Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Reminiscing--The Story of Our Engagement-3 years ago today

Proposing was a very visceral and exciting experience for the two of us.  Some would have you believe that proposing is laced with romance, rays of sunshine and melodies from fluttery classical tunes—but for us, it was a bit more concrete.
God had been working in our friendship for over 5 years, and He brought our hearts closer on our road-trip this fall.  Upon our return, God placed marriage more certainly on my (David’s) heart and, the week after thanksgiving, opportunity’s doors began to open.  

It was a Saturday morning, and, after a very stressful and nervous week for Keri and me, the engagement plans were secretly solidified between David, Jono and Brendan.  Earlier I told Keri to plan on spending the evening at Biola, sipping hot chocolate and reminiscing like we did as friends.  After returning from a late morning of “alone time”, Keri and I went to Guitar Center to play around, and then ate an early dinner at Baja Fresh, as we did in Biola days.  

With my nerves going off the wall, and after a delicious burrito, we “calmly” purchased our Biola hot chocolate and began to walk around campus.  Each place we passed had a different memory, and since I didn’t plan every detail (as usual!), our conversation naturally flowed into relational reflection.  Many scenes came back, with reactions like, “Oh, do you remember sitting here?” and, “I can’t believe we stayed up talking like that!”   And others like “don’t remind me of that conversation…” or, “What were you thinking then?”  It was great to remember the past that we’ve had, and was surprisingly fortuitous, considering the end of this tale.

After many bathroom breaks (from my nerves and text-ing instructions), we eventually arrived at the Prayer Chapel.  Keri remarked, in surprise, “What? How could the prayer chapel be caution taped? It’s open 24/7!”  And indeed it was caution taped across the front (Jono’s and Brendan’s doing)—yet, I was convinced we should still go inside.

Walking up front, Keri conveniently pointed to her “old spot” in the chapel in the front corner (a place she often met with God during her Biola years).  There lay various, nondescript items, covered with paper—“What is that stuff?”  She quickly realized I knew what it was, and her head began to spin as she looked at me…

All chalked up on nerves, and without any lead in, I said, “Keri, I want you to be my wife, and, I think God is calling me to be your husband, so…will you marry me?”  In a state of shock, Keri had me repeat it and then promptly hugged me with a “Yes!” and a few tears.  
I then revealed the four things brought to the scene.  The first was four roses, three white and one red, symbolizing God’s Trinity with His Love at the center.  The second was a wash bin and rags to wash one another’s feet.  The third was a hunk of brown olive bread and a wooden goblet of wine, symbolizing sharing in Jesus’ death and resurrection.  And the fourth was a small vile of olive oil, to anoint each other and ask God’s presence to rule our relationship.  Each one had a memory and a prayer that came with it, and after sharing each of these, Keri and I prayed in silence.  

The strength of this moment together is one that will grow with time.  It was filled with laughter, nerves, confusion and, in the end, commitment.  God has shown Himself to us, and has led us to each other through His love.  The fluttery feelings came after, but first was two ordinary people committed to an extraordinary God, finding peace in His will—and so blessed to learn that obeying Him, means a lifetime, like this, together.

*We wrote this the month after we got engaged as a way to reflect and share on or Wedding Website.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Who do I follow? Psychology, Theology, Philosophy...Part II

With confidence and humility, we must enter the conversation of integrating various disciplines in order to understand God and His interaction with His world.

But How do we begin to integrate various disciplines with discernment while keeping their integrity intact?

In our Theology 1 class, The Wesleyan Quadrilateral, has been suggested as a way to do integration with confidence and humility.

The quadrilateral is not an endorsement of Wesleyan view, but a simple tool to utilize in our Theological Method.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Who Do I Follow? Psychology, Theology, Philosophy....Part I

Who is right? Can I share my views with someone who disagrees with me?

Is faith blind? Can I trust in reason, and still trust in God? 

Am I too emotional? Can I bring psychology into my faith? 

Will it matter if I participate in church, or just be non-religious? Can I forsake (or learn) from tradition, and still have faith? 

What if I don't "feel" God? Can I use my daily experience to guide my faith?

Our Theology 1 class is studying Theological Methodology--or the method by which we study God.

The Theological method we bring to the Scriptures leads directly to our Theological conclusion. (i.e. if I don't believe in miracles, and I study the bible, I will minimize or even debunk the bible of the supernatural).

