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Welcome, Deep in the Burbs Action Research Team.

The Research Team is finished. Thank you for participating. Please follow the blog to see the latest updates in the process of finishing the dissertation.


15 thoughts on “Research Team Home Page”

  1. I saw God in other people this week. And, I am making new discoveries in relation to a project that is not a part of Deep in the Burbs. That being said I have made a decision about several project options that I will talk about with the other members from my church who are a part of Deep in the Burbs. I will try to see them at church on Sunday. Finally, my core beliefs about the heart and history of Christianity, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are being “exposed.” I have my seat and shoulder belts on!

  2. I have seen God at work this past week in so many ways with it being Holy Week. I think that the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ culminates the Holy Trinity in such a profound way. In addition, God has been answering prayer in my life in such powerful ways these last couple of weeks that I am in awe, once again, of my Lord and Savior. I also made an observation at Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday services about spiritual formation in the suburbs. I think it’s beautiful that so many people attend Holy Week church services that otherwise do not attend church, all full of wonderment and dressed in their best attire, but I stopped and thought about what if we all got that dressed up for, that excited for, that eager to celebrate the resurrection of Christ every single day! Isn’t that what we should be doing? What if every week the sanctuary was so packed at every service that it was overflowing out into the hallways and hundreds of people had to sit outside the sanctuary and what the service on the big screen? I mean those are the kinds of crowds Jesus attracted while He was here on earth. Shouldn’t it be the same today?
    I also made an observation at the group last night. I see such passion in every one in the group. I see the beauty of the way each of us has his or her own spiritual gifts, comfort levels, interests, desires to serve, and I find that it is more wonderful that we aren’t all going to do the same project, because that is the Spirit at work. He is calling and guiding us to certain others in the group to carry out a specific task He has brought us together to do. He is perfectly guiding each one of us to the work He wants us to do, so that we can bring others to a new level of spiritual growth.

    1. Steve,

      That April 16th date is critical to me for it is when I was given a Trinitarian gift in 1998. You wrote: “Finally, my core beliefs about the heart and history of Christianity, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are being “exposed.” I have my seat and shoulder belts on!”

      Well, on April 16, 1998, (Easter Thursday) my being was pierced by three silent words, “It’s all true.” Since then nothing has been the same, Thank God.

      It’s a great long story of Divine Providence if you ever want to hear a Tale of Two Lefties.



  3. What comes first? Faith or works? What comes first? Faith (spiritual) formation or works (projects)? Does it matter? Is our individual or community spiritual formation our project? Do we have to wait until we are at a certain point in our spiritual formation or understanding of the Trinity, before we take action? What does prayer have to do with these questions? What does dwelling in the Word have to do with answering these questions. What does living in the “burbs” have to do with answering these questions?

  4. I was just doing a bit of personal reflection concerning “Spiritual Formation” and what exactly it means to me. If it is a “spiritual” thing, then how can it be approached in a material way? And if it is a “formation”, then what is the rule or stick with which one can measure its progress?

    In wrestling with these questions I find myself attempting to quantify this thing called “Spiritual Formation” through the tangential Christian qualities and activities of Faithfulness, Godliness, Righteousness, and Holiness being displayed as outward material expressions of ones inner spiritual reservoirs of Faith, Hope, and Love.

    But even this cannot enough. For true Spiritual Formation of the Christian wIll surely require the handiwork of God in the here and now of this material world. And for this reason the teaching of Social Trinity fits in well.

  5. I have seen God in the enthusiasm of those at Grace who went to Haiti, serve at FMSC, and help with Hope 4 Youth. Many gave testimonials at church this weekend and relived, for themselves and those listening, how God has moved in them and the organizations they have partnered with. It is so encouraging to see their passion, and their honesty. These are just “normal” people stepping out in faith to do what they feel God calling them to do. They too are encouraged and energized by their response to the Spirit’s calling. I felt an energy among the congregation as they spoke. It is my hope and prayer that the energy is strong and others respond, even if in little ways. Sometimes its just one person talking about their own experience which can be the catalyst for others to be called, to be sent.

    1. Maybe, just maybe you have come across the Hedgehog Concept. IMHO Jim Collins is on to something.

      I remember Tim Tebow’s speech here at Whataburger Field here in Corpus Christi last year. He offered three points for us to consider and remember—I saw this in your description of the young misssionaries’ energy.

      His triad is: Dare to be Different, Live with Passion, and Finish Strong.

      Not bad advice. Sounds like St. Paul’s legacy.


  6. Spiritual Formation in OT times involved growth in faith and relationship with the “One True God”. In NT the Monotheistic Triune God is re-introduced as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I think that NT Spiritual Formation will of necessity involve personal Faith and relationship with the one true Monotheistic Triune God. Social Entangled Trinity I think plays a role in helping to define this, but I am hoping that in your paper you will eventually wrestle with the monotheistic dimension of the Trinity and its importance for spiritual formation.

      1. If your premise is that the “Entangled Social Trinity” = “The One True God” and that within this equation is encoded the mystery of the Gospel… Then I would suggest that this very equation is like the treasure hidden in the field or the pearl of great price. It is a mystery that cannot remain hidden but rather demands action.

    1. It is also important to note that, perhaps, more helpful language than “monotheistic” vs. “entangled/social” is to speak of the transcendence of God vs. the immanence of God. Our theologies tend to sway toward one side or the other. Radical extremes on either side are equally damaging. I think you are referring to a need to make sure we never lose sight of God’s transcendence and holiness–God as completely other than us. This is an important corrective to the “Jesus is my friend/co-pilot” theology, or, even worse, God is the non-personal force of the universe. Again, we must keep the mysterious tension of transcendence and immanence being both equally true. refer to the essay on dualisms. You might also find Placher’s reflections helpful.

      I value your insights and your friendly challenges. Keep it coming.

  7. Yes, we must maintain a tension between the transcendence and the immanence of God as being equally true. But I think that it is more than a matter of the juggler attempting to keep those two balls in the air. Faith is the third ball that flies in between the other two. And Faith is more than just knowledge and trust. It is passion, and the fire of God that burns within us. You have clearly done a lot of work and poured your heart into this project. I guess what I am looking for in your paper is a passionate faith filled conclusion.

    1. Yes. I don’t get to make conclusions and propositions until December. All I’m doing right now is framing the question. Then i/we listen to our data. After that, i/we make a constructive move. Does that make sense?

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