Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Resurrection Empowered Life by Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is the latest blogger to get a book contract from Crossway. Having glimpsed the outline of this it looks like it could be a good one.
"The book is based on the premise that we have a tendency to under-emphasize the resurrection. I will discuss why this is, and then explore the evangelistic, doctrinal, and experiential implications of the resurrection. I have personally been greatly affected by thinking and studying about the resurrection for many months now. I genuinely believe that it is a subject that can energize and empower us."
Pray for him as he writes it. Publishing date wont be til sometime in 2010.

Get a taste by reading this post on the resurrection empowered life from April 2007:
"To me the conclusion of these verses is simple. We are supposed to gaze upon the glory of Jesus, the Risen Lord, and as we do so, we will be transformed into His image and live a resurrection empowered life."

24 comments:

  1. This should be interesting. Publishers are obviously trying some out of the box thinking to get us reading. I suppose that it's fairly brave too, Crossway have been more conservative historically and Warnock is a charismatic.

    My hope will be that the book is real. Looking at the Willow Creek Spiritual Survey would, or UK equivalent will help to close down the distance between the life that we would like to live and the live that we do live. Real and honest.

    I also wanted to raise a question about the quote. What does it mean? It sounds like the language of zion.

    And secondly, how does the "gazing" mesh into Paul's summary of Christian disciple in Romans and Jesus' explanation of life in the Kingdom? As far as I can make out the 'gaze' is somewhere between 'understanding and appreciating what God has done in the gospel' and an existential experience or moment, where it clicks, like an 'ah-ha' moment.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but neither Paul (in Romans 12) nor Jesus (Sermon on the Mount) nor Matthew (His gospel is a discipleship handbook) seem to talk much about this gazing. What is it? Where does this concept of gazing come from?

    How have I misunderstood what Warnock meant?

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  3. It is zion language... which needs translating.

    You and I have talked about this before, gazing/beholding is Paul's language in 2 Corinthians 3v18 and is the language of Moses-like encounter with the manifest glory of God - which for us is an experience of Jesus through which the Holy Spirit transforms us.

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  4. "Crossway have been more conservative historically and Warnock is a charismatic."

    I love the way you write this as if it's news that Warnock is a charimatic!:) See, the good news is that conservative isn't the opposite of charismatic - at leastnot for us newfrontiers types.

    Crossway publish Driscoll and Piper and I'd guess they would publish people like Mahaney too. Warnock is on the same wavelength as those guys.

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  5. I didn't think of Piper, or Mahaney I don't know why? Seems a bit obvious really. Silly me.

    Let me get onto this:
    "which for us is an experience of Jesus through which the Holy Spirit transforms us."

    Is this the model of discipleship that Jesus, Matthew and Paul teach?

    I'm really not sure that it is Bish. It seems too focused on the one word 'experience' in your verse, and doesn't seem to care enough for a thorough, and careful exegesis of Matt, Jesus and Paul for example in his summary of discipleship in Romans 12.

    Discipleship isn't an experience or a series of experiences. It's a much broader picture than that. It includes what I think you mean by the gazing.

    How do spiritual gifts fit in? How do spiritual disciplines fit in? How does bodily worship fit in? How does love fit in? How does repentance fit in? How does apologetics fit in? How does historical study fit in? How does parenthood and family, and community fit in? How does money fit in? How does choice and choosing fit in?

    Am I taking one simplified statement and making it represent something that it doesn't? Or was does it represent the view that I'm railing against?

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  6. You are trying to make one thing mean to much and imagining that this is somehow different from what you might say in different words.

    Adrian's quote (which is a quote from an old article) which I guess captures the essence of the book is

    Gaze on the risen Jesus
    > Be transformed by the Spirit
    > Live a different life


    Not that those are necessarily distinct steps. I do think that is the essence of discipleship - encounter with Jesus which includes the gaining of a whole new identity through adoption (which imho is one of the most neglected parts of discipleship), change that comes from God and is worked out by us (and those last two really totally overlap observably - live differently in actions I take/changed to live differently by God)


    How do spiritual gifts fit in?
    As the equipping to live and what we live doing...

    How do spiritual disciplines fit in?
    Is not the point of the discipline of study and prayer to fix our hearts/minds etc on Jesus? This is gazing.

    How does bodily worship fit in?
    To believe is to live... and to be transformed is to live...