But what makes up the "method" we bring to the Scriptures?

And who can contribute to the theological knowledge we conclude?

Which disciplines give us clear knowledge of God?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayer as Groaning

One would think, being in a program called Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, your prayer life would flourish. It's actually the opposite. It seems that right now Keri and I are asking a lot more critical questions about prayer and how it "works" in our Christian walk.

Sometimes this leads to frustration in our own walks with God. Oh, we want to be so committed, and would like to direct souls into a perfect Christian life. The truth is though, that Christians, just like anyone else, are very messy people. As a couple and individuals, we are at times messy, distracted, unreliable, confused, doubt-filled, immature, irrational, fearful, complain-y and tired. And, with Jesus' death and resurrection in view, this is where prayer must begin.

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit,groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Care for my Soul!

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who is "listening" to you share hardships in your life and all they say is, "I'm so sorry. I hope things get better. See you later!" or a simple "I'll be praying for you," and never follow up? Do you ever wish that someone would want to care about you more? Or do you wonder if people are even capable of caring for you in the way you desire to be cared for, deep down in your heart? We will be discussing these questions throughout this semester as we study the history & theory of "Soul Care" in the church. There is a potential for us to care for and be cared for by others, as we will see throughout history. We were created to be cared in the deepest parts of our hearts and God has given us the capacity to help bear one another's burdens as we point people to Jesus. This is great news and hope for our lonely and tender hearts that desire to be known!

History & Theory of Christian SoulCare & Direction

This class is "an introduction to the history and theory of spiritual soul care, mentoring and direction from a biblical experimental and psychological perspective. Specific focus is on assisting others in deepening their relationship with God through increased sensitivity and responsiveness to the Holy Spirits' presence and work in all areas of life (including the common and ordinary). Attention is also given to understanding the personal dynamics at work within and between the director and directee and the role of spiritual guidance within the broader context of pastoral care and mentoring as well as in the more specific discipline of spiritual direction."


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How are our human spirits formed?

Have you ever wondered how things around us influence our behaviors, thoughts, heart, will? Have you ever stopped to wonder how things shaped you as a kid without your own choice in the matter? If our human spirits are significantly formed when we are kids, is there hope for change? If there is hope for change, what does that process look like? We will be answering these questions this semester as we study how our little selves were formed and the training, and RE-training, that can take place for further growth in life.

Christian Virtue & the Spiritual Disciplines

An introduction to the relationship of ethics/virtue and the formation of the self. Emphasis upon the impact of one's early relational history and training as well as true Christian training. Included in this is the relationship of the spiritual disciplines as a means of the training of spiritual growth into the image of Christ. 



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do I really know God?

Have you ever wondered if you really know God? Have you ever stopped to think, "Is this just my parent's faith? Or am I just accepting what my church has taught me without wondering what I think is true?" Can we simply live a life based on other's study of the Bible and God? Is it important for me to think about my own methods of coming to conclusions about who God is for my own walk with God? How do I know which method to use? How do I allow both general and specific revelation inform my beliefs about God? Our class will be addressing these questions as we dive into the process of how we come to right beliefs and conclusions about God and how these beliefs inform our behaviors.

We will be taking 3 Classes this Semester. Here is our first class:

Theology 1: Introduction- Revelation & Nature of God

We will be studying the nature, method, and rationale of Christian Theology. Revelation, both general and special, inspiration, canonicity and illumination of Scripture. The doctrine of God, including His existence, attributes and Trinitarian nature.



Sunday, September 8, 2013

We're back! Summer Review :)

Welp, school is back in and summer just ended, which means we are back to posting. We thought we would share with you all some summer highlights. God has really given us rest this summer, as we took a break from school, as well as energy for some fun adventures. Stay tuned for our 3 posts on classes we will be taking beginning with "Do I really know God?" for those of you who would like to journey with us as we process and dialogue our classes this Fall.

We got to be there in Idaho to celebrate!!!!

Jono proposed to Erin in June!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hiding Doubt: Part III

The third installment of Hiding Doubt (click here for part I and here for part II)

God roots our faith in our doubt, our bravery in our fear: it is in weakness that we experience His power. And it is in our sin that we experience His graceful presence. The strongest person is the weakest, the greatest is the least...

"humble yourselves in the sight of God and He will exalt you".

