Experiencing God

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Steveninetx, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Steveninetx

    Steveninetx
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    I just started taking a discipleship class called "Experiencing God:Knowing and Doing the Will of God" It looks like it will be a wonderful and fulfilling class. I was wondering if anyone had taken this class before and what you all thought of it.

    Steven :D
     
  2. donnA

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    I did it twice, I loved it. A bunch of people in our church has, and it's made a difference. Learning to know the will of God, when He is revealing Hinself to you.

    I think your going to like it.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Steveninetx:
    I just started taking a discipleship class called "Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Take a minute and tell us about it. Many of us are interested in good Bible Study programs. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  4. Bible Thumper

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    A small group I was participating in did this study a few years back. At that time I was not overly impressed with it. This wasn't because it isn't a good study, it's just that at that time there was a lot going on in my life, and I was unable to focus on it as much as I would have liked to. Other members of the group said it was wonderful. I'm hoping to try it again sometime this year.

    Until next time, y'all take care!!

    AJC :cool:
     
  5. Larry

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  6. ventin

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    just wondering if the course covers whether God still speaks in an audible voice? :rolleyes:
     
  7. donnA

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    Ventin
    No it doesn't. It's about Knowing and doing the will of God.
     
  8. Sam

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    I loved the study "Experiencing God: Knowing and doing the will of God. I studied the lesson on my own and went to the class. The teacher did a great job of explaining things I was unsure of. I'm sure you will enjoy the class as much as I did. I took the class about 3 years ago, so I can't say for sure, but I think in the first or second lesson was about God speaking in a spirital audible voice. At least or teacher used it in the lesson. I would recommend this study to anyone!
     
  9. javalady

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    There is an "Experiencing God Devotional Journal" that we got as part of a book club order. It's been very "right on" doctrinally & covers many things (like reverence in worship, the priesthood of the believer, etc.) that haven't been "hot topics" behind many pulpits for awhile. We've been quite pleased with this version; cannot imagine the full-blown book being any different.
     
  10. Ransom

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    katie said:

    It's about Knowing and doing the will of God.

    I recently acquired a copy of this book and have read the first few chapters. So far, my impression is that it is about doing what you feel is the will of God. Examples:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    I sensed very strongly that God had called me to be a "tentmaking" church planter . . . (x)

    "I sensed God's call to missions [or the ministry] while I was studying Experiencing God. That is how God got me into the mission field." (xiii)

    I prayed and sensed that God wanted me to work with Henry, so I agreed. (xiv)

    One of our churches in Vancouver believed that God was calling them to begin three new mission churches . . . (23)

    I think God is crying out and shouting to us, "Don't just do something! Stand there!" (30)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Practically every anecdote in the book (that I have seen so far, and I have also flipped ahead) seems to have this kind of statement in it: that the people "think," or "believe," or "feel" that God is "leading" them to do some thing. Which may very well be, but since when did our personal feelings become a guide to the will of God?

    As an alternative, I might suggest Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen - an excellent, Biblically based study of the will of God, with a close examination of the relevant passages of the Bible and an excellent section on application when it comes to the "big" decisions such as marriage, vocation, and so forth.

    [ January 23, 2002: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  11. donnA

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    Ransome,
    The study teaches you to know the difference. I haven't read the book, but have two copies of the study guide. It teaches you that God is always at work around you, That He communicates to you throught the Bible, prayer, church, and ,,, oh, I forgot. anyway, that God calls us to work with Him, and He reveals where and when He wants us to join Hin that work,, on His time not ours, and that serving God always costs us something. For instance,when we drove the bus, even out children had to get up 1 hour earlier then they used too, and leave the house 1 hour early, and sit at church while we were on the bus, waiting for other youth to arrive. It costed us in having to gt up earlier, it costed our children.
    Theres a lot more too it, but you are to see clear callings from God on what He wants you to do in serving Him. Or you just wait on Him, till He's ready for you to do what ever it is.
     
  12. Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    Book Reviews - Experiencing God
    http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/BookReviews/exp_god/
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I just realized that the thumbs up in my post gave the impression that I indorsed the book.
    That is not the case. The theology in the study is lousy and in my opinion it and others of the same ilk, are nothing but “Christian Crimp notes”. You don’t have the time or inclination to read the Bible and seek God? No problem, Henry Blackaby and Claude V. King have condensed the Bible for you. Jim Jones, David Coresh etc. they did the same thing for their followers.

    I took the cores, something like six weeks after I got saved. Even as a babe in Christ, I realized that something didn’t ring true.

    God already gave us a book about knowing Him and doing his will …. The Bible!
     