    How does love fit in?
    To gaze on Jesus is to love... to live transformed by that is to love....


    How does repentance fit in?
    To gaze is to repent... to live is to repent...

    How does apologetics fit in?
    Haha. Everywhere.

    How does historical study fit in?
    Ditto.

    How does parenthood and family, and community fit in?
    Into the gazing and the changing and the living...

    How does money fit in?
    Ditto.

    How does choice and choosing fit in?
    As the choice to gaze... and the choice to change...

    Though that's just my take - Adrian can publish his version.

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  7. Crossway also publish Sam Storms who is even more charismatic.

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  8. Are you using 'gazing' to mean something like 'a worshipping, Christocentric biblical point of view' ?

    In the light of that do you think your answers are deep enough?

    Is it enough to just gaze in each area?

    Save me from truisms Dave. This concept of gazing seems horribly anti-rational, perhaps overly emphasising the role of scripture (perhaps?) and seems to have a very low view of how human effort and thinking should contribute to both evangelism and sanctification/discipleship.

    Sorry to push you, but this looks really narrow and inauthentic.

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  9. "This concept of gazing seems horribly anti-rational, perhaps overly emphasising the role of scripture (perhaps?) and seems to have a very low view of how human effort and thinking should contribute to both evangelism and sanctification/discipleship."

    Trust me by definion is not anti-rational and over-scriptural (can something actually be both of those?) - it's intended to be worshipful, but definitely human mind-engaging, human action-involving but also giving a big role to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    I'm not sure what you're picturing it as looking like but it's not that.

    As I have asked you many times before I would love to have some of your thoughts on what discipleship actually looks like?

    I suspect our definitions are not far apart (if at all) but you seem to query mine a lot!! The language might vary but I think that's a recognition that you can use different language depending on whether you're in 2 Corinthians or Mark, or James or Genesis etc.

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  10. Hey, on reflection I put that stronger than I meant to. Sorry I didn't want to put it so pointedly. No offence meant.

    Listen, Bish, it is clearly possible to over emphasise the role of scripture. See the distinction clearly. 'the role of scripture' not the 'truth of scripture'. Do you really need me to argue this point out? I can't believe that it's really controversial. I'm not arguing for extra-biblical material to be included instead, I'm arguing for a more biblical balance.

    When I say that I think that you've just given me 'gazing' in many different forms, I suppose I think that I mean that what you are offering or, what Warnock is offering almost looks like a kind of Barthian experience of the Word of God alone. It just doesn't seem to me to be the strategy that Scripture encourages. Scripture seems to say that there should be A, B, C, D, E and F and the 'gazing' seems to be just the A part of that. So it's false by omission rather than by pushing forward something that is untrue itself. Does that make more sense?

    And honestly, I suppose that I am coming with questions rather than answers. Sorry if that's frustrating. I just don't feel completely satisfied with any model that I have heard so far. I really have the desire to work out more fully what discipleship actually is, and how "the gazing" features in conversion and sanctification etc. But my honest answer is - I don't know yet. I'm not going to invent something on the fly now, because I think it might distract from my critique of 'the gazing.'

    What I do know is that if you get Christians to be honest, then 'the gazing' as a central strategy for transformation of the human soul, and don't let us hide the truth - it is a central strategy in some corners - isn't actually working. It isn't actually producing the results. It's helping, but it isn't producing a great deal of actual character reform. There is a lot of denial about this and we've got to start being honest about it.

    I think we need to a) be honest about that, not defeatist, but honest and b) put the strategy ('the gazing', or whatever strategy 'deeper experience of the Holy Spirit') to the test of full and broad scriptural exegesis, as well as asking, 'does it actually work?'

    Thanks for the conversation. It's useful for me. These are such important questions.

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  11. Maybe it is a bit Barthian... not qualified to comment on that. It's quite Piperesque in my experience.

    I guess what I was trying to show is not that is the fullness of discipleship but an element of it - and not a distinct element but something joined up with the rest of discipleship.

    The "it's not working" is something to be honest about, it's also something to admit is actually a part of discipleship. This isn't as good as it gets, a screw up, rebel etc and there's no quick (or slow) fix for that that will solve everything until we get our resurrection bodies in the new creation. But there is some (and much) help along the way.

    But then, you signed off so I should stop replying!!