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hiding Doubt: Part II

The second installment of "Hiding Doubt" (click here for part I)

Often doubt is perceived as a bad or wrong emotion. Consider the word brave. What is the opposite of bravery? Most people would suggest that fear is the opposite of bravery. Yet, truthfully the opposite of bravery is cowardice. Cowardice is running away from fear. Fear is actually a component of bravery, an emotion that allows us to be brave. Fear must occur for the brave. Because of this mis-perception our culture has an aversion to feeling fear in order present confidence and bravery--yet it is in the face of fear that one actually is brave. This is true with doubt also.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hiding Doubt: Part I

Commonly, we place a mask over our raw nature underneath. It is convenient to hide the parts of ourselves of which we are most ashamed. And the raw place eventually becomes something forgotten and unfamiliar. Though there are many arenas this occurs, but a recent and important one is the area of doubt. Can I doubt God? That He exists? The He is kind? That He is powerful, ruling, close, loving, wise, infinite etc? Is He angry at me? Ambivalent? Over it? Gone? Am I allowed to be angry at Him?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Study Break Music Video :)

If you have ever wondered what we do on our study breaks, here is a little glimpse of our recent one. As finals are approaching and are brains are fried at the end of the day, an hour off making a one-cut music video seems only right. Plan A-Study. Plan B-Well, you will see..... :)

Study Break Spring 2013-Plan B from david and keri lippman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Retreat for Two

Keri and I just returned from our second silent retreat through our spiritual formation program (a program focusing on what sanctification looks like in a believer's life). This retreat piggybacked off our Intensive Journey and Inward Retreat class--which we've simply dubbed "Retreat". This class focuses on the dynamics of personal and group retreat.

To integrate our study we were to choose a partner for whom we would create a 48 hour silent retreat.  We used the dynamics we learned in class to draft a personal interview (see Retreat Questionnaire) and use that information to prayerfully structure a retreat for them to meet with God. We also spent time in prayer together, talking over areas through intentional questions of life-history, vulnerability and value. The interview incorporated things like:
  • Temperament                
  • Time 
  • Transitions and New Experiences
  • Health
  • Social and Home Life
  • Distractions
  • Basic Needs
  • History
  • Focused Intimacy with God
  • Assumptions/Expectations
  • Experiential Knowledge of yourself
  • Silence
  • Defenses
  • Direction
We chose a specific Retreat Location for them, that suited their needs (dry/wet, beach/mountains, cheap/expensive etc)  . We structured readings, questions, prayers, scriptures, activities (i.e. walking, sitting, journaling) to mediate interaction with God. If you are interested in going on retreat, please take a look at Keri's Retreat Brochure titled "Finding and Creating Space for Rest". 

Keri and I chose to be partners for multiple reasons, but the main one was that we wanted to press into these things honestly and deeply in our marriage (which is a big reason we're in this program at all). And, having someone who knows our struggles by experience, allows the issues prayed over on retreat to bear in honesty and practice in our daily relationship. Who else better to help you ask God the tough questions, and to be a place for the answers to be worked out than your spouse?

Here is a piece of our retreat and our reflections from our time at Mary and Joseph Retreat Center, in Rancho Palos Verdes....


A passage of Scripture written into my Retreat to meditate on was Revelation 2:4, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Marriage has been a wonderful experience of drawing closer to Jesus and Him showing me His love in deeper and intimate ways. Yet, my devotion to Jesus as my first love has been challenging to grasp how to have “two loves.” Though I see how God has brought Dave and my union together, I have also wrestled with personal relationship with Jesus and relationship with Jesus through marriage. That being said, using a long set aside time to journal/process and discern with Jesus was so wonderful... Through the guided questions and “holy tangents”, God led me down various paths of discovering where my heart has been, where He has been, and some of the deeper issues lurking. Not realizing I was writing so much, I ended up with 24 journal pages of prayer, filled with questions, unexpected tangents, and times where He spoke. In the end, I did not feel like anything had been solved, or an answer was given that guided me towards the next step to take, but rather I received merely a peace “that surpassed my understanding” (Phil.4:7). I had a peace knowing that God knows my heart, He can handle all of me, He validates me as His child, and all He was asking of me was to just be. Simply going through the journey lifted some burdens, tuned little parts of my heart more to Him, and reminded me of the sweetness of extended time in His presence. As we learned in class, Retreat is a time of “rekindling the love of our first love.” What a blessing that this was my experience.


