In addition to this blog (Whole Reality), I have several more that explore some of the spiritual perspectives described here, but in more detail. For example, some of the ideas about evangelizing modern Western society are practiced in another blog: Eternal Perspectives. Because it targets those who don’t know the Lord, the essays are more appropriately located on a separate blog.
While Eternal Perspectives is intended to be read by those who do not know the Lord, so far it is really a sandbox of sorts to explore particular evangelistic themes. By practicing, I hope to gain a better understanding of how these approaches work. Of course, my main hope is that they are used to touch someone for the Lord.
The overall theme has to do with reaching people for Christ by learning to speak in the languages they need to hear. It’s so easy to approach evangelism with canned approaches, but for me that never bears spiritual fruit. Instead, God has shown me how often in the Word the Spirit led people in ways that matched where they were sent. In some cases that can look like taking a particular Christian’s “natural” inclinations and putting them to use. In others it might mean changing their inclinations. Teasing out the differences between these is part of the journey.
A key part of this perspective is the idea of getting outside the church. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said we would go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest parts of the earth. Think of Jerusalem, the heart of faith matters, as within the church itself. Judea might be the clearly Jewish-influenced surrounding areas, perhaps like clearly Christian activities today: concerts, Christian movies and plays, evangelistic celebrations, etc. Samaria, where the Jewish faith was blended with others, might represent Christian influences in otherwise secular activities: politics, public discourse, etc. What then, would it look like to reach the “ends of the earth” right here at home, in this sense? How do you reach people completely outside Christian context, without traveling? I don’t know all the answers yet, but this is another part of the journey.
In exploring that path, the Lord has given me a number of spiritual insights (primarily from Scripture), and I’ve found that the start of Paul’s second missionary journey can act like an index for these insights; many of the things the Lord has shown me are touched upon there. And interestingly enough, his is a journey which starts in the church (visiting existing churches), and then goes outside (to Macedonia and beyond). These are described in An Index in Acts.
In my case right now, the direction God has given me is to use parables and essays, coupled with media (particularly VR photography), to explore spiritual perspectives in ways people will understand, without using standard Christian references. In fact, the standard Christian references are so overloaded with other meanings that it’s difficult to raise spiritual issues in ways people can identify with without triggering a lot of preconceived ideas. So in a sense, I’m trying to get outside the church contextually to proclaim the Gospel.