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  12. I'm still here. It does sounds like a Bartian model, but you have started talking about other elements - my suspicion is that your going to be wanting to be gazing from each corner of the circle.

    And I wouldn't be too quick to say, 'It's not working' is just a part of the reality of it.

    Unless we can be honest about this and are willing to strain, perhaps to find a solution then new movements, will continue to break off the church, in search of a deeper, more effective discipleship jettisoning essential truths of the historic Christian position.

    I'm not sure that "that's just part of it" is taking it seriously enough' Bish. It needs to matter enough to re-evaluate some of our assumptions.

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  13. I am taking it seriously. But I would still like you to venture even some answers rather than just questions...

    When I say "not working" I mean - I don't think we have reason to think that anyone get's being a disciple 100% in the here and now / sin remains in the picture. There is no magic key - but there is a picture that the Bible (all of it paints and portrays and describes) that if taken seriously helps us work out what discipleship is.

    Don't be afraid that you don't have complete answers - just offer something to get things started, please. Cos what I'm hearing at the moment is that you're saying something is apparently missing from what people think of as discipleship, but you're not saying what is missing (cos all the things you listed are absolutely in my list too) nor what this more real discipleship should look like...

    I have massive amounts to learn about what discipleship is but for now you're neither clearly diagnosing a problem nor offering a solution and that's not very helpful!! :)

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  14. Bish, You're sounding a little irritated.

    We need to develop a model of discipleship that takes into account a wider biblical counsel. Sorry if the way I've questioned rather than answered is unhelpful. It's just a stage in the process on the way to more worked out answers. And raising questions - even if it's frustrating, can help us to figure out more rigorous answers, particularly when they are questions about how we justify our interpretation of the bible. I'd hope that you would want to encourage that sort of thing, without necessarily needing a helpful question to be immediately followed by a solution.

    As, I've acknowledged. The gazing is a part of transformation into the likeness of Christ, as far as I can understand the way that Scripture talks about it. But over emphasising it seems to lead to a Neo-Barthian view, and I'd like to see it widened out. I've just ordered five views on sanctification and I'll try and let you have something more constructive when I've digested that. For now, the best thing that I've come across is 'Conformed to His Image' by Ken Boa.

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  15. Frustrated rather than irritated :)

    I think I'd want to say with the gazing thing that the point is the being conformed into the image of Christ. With anything like that the point is not so much a method etc as since I'm a son becoming renewed into the image of God.

    I do enjoy engaging with you on this. Shame it always has to be on blog rather than face to face.

    (hint: come to Devon brother)

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  16. Okay, here is one model (I have others!) that would flow quite naturally out of a definition of discipleship that Jesus delivers. (Matt 28:16-20).

    1. Make disciples of all nations
    2. Baptizing them in the Trinity
    3. Teaching them to obey everything Jesus taught
    4. Knowing Jesus' presence

    You could say discipleship involves:
    1. Active in Evangelism (and effective too)
    2. Local church involvement
    3. Teaching with aim of obedience to Jesus
    4. Knowing Jesus' presence

    If you wanted to just look the doctrines in this then you'd at least have
    1. Gospel proclamation and outreach
    2. Trinity. Baptism. Community.
    3. Teaching and instruction. Submission to Jesus. Lordship of Jesus.
    4. Holy Spirit.

    Having offered the brief doctrinal summary. Do you see how it denudes the definition that Jesus offers to approach it in that way?

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  17. ohh... Identity of Jesus needs to go in there somewhere too.

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  18. Not that I'm against a doctrinal summary. I love doctrine. Doctrine = good. Four legs baaaadddd... Two legs goood.

    Just that Jesus is presenting a balanced picture. I want his view. Anyone else is going to have to fit their view in around that.

    So, where is 'the gazing' in this picture Dave?

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  19. What I mean by gazing is in your third and fourth points... its within the being taught and knowing the presence of Jesus by the Spirit.

    Which I'd say leads to proclamation and involvement in the community - though one could say 3 & 4 also happen in 2...

    Not sure scripture always lends itself to being clearly numbered out... but the general idea is pretty clear.

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  20. I thought you would say that.

    "3. Teaching them to obey everything Jesus taught
    4. Knowing Jesus' presence"

    So, now the questions related to 3. are.

    What was the content of Jesus' teaching? What did he teach?

    And, then saying, what proportion of this was 'the gazing'?