In the midst of my retreat, Keri planned for me to pray over the things that God loved about me and see what He brings up. I followed the pattern in her instructions—go to the first spot, seek stillness, pray over the options, see what comes up, then head back, pick up bible, pen, journal, and go to a new spot. The heavy fog of morning had lifted, but it was still a grey, damp day. My spot was in the garden, a lovely tan gravel path that looped through flowers, trees, stones and grass. The questions about God's love for me were extremely hard to engage on with Jesus. The prompts were wonderful, but immediately I felt dryness in my heart. Why isn't God affirming and loving me? Isn't this His chance? I wondered if I had expectations on Him. God spoke to me, but it felt, inconsequential, or somewhat meaningless—like He was there but wasn't. ... While praying I realized my expectations are a way that I avoid discipline through disappointment and instead enter a cycle of feeling unknown. .There was an immediate sense of relief—for the vice at the core allowed me to put up these expectations which kept me from God. I was putting up expectations to protect myself, i.e. “I hope you’ll love me like ‘_____’ because that is the way I really want to feel loved”... I had placed my own feelings of mistrust on God and smeared my image of Him—and I wasn't learning from Him as a result. This became a huge area of anxiety in my heart, and I feel the Spirit opening me to that area of discipline, learning, trust and freedom.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Confused and far from God

We live in a highly rational culture. Everyone has reasons for what they do. (or at least think they do!). Things like statistics, science and logic fuel our reasons for living the way we do. Even now science has reasons for appreciating beauty, playing and even forgiving! These are things that people used to do without thought, yet now they are being justified by reason. Whether or not we know it yet, we're culturally in a place of longing for the irrational. 

Francis Shaffer says, "Whether it is the existentialist speaking,...or eastern mysticism...[or the drug addict]...we find a uniform need for an irrational experience to make some sense of life."

God often uses various situations in life to bring us to the edge of rationality; to bring us to Someone bigger than us. There are lots of ways to categorize how God does this, but one helpful way is through orientation, disorientation and reorientation. This is a simple way to address the experiences God is bringing you through. 

Orientation--areas God is doing something completely new in your life. Areas of conversation, previously depraved or lost. 

Disorientation--areas that are in disrupting confusion. Areas of upheaval, churning. Areas that feel irrational and out of control.

Reorientation--areas  that God is bringing renewal. Areas of rest, confirmation, direction, trust, and steadfast peace. 

God is desire to bring us to a personal encounter with Jesus. It is hard to rationalize how or why or when, but allowing God to dwell in irrational categories will give Him room to be Himself: infinite and good. And we may just realize that "in Him we live and move and have our being".

  • *borrowing Demarest’s paradigms for structuring The Seasons of the Soul

  • Talk to the Lord about each of these things:

     1. Where do you see orientation in your life right now? That is, what is God doing that is brand new? Or, what was your time of orientation to the Christian life like? (20 min)

     2. Where do you see disorientation in your life right now? That is, what is disruptive and confused or changing? What are the struggles or doubts? (20 min)

     3. Where do you see reorientation in your life right now? What is being renewed? What is being deepened? (20 min)

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    Prayer Projects

    A powerful part of our program at the Institute of Spiritual Formation is prayer projects. They are assigned weekly as an hour a prayer where we intentionally address specific areas of our formation with God. There are usually 4-5 questions to provoke reflection. At the end we journal what God has done in the time which helps to integrate and reflect on the experience.

    Though one can learn these things apart from a project like these, this is an intentional way of encountering the living God through personal life. This has begun to shaped our prayer lives in a few ways:

    Establishes Past as a Work of God:
    Re-examining our lives with the Spirit of God often brings up unplanned things, also it establishes our past as a work of God (we often assume He hasn't participated in our past, other than allowing it!), and grants divine significance to seemingly ordinary moments.

    Starts Prayerful Conversation:
    One of the greatest obstacles in prayer happens when we present God with the image of ourselves we want Him to see, rather that who we really are in truth. Praying over areas of our lives opens us to conversation with God. These types of conversations intensify His relevance and involvement in our daily lives.

    Living with the Living God:
    As we talk with Him, we learn to live with Him. This gives us immediate experiential access to His truths from scripture. We learn to discern His voice from our own (and other competing voices in the world). And as we experience His love, we also experience Him lifting sin, shame and guilt off our shoulders in truth.