  13. donnA

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>That is not the case. The theology in the study is lousy and in my opinion it and others of the same ilk, are nothing but “Christian Crimp notes”. You don’t have the time or inclination to read the Bible and seek God? No problem, Henry Blackaby and Claude V. King have condensed the Bible for you. Jim Jones, David Coresh etc. they did the same thing for their followers.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you knew anything about the study, and had you read my prevous post, you'd know they tell you to seek God's will through scripture, and prayer, God reveals His will by the Holy Spirit through scripture, prayer, the church. They are only telling you to seek God's will and not to act on your own "just because I think this is a good thing to do I'm going to do it and God will bless it.' But to seek to know God's will instead then follow Him. And this you object too.
    I'd rather serve God by doing what He wants from me, then choose for myself what I want to do for God.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Commending the good discussion. Obviously two distinct and differing views of this book and course of study.

    Would someone care to list 1-2-3 the good, the bad and the ugly? Think it will make a good summary of opinion.

    And I am trying to figure out who is endorsing it and who is not - their theology is often consistent with their view on a subject like this.

    Would "conservatives" be pro/con?
    Would "liberals" be pro/con?

    [I only believe we have these two groups on the BB; everyone fits into one or the other on most issues very easily]

    Thanks for good coverage of this topic!
     
  15. Larry

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    Katie,

    Don’t take it so personally, I know that you don’t actually think that I didn’t read your post and that I know nothing about the study. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment, take a deep breath and relax now take it easy…..Feeling better? Good

    In your previous post you said “ He communicates to you throught the Bible, prayer, church, and ,,, oh, I forgot.”

    I think you were talking about reality
    #4: God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

    You went on to say:

    “They are only telling you to seek God's will and not to act on your own "just because I think this is a good thing to do I'm going to do it and God will bless it.' But to seek to know God's will instead then follow Him. And this you object too.
    I'd rather serve God by doing what He wants from me, then choose for myself what I want to do for God.”


    I’ll have to come back when I have more time to delve into what all is wrong with this. Until then I’ll just hit one or two of the problems.

    If you say that God is leading you to do something and he is not leading you to do it, you are committing Blasphemy. I would much rather say “knowing what I know about God, it seems good to me to do this”. Dose that sound Biblical to you? (See Luke 1:3)


    It teaches people to take scripture out of context. It elevates ones feeling about church, circumstances etc to a revaluation from God. This teaching has made the SB highly vulnerable to the false doctrine of the Word Faith Heresy.


    Rom12:1-2
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [ January 25, 2002: Message edited by: Larry ]
     
  16. donnA

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> f you say that God is leading you to do something and he is not leading you to do it, you are committing Blasphemy. I would much rather say “knowing what I know about God, it seems good to me to do this”. Dose that sound Biblical to you? (See Luke 1:3) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Apparently God has never revealed Himself and His will to you. You just try to figure it out.

    You are to seek God's will, where is He leading you, not based on feeling as you say.

    How do you decide where God wants you, what He wants you to do?
     
  17. donnA

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    Larry, Been think last couple of hours, it's just a bible study, ne need to keep up the disagreement. We have two different views, lets just leave it at that.
     
  18. swaimj

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    I have read the two books in question here, Decision Making And The Will Of God by Friesen and Experiencing Godby Blackaby. I have read the former four times and the latter twice. I would encourage you to read both before you become dogmatic as to who is right or more correct. I tend to lean toward either at different times and they both have things to commend them. I have been helped in my understanding of God's will by both. Currently, I lean more to Blackaby's model. First, let me give a brief summary of the gist of each book as I understand it.

    Friesen[\B]: God has a moral will and God has a soveriegn will. His sovereign will is partly revealed to us in the Bible but mostly unrevealed. In short, God has not told us the future. His moral will is completely revealed to us in the scriptures. We can always know it and we can always, in the power of the Holy Spirit, do it. Given this, how do we make decisions in life, decisions that affect our future? How do we know what is right? We do not know. To ask this is to ask God to reveal the future, something he has not promised to do. So, we make decisions based on God's revealed moral will and when we come to areas that God does not address (who do I marry, where do I work, do I go to the mission field) we are free to choose our course of action.

    BlackabyGod has a sovereign plan and is constantly at work in the world to accomplish it. He wants us to join him in the work he is doing and live a fulfilled life of obedience and service. God reveals his sovereign will to us through the Bible, Prayer, Circumstances, and the Church. As we seek him and properly relate to him and to others in these areas, he will show us what to do. Sometimes when he shows us, it is shocking because it requires us to take a step of faith and to do something that we are not comfortable with. At this point, when we obey, we become a part of the positive, sovereign work that God is accomplishing in the world and truly experience God.