    Could you give me a some examples from Matthew 1-12 that offer the principle of 'gazing' as the means and main teaching focus of a transformative strategy?

    Just to say, that the conceptual treatment of worship in Matt 1-12 doesn't seem to go as far as you seem to need to go to justify 'the gazing'. So what can you turn to there beyond that?

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  21. In a sense I don't need to, since as I said, I think it's Paul's language for change based on encounter with God in Exodus and 2 Corinthians..

    That said the discipleship of Matthew 28 must be shaped, at the very least, by Matthew's gospel (not to say that the other 65 books don't shape his usage of the word). I think the key question is whose teaching, which Jesus, is the question to ask - rather than what is discipleship in Matthew 1-12.

    And consequently - he's the Abrahamic son (1v1), the Davidic King (1v1) which alone gives us his global and eternal rule, which fits the all peoples and all authority of Matthew 28. The question then is less who do I have to do and what does he teach - and more awe at who he is and living accordingly... likewise he's the culmination of all God's Old Testament patterns, promises, types and history from the genealogy... he's the promised son, Immanuel, the Saviour, the Son out of Egypt... and so on.

    So, firstly I'm asking how do I live in view of him. And secondly I'm asking how to do I live 'in' him, in union with Christ. Which, Calvin counts as the core of discipleship in book 3 of his Institutes.

    I think I'm wanting to say Christian discipleship is about who the Christ is, and livin him - which is in some sense a bit "mystic" and experiential (like knowing HE is always with us - Matt 28)... and this includes the church that he'll build (also in Matthew).

    It would seem to me that Matthew writes a magnificent book about the Christ and his church, with him as the always and authoritative king, and us built by him.

    Thoughts?

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  22. I think you do need to find justification in Jesus' teaching, and Matt 1-12 should be enough if its a main theme. Not least of all, because he directly commands disciple-makers to teach exactly what he has taught. He doesn't say, "Paul will be along soon to tell you how to do discipleship / sanctification."

    So the argument would go that it is by direct command you do need to find justification in Jesus' teaching. That's what I'm asking for in an example of 'the gazing' in Matt 1-12.

    Remember. It's not the words or phrase 'gazing' that I'm asking about.

    As far as I have understood so far your argument is from 'the id / authority of Jesus' and some Pauline language that sounds similar, 'the gazing' is justified.

    I see a huge jump in logic there. You have a hidden premise there which is 'the concept of the gazing'.

    It's the concept of sanctification or discipleship, that 'the gazing' represents that we should be clear upon. What is it? And does Jesus teach that?

    Matthew is actually a great book to look at for a better understanding of discipleship because one of Matthews' main purposes in writing was to teach discipleship and how it works.

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  23. My premise is that Matthew is a book not about me and my discipleship, but about Jesus.

    I love Matthew.

    When it comes to discipleship Matthew's more concern about who Jesus is than it is about how I live. Hence Matthew's main concern is to tell us how Jesus fulfills everything rather than anything particularly for us to do.

    Whilst we can observe commands recorded toward repentance and belief from John the Baptist and Jesus, and there is the question of what we're meant to do with the Sermon on the Mount - I'd say again it's about who Jesus is, and us finding life in him, the global king, the eternal king, the saviour, the new Moses, the new Israel/Son etc.

    Once more, gazing is as much Mosaic as it is Pauline, both of who are very much Jesus-ian.

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  24. I'll add...

    I take my premise about it being about Jesus from the doctrine of scripture I gain from the rest of the Bible.

    And I take it from 1v1 which sets the whole book up as being about Jesus.

    And I take it from the repeated fulfillment language.

    And I take it from chapter 11:
    25At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
    27"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


    Which tells me that Jesus' all authority is to reveal the Father to those he chooses.

    From which it seems Matthew writes us a book about Jesus who reveals the Father to us. So as I read this book about Jesus I come to know the Father too.

    Matthian Discipleship then is to repent and believe in this Jesus and have the Father revealed to us by the son. Which is the same thing Paul talks about, or John, or Moses and so on...

    The implications of this are vast. If I've had the global-eternal king revealed to me, and through him the Father, then this is relevant to all people groups on the planet for all time - hence I'll join the disciples in compassion driven evangelism (Matt 9-10), want to live the wise life that Jesus lived (ch 5-7) and so on...

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