GCU Today

Like I mentioned earlier this week on Twitter, I had the chance to speak at Grand Canyon University’s chapel service on Monday. It is incredible to see what they are doing and the speed at which they are growing. The first time I spoke at their chapel the students all fit into the end section of the gym. This time, I was almost half court and they added a few of the side sections as well.

It was great to connect with the students and to hear some of their stories. I talked about unity through doubt and focused on how mindless certainty results when we try to force everyone into unity. Uniformity is not the goal. Immediately after I finished I had a guy come up to me and ask me if I had ever read anything from Peter Rollins. When I told him that I loved Peter Rollins we instantly hit it off. It was great to make connections like that.

They also did an article about my message on their GCU Today site. You can read it here. Here’s one of the things they quoted me as saying,

“Community (for the church) is when the whole is better than the sum of the parts. When there is co-dependency, vulnerability, and trust, that all culminates to where the overall whole of the church community is better, stronger, and fuller.”

You can also click here to watch a video from Monday (fast forward to 34 minutes).

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Jeremy Jernigan

This is the personal blog of Jeremy Jernigan husband, father, executive pastor, and student of truth

6 Comments

peter

about 2 years ago

Jeremy, could you please define a couple of terms? What do you mean by doubt? I mean, as a pastor leading a flock, what do you mean by doubt? What do you mean by mindless certainty? Do you believe one can have thoughtful certainty