Downright Awestruck [SSL 301]

Today we are probing our sense of mystery and wonder.
Have you encountered AWE lately?
The people, book, and article mentioned, and more info and photos can be found at PART II:

To get the spiritual formation book I wrote (The Wild Land Within)… 🎁 ❤️ 
just click the book or google search the title to get one or a few.

• You can find out about my publisher Broadleaf Books here

⭐️What is a Patron? Here are the DETAILS:

Patron supporters chip-in a bit each month to help me offset my expenses and continue creating episodes. Supporting this way ($5 +) entitles you to many perks and goodies that unlock once you begin.

Want to come along side me with support regularly?
This kind of help makes a big difference. It is with great appreciation that I create for my patrons as my “inner circle”.

• OF COURSE Patron supporters ALSO get ALL ACCESS to the Substack (paid) extras! Start here:

OR make a contribution at

• Listeners like you make this work possible. 

Here’s how to help out:

1. Share the program with another person today.

2. Leave a good Rating/ Write a Review on iTunes for the podcast.

Feature photo is from NASA. The first is MSH 11-52, a supernova remnant blowing a spectacular cloud of energized particles resembling the shape of a human hand, seen in data from Chandra, NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), and ground-based optical data.

Drum Circles with Gene Anderson

The Gene Anderson joins us today. Gene is a supportive friend, pastor, poet, and percussionist who blogs as he wanders along the Way at Rucksack Revolution and today is enjoying his 49 birthday at the beach with friends. Happy Birthday, Gene.


 What if churches were more like drum circles?


What if churches were more like drum circles? What if the Spirit of Liturgy came from within the common heartbeat of those present, what if dancing and community became the norm, what if diversity became the rule and not the exception, what if there were a…

If churches were more like drum circles, an organic ritual of worship, a natural liturgy would arise from the hearts of those participating, rather than imposing a liturgy on those present.

One love, a common beat composed of individual rhythms, a truly organic worship of unity in diversity would rule the day and rock the house with the Holy Spirit dancing to the sound of heartbeats musically expressed.

Together, individual breath and pulse become common, coming together with the vibration of God’s good creation, culminating in koinonia, communitas, and the sacred meal of God’s encircling love.

What if churches were more like drum circles?

What if, because the spirit of liturgy and action came from within the hearts and souls of those gathered, actualizing community became present? Imagine a church where worship became dance, a dance of the body, mind, and spirit, a circle dance like the mystical Trinity of Three-in-One and One-in-Three.

Consider “as above, so below”.

Contemplate the holy sound and actions of deep bass and strong rimshot combining into wholeness, atonement, shalom, and God’s mission to the world through the healing hands of God and the caring human disciples of The Way.

Creation of rhythm as motion and motion as community, community in motion, ordinary radicals, resident aliens of the Kingdom-Life seeking a “better country”.

What if churches were more like drum circles?

Imagine a place where diversity is the norm and not the exception.

Conceive community and not corruption.

Give birth to a world of movement through the hands and feet of all people.

Realize the moment of worship and service to God and others.

Heartbeats together in Holy Rhythm.

Play your drum.

– Gene Anderson

“You teach best what you most need to learn.” – Richard Bach

Oneness/Unity (Flow Chart)

I snapped this photo of a white board at Evangelical Seminary on Tuesday. I think a Marriage and Family Therapy class was in before I got there.

The word unity can be used for oneness here.

Really absorb the elements of this visual. What do you notice?

It seems the path diverges at choice. Reflection and Confession can be chosen over blame. The result is restoration and forgiveness instead of isolation and brokeness.

It’s a lesson I need. It’s a lesson I have to impart to my kids.

What are Your thoughts?

Christian Therapeutic Misogyny

Logical argument?

Given that masculine and feminine are opposite, or counterparts.

Given that a more masculine man is more manly.

Given that a more manly man is movement toward the optimum.

Then, a feminine man is the least optimum.

Then, male is good, and female is bad.

Then, one must reject what is feminine as a disadvantage, and outrightly negative, to move toward the good.

I have a 75% + male readership, and I know most, if not all the males who hear hyper-masculine rhetoric get, at least, a bit nauseated, or frustrated by the vitriol.

“Most [church] dudes are sort of chicks.” -Mark Driscoll (see video)

Please tell me how promoting hyper-masculinity is not also misogyny?

