Our men’s class is going through Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith by Andy Stanley. It is some really good material. He believes that just about everything God uses fits into at least one of 5 categories. Let’s see if you can think of something that wouldn’t fit into any of these:
- Practical teaching
- Providential Relationships
- Private Disciplines
- Personal Ministry
- Pivotal Circumstances
i hesitate a bit to make list of what God uses, because he’s got a pretty crazy track record:
– burning bushes
– talking donkeys
– naked prophets
– sudden and quick death
– natural disasters and plagues
– forcing a people to walk in the desert for a generation
but if i’m going to make a list (and i haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking through this), those five seem to encompass a great deal — but leave little room for the miraculous. so we’ve got to add something in there for that — even if we haven’t witnessed/experienced it ourselves, we surely need to leave room for it.
i’d also remove the word “private” from disciplines — or at another category for “communal disciplines.” i don’t see any place for us to put things like public confession and celebration and the like.
i also want to put God’s discipline somewhere in there as well, and it may very well fit under pivotal circumstances (as could some of the miraculous).
also, i have to admit that that i’m biased against this list simply because it uses alliteration and tries to make tidy the things of God — which i’ve found are rarely tidy and just as unlikely to begin with the same letter.
Love that response…
Let me take a stab at it:
Burning bush – pivotal circumstances
Talking donkey – providential relationships
Naked prophets – providential relationships
Death – pivotal circumstances
disasters and plagues – pivotal circumstances
generation in the desert – pivotal circumstances
And there are still three categories left!
If you remove the “P” words, it might be a more accurate list. Who defines what is “practical”? I suspect some of the commands didn’t seem “practical” at the time. How would one know before hand that the relationship is or isn’t “providential”? Does God only bless “private” discipline? Didn’t Jesus say something about the community discipline? Of course, anything I do is “personal” – even done with others. What is meant by “pivotal”? What does God do that isn’t “pivotal”?
Probably this post is particularly picky. For a preacher’s presentation, perhaps the purpose provides a platform for participation.
“He believes that just about everything God uses fits into at least one of 5 categories.” I completely agree with that.