Rescued Skeptic: exploring freedom, faith, and joy in God


Last week I returned home from an extraordinary Christian conference: simply titled, Convergence Conference. Speakers like Sam Storms, Matt Chandler, Francis Chan, Jack Deere, and Andrew Wilson taught through the supernatural gifts of 1 Corinthians 12-14 with a refreshing blend of self-awareness, honesty, and commitment. As with most Christian practices, it’s one thing to talk about a topic theoretically–particularly one...

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One of the best things to come out of my decision to attend the Convergence Conference was being introduced to Andrew Wilson. His fifth session of the conference was simply the best message on the (oft controversial) topic of healing that I have ever heard. I look forward to writing more on it later.

After hearing the message, I picked up the only book of his available at the conference bookstore, and here we are. The book was obviously written for a very different purpose than the topics of his talks at the conference, but there were still undertones that I appreciated that were present in both places.

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Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis is typically regarded as one of the top apologetic/philosophical Christian works of the 20th century. Timothy Keller’s “The Reason for God” is a similar book written to a new generation, a book I very much enjoyed reading. When our small group was recently choosing our next study to do together, I was happy to find that there was also a video series with an accompanying study guide.

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I’m about a year and nearly 25,000 words into fleshing out a book based on my story of overcoming anxiety and debilitating panic attacks–very briefly told in my previous two personal blog posts. I just re-read these posts–written over two and a half years ago–and I still affirm what they say, though I would now probably describe certain points in a different way. I will not be editing those posts; instead I...

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Among many other ideas, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise brings a behind-the-scenes look at how these tracks are created, and how seriously they take the lyric-writing process (insert Australian accent here, PRO-cess). Joel Houston, co-pastor of Hillsong NYC and one of several lead singers in the group, makes it clear that Hillsong is not a band in the traditional sense, but is first and foremost a worship group: “For us, you’re putting words into the mouths of people. These songs are written for people to sing, not just to listen to.”

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In the Old Testament, we read of some very out-of-the-ordinary requests that God makes of people. The prophets Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha: if we could talk to them today, all could share stories that we would consider simply bizarre by our standards. Does God call people to do similarly “strange” things today? What does that look like? Why do we think they are strange?

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The ideas posited in John Eldredge’s Beautiful Outlaw represent a pair of glasses. Glasses that, when worn, will inevitably color your reading of Scripture–certainly, the gospels. The argument for these glasses is mostly made from context. That is, it’s more “reading between the lines” of Scripture than reading the lines themselves, but the suppositions are rarely out of line. It aims to change your perspective, and is persuasive not only because I found myself wanting the sections describing Jesus’s personality to be accurate. Plenty of good stuff to chew on here.

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