    *We will post the prayer projects for our Spring semester for the next few weeks, please join us if you'd like in praying over these areas of life!

    Here is Prayer Project #1

    One Hour:
    a.            Present yourself to the Lord.  What is in your heart these days?  (15 min)
    b.            What did you hope your journey would be as you started following Christ?  What were you hoping for?  What was your roadmap?  (15 min)
    c.            What has the Spirit done in you since coming following Christ?  What has your journey been?  (15 min)
    d.            Be open to the Lord and listen.  What comes up?  (15 min) 

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Spring Semester Update

    Homework at Creek Park
    We have been reading lots of books this Semester!! With 4 classes our load has been large! Yet, each semester our classes have blended and overlapped in material, which has been helpful in our learning process. This is why we are quite a bit behind at posting what we have been studying and learning, but don't worry, we want to catch up now that it's Easter Break. Here are the 4 classes we are taking:

    Developmental Spirituality and Contemplative Prayer
    Just like studying development of humans, from infants to old age, we are studying the "developmental" process of the Christian life. The journey is different for everyone, but we are learning the ways our spirituality develops from those that grow up in the church to those that become Christians later in life. Though the Spirit works differently in all people's lives, there are certain ways we can learn and understand the process of "growing in Christ".

    Psychopathology and Personality Theory
    Here we are studying what "abnormal" means physically, socially, emotionally, psychologically, developmentally, cognitively, behaviorally, etc. We will also be studying personality theory, i.e. how you've become who you are.

    We are learning what it means to go on "retreat", what "retreat" means in-and-of-itself, how to plan a personal retreat, individual retreat for someone else, group retreat, silent retreat, etc. Dave and I each get to plan a retreat for each other, go on the 48 hour retreat that we planned, and then write-up a paper on how the retreat went.

    Theology 2: Study of Works of God, Man, Angels, and Sin
    Though this is an independent study class, this has been one of our favorite classes this semester. The books we are reading are challenging and foundational as we continue our study of humanity, sin, God, and angels. Reading articles by Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Edwards, Wesley, Calvin, etc.  are giving us a broad understanding of how Christian History has shaped our study of God.

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    Grace & Easter

    On our way to Grace!

    Today was our first day at Grace! We recently accepted the position of Assistant Youth Directors at our church, Grace EV Free. We are STOKED for the opportunity to work with the Junior High and High School Youth Group. Our main role will be discipling/shepherding the Core Group leaders, being apart of the teaching rotation, and partnering with the Pastor of Youth Ministries- Jackson Randall. We feel extremely blessed that we get this opportunity at our church and we are looking forward to getting to know the youth and leaders more.


    We just had Easter with both of our families together at the Mellis'. We had a blast hanging out as family, laughing, chattin', eating good food, and makin' memories. We are both so blessed by our families and thankful for time with them! 

    Well, that's all for now! Here are some pics of some recent happenings:
    2nd Year Anniversary in Tahoe!

    Dave's Bday hike in Malibu

    New Years with Erikson's & baby bump
    and Bouris' & baby bump
    Time with our favorite 3, the Thoennes'!

    Date Night!!
    Easter time with our bro!
    Half smiles and yellow flowers :)

    Hamilton's here for a visit

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    The Christian Mystic

     Some people long for a deep, intimate connection with God. It seems only right for a human, with spiritual needs, to desire a "divine encounter" or "mystical experience". It  has almost become a spiritual "right" for a personal encounter with the divine. Yet, is a divine experience deserved for human beings? Is it even something right for us to desire? And, is it an actual or valid knowledge of God? 
    We are drawn to mystical encounter because they seem to supersede the  dreary, meaningless routine of everyday life--it's as if they puncture it with "the divine" and connect with a place in ourselves that nothing else can. And it is true to an extent, for we are made for "divine encounters".

    Another aspect that pulls us in is the "experiential" element. Our parents were raised in the day where "facts" were where the deepest knowledge was found.  After the technology boom and the birth of the internet the amount of information exploded and we could see how much life was much more than facts and formulas. As facts and formulas have faded, the value of life-experience as knowledge skyrocketed. Rather than books, graphs and lectures, personal experience is now our societies most valued source and most meaningful epistemological (the study of the nature of knowledge) exchange. Mysticism has become an outlet for our cultures lack of experiential knowledge, and gives us some clues on how to practice it (often while presenting us a new belief system).

