Church in February, 2009. I blogged on it and made some new friends in the process. Ironically, this teaching from continuationists was less subjective than any I'd ever heard.

Decision Making and the Will of God was by far the most influential book on the topic in my development. This link is to the second edition, which I'm told is condensed, augmented, and more cautiously worded than the first edition. It's essentially the same stuff Mazak taught.

What I like about Bruce Waltke's Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion?is that it, well, exposes how the mysticism I've discussed in this series is more pagan than Christian.

I haven't read Guidance and the Voice of Godbut it's the cornerstone text for the Core Seminar at my church, which I've attended and benefited from. By the way, those lessons are available free here.

I haven't read Kevin DeYoung's Just Do Somethingeither, but here's a link to Mike McKinley's review on the 9Marks blog. Follow the Amazon link on this one to see the best book subtitle since Jonathan Edwards.


Anonymous said...

Petty's Step by Step is very good also. It is essentially the same as Friesen but shorter, more to the point, and more pastoral. He has a nice way of weaving a counseling situation throughout the book. I believe it was written as a dissertation for Westminster.

Steve J

Don Johnson said...

Friesen's book came out while I was in grad school. It was not on the 'banned books' list, but it wasn't looked on with much favour. In the conversation of the day, it was referred to as "the book" as in "Have you read the book yet?" It was very controversial. One of my professors made this statement, word for word, "No new-evangelical can tell me anything about the will of God."

Friesen was like a breath of fresh air to me. He espoused basically the same position I had already come to (that makes him a scholar, you know). There are points where I wouldn't state things exactly the same way and some of his applications (alcohol) clearly ignored other very important factors. But in general, I agree with his position.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ben said...

Well Don, if you and I agree this vehemently on a book, surely it ought to be required reading everywhere.