    An Evaluation I think Friesen tends to de-emphasize the sovereignty of God by saying that we are not supposed to live our lives trying to figure out what God is doing in the world. Rather, we are to obey what we know from the scripture. This is fine in a sense but it can have a tendency to lead to a sort of spiritual pride in one's knowledge of the Bible. It can lead to a cold intellectualism. God becomes a text-book rather than one to whom we relate. On the other hand, this view allows some who have had heavy guilt-trips put on them by others an opportunity to see that, in Christ, we are free from the expectations of others, and we are free to serve God through simple obedience to his Word.
    I like Blackaby's model because, while it sees the Word of God as authoritative, it also makes it clear that obedience to God's will is done in a context of real life and in the context of properly relating to others in the body of Christ (i.e. his emphasis on prayer, church, circumstance as things that help us come into an understanding of God's will). Yes, God is sovereign, but we can know him and relate to him personally. But be careful, some will take his emphasis on relating to God to a mystical extreme in which they hear the voice of God in every wind that blows. Too much of that can lead to down-right sillyness.

    Hoping this sparks a good discussion and doesn't cause a riot!! [​IMG]

    [ January 25, 2002: Message edited by: swaimj ]
     
  19. Ransom

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    swaimj said:

    I think Friesen tends to de-emphasize the sovereignty of God by saying that we are not supposed to live our lives trying to figure out what God is doing in the world.

    On the contrary, Friesen says, rather explicitly, that in your decision making you are to humbly submit yourself to the outworking of God's sovereignty (pp. 209-13).

    Rather, we are to obey what we know from the scripture. This is fine in a sense but it can have a tendency to lead to a sort of spiritual pride in one's knowledge of the Bible.

    This is an argument that cuts both ways; I could say with equal force that the subjective/mystical paradigm of Blackaby can have a tendency to lead to a sort of spiritual pride because "I hear from God, and so I am in the centre of God's will for my life."

    I like Blackaby's model because, while it sees the Word of God as authoritative, it also makes it clear that obedience to God's will is done in a context of real life and in the context of properly relating to others in the body of Christ (i.e. his emphasis on prayer, church, circumstance as things that help us come into an understanding of God's will).

    But since Friesen's book also sees the Word of God as authoritative, sees obedience to God's will in a context of real life (nearly 150 pages of the book are application) and properly relating to others in the body of Christ (he does not denigrate prayer, church, or circumstance; on the contrary, he ascribes value to all of them).

    The difference between the two really boils down, not to what I might personally like, but one objective theological question: Does God have a personal, individual will for my life, such that it is up to me to discover what God wants me to do and do it, risking "God's second best" if I err? Or am I free to exercise my freedom within the bounds of God's revealed moral will without fear that I can thwart God's purpose by making a poor decision?

    I think Friesen is absolutely right: the Bible does not teach that God has a plan for my life and it is up to me to make sure I am in the "centre" of God's will. Unfortunately for Blackaby, if there is no "individual will," his entire book falls flat from first principles.
     
  20. swaimj

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    Ransom said <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>This is an argument that cuts both ways; I could say with equal force that the subjective/mystical paradigm of Blackaby can have a tendency to lead to a sort of spiritual pride because "I hear from God, and so I am in the centre of God's will for my life." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Good Point. It supports my argument that either view can be taken to an extreme and become dangerous. That's why I recommend reading both books.

    And <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>But since Friesen's book also sees the Word of God as authoritative... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes, but Friesen puts it like this...
    God's Word
    Advice/Counsel
    Experience
    Circumstances

    Blackaby has a more integrated view that combines God's Word, advice, prayer (would Friesen include this at all?), and circumstances. This view encourages one to integrate himself into the body of Christ and relate himself properly to the Word andto people in positions of spiritual authority. I think it is a wiser course than Friesen's wisdom view (how ironic is that?).

    It is this emphasis on intellectual knowledge of Scripture that Friesen emphasizesthat alarms me. God speaks to us in the Word and through the H.S. We have a personal relationship with him, not an intellectual one. God can and does speak to us individually and he can and does give men specific guidance which is not necessarily found objectively in the scripture. Of course, such a relationship with God should not provoke us to pride and if it does, ones relationship is not genuine and the person is deluded.

    And <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Does God have a personal, individual will for my life, such that it is up to me to discover what God wants me to do <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> God has a personal individual will for my life only if He is sovereign. If he isn't then he doesn't. I know that Friesen takes Biblical examples of people who received guidance and mocks it as an application for today. In a sense he is correct because we have completed revelation that they did not have and do not need a voice to tell us what to do. On the other hand we have the H.S permanently indwelling us and he can give us individual guidance.
     

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