I think this is a situation of a leader being allowed to run amuck with therapeutic misogyny that comes under the guise of Scriptural authority. This is a perversion of leadership.

Is the movement toward masculinizing the church a seductive trap? What about gender is so super important to spreading God’s love and the message of the gospel? How can men be best mentored/discipled?

What should be done?

If you would like to read about this topic from a man’s perspective: both a theologian and former Mixed Martial Artist (a.k.a. “cage fighter”) I recommend this poignant and potent article: THE CONFESSIONS OF A CAGE FIGHTER: MASCULINITY, MISOGYNY, AND THE FEAR OF LOSING CONTROL -by Matt Morin (Matt is a man anyone can respect, but for none of the reasons that Mark Driscoll cherishes.)

Kudos to Matt. I dub you “awesome”.

In the next post, I’ll explore Christian therapeutic, misandry. It’s real, and it doesn’t happen as overtly aggressively as its male counterpart, but it’s just as destructive to the ministry, message, and sacrifice of Christ, our Savior.

So that we may be one in Christ, we must abandon our old, worn out ways that secular culture has blanketed us with. Men and women are not stereotypes. They are not caricatures of the masculine and the feminine, unless those people are spiritually under-developed and unhealthy emotionally. They are instead God’s image bearers, and God’s vehicle to put the world to rights.

Featured Writer: Dr Doug Jackson on Trinity Sunday


I wanted to feature this fine Sermoneutics article because I’ll be bringing the concept of Trinity to my class this Sunday.


Sermoneutics is a weekly column authored by Doug Jackson. Before coming to South Texas School of Christian Studies, Dr. Jackson pastored churches for nearly twenty-five years. For more from Doug Jackson, check out his blog at
Click here for the Sermoneutics archive.

by Doug Jackson
Trinity Sunday,
2 Corinthians 13.11-14

The good news is that the Western church has conspired to disobey the clear command of Scripture. The bad news is that our disobedience obscures our doctrine.

Augustine warned that anyone who disbelieves the Trinity is in danger of losing his salvation . . . and that anyone who attempts to understand it is in danger of losing his mind! Actually the Trinity is one of those things, like fried crawdad tails or dancing or being in love, that one understands not by pondering but by experiencing.

“We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.” Athanasius puts it rather neatly but perhaps leaves us wondering how to pull off the tricky business of inhabiting what we believe. The doctrine makes us psychological heretics whose nerves don’t connect with our confession.

Paul takes a more practical tack, perhaps because he writes as a pastor and not as a theologian. Just before rapping out one of the clearest Trinitarian statements in all of Scripture, he lays a command on us: Greet one another with a holy kiss. That’s the injunction I am so glad the Church exiles to the exegetical antipodes along with head coverings for women and not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk.

I don’t like it when people hug me; you can imagine how I feel about kissing. And I claim apostolic authority on this one: C. S. Lewis shared my aversion. “It is one of my lifelong weaknesses,” he writes in his autobiography Surprised By Joy, “that I never could endure the embrace or kiss of my own sex.” But there it is, right in the Bible and everything.

See, the problem is that the Trinity states, not an abstract mathematical puzzle but a common-sense relational truth: God is love, and either the Almighty is the ultimate cosmic narcissist eternally self-involved, or God has eternally had Someone to love. And since only God is eternal it must be that the Father has eternally loved the Son, the Son has eternally loved the Father and the Spirit has eternally been that love. And therefore Christians can only study the Trinity by risking the sloppy business of loving one another. And because God makes us bodies we can only love with our bodies. Every hug that breeches my barriers brings me closer to inhabiting the unity of Trinity. Amplexo ergo creedo: I hug, therefore I get it.

In this light, it is interesting to note that this year Trinity Sunday falls on the same day as Juneteenth, a nationwide observance for African-Americans commemorating the day the Emancipation Proclamation actually took effect. Perhaps instead of breaking our brains over the complexities of cosmic calculus, we could study the Trinity by repenting of past segregations and handing out a few hugs across the barriers we have built throughout Christ’s body.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,



Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are love from all eternity. Make us one as You are one, that in us the world may see the grace, love and fellowship of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.


May you be broken enough to help one another,
For wholeness comes from healing.
May you disagree enough to hear one another
For oneness comes from listening.
May you be lonely enough to hold one another
For touch defeats division and discord.
In the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of God,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

Copyright © 2011 South Texas School of Christian Studies, All rights reserved.