     Mysticism can be found in all of the major world religions: The Christian Mystics of the Catholic Middle Ages, The Kabbalist in the Hebrew tradition, and Sufism in the Islamic tradition. It has also highly influenced New Age beliefs (which are often just a rebirth of old pagan beliefs) and it's themes are in Buddhism (Zen and some Yoga practices) and other transcendent-self systems (Eastern Religions like Taoism). Mysticism is vague and has been overly defined and re-defined, and enmeshed into almost every religious tradition as those who have "a personal experience of the divine". Often, in mysticism, the melding of philosophies and ethereal/emotional language blurs the lines between beliefs and a mystic either affirms that all experiences are valid and/or denies all basic belief sets or knowledge but the mystic-experience. 

    Any tradition is easily embraced for someone searching for the "supernatural". We were created for some sort of mystical experience, but when we have these experiences, who are we encountering and where are they leading? All knowledge, even experiential, must lead somewhere, and we would be wise to ask who they are and where they are taking us--lest we end up in some hellish place or entrust a false or wicked guide. Those who used to go on long journeys followed guides who knew the safe destinations and places of rest and resource, or at least had a good, trustworthy map. If we are going to set out, we need to know with whom we go, and where. (and if you are exploring these things outside of the Christian context, ask these questions heartily, and examine to whom you entrust your life).

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Inner Space Part 2

    This is where I felt the conflicts between psychology and following Jesus collided (as I explained in part 1). Coe helped me to clarify these issue. At this, I was able to pinpoint my issue: As a Christian can I engage modern progress as a means to knowing Jesus? I am concerned both about getting swept away in modern fads and popular pretty-talk, rather than simply Jesus, as He is. But I am also concerned about missing His leading and work in any discipline where He is present. (Which is all the disciplines, right, since all truth is God's truth).

    Years ago, Christians (and/or Catholics) rejected the astronomical discoveries of the earth being round (rather than flat) and the earth going around the sun (rather than the sun around the earth). These discoveries were initially persecuted by Christianity because basic assumptions had been made about God's purpose in designing the earth as flat and center. Yet, in rejecting these theories, Christians also rejected the immeasurable size of the universe, the unimaginable number of stars and galaxies, the complexity of the earth for life, the delicacy of our solar system, quantum physics, and a billion more intricate and amazing pieces of our existence. Hundreds of year later, these things have been integrated into Christian faith, and bring us to worship and awe of God's creativity, power and care. "He upholds the universe by the word of His power", (Heb 1.3) has a vast and deep impact on our minds now that these truths are integrated into our worldview. Would it have been different if historical Christians embraced that discipline originally as a source of knowledge and worship?

    And, as I began to think about Psychology, I wondered, "What if the same terrestrial glories and wondrous mysteries that are found outside the earth are comparable to the mysteries and powers within the human being?" I became excited at this notion. It is not wrong to explore the vast reaches of space, and so, it cannot be wrong to explore the interior psychological processes. It becomes wrong when the fullness of knowledge and wisdom that leads to worship is taken out of God's hand and place into mans. "The issue isn't the issue, the issue is control" (a magazine quote that has stuck with me, despite the fact that I've forgotten which magazine or article).  It is right for man to explore every inch of God's creation, for God gave us the itch of adventure. But adventure always must lead to worship and a "smaller" view of ourselves (as Dr. Thoennes would say, "Christians are those who revel in their smallness!"). The adventure of placing Psychology within God's creation of the human soul/psyche can and should bring us to worship! We can study God's image within us, with all of its glory and brokenness, and I believe that is pleasing to God.


    If you are interested in the way God"s Spirit works within the human spirit, John Coe goes on to present a Pneumatoloical view (Pnema=spirit in Greek) of Psychology in the rest of that essay. Here is a short summary of the article:

    Secular psychologies provide incisive yet truncated insight into human personality, psychopathology, health, and development. The clear challenge for the Church is to develop a New Covenant psychology which takes as its starting point the human need, hunger, and capacity for a relationship beyond all that we could ask or imagine, for union with God in community. This destiny is the believer’s gift and challenge from here to eternity. I have provided here only some beginning musings toward this pneumadynamic, Spirit-filled approach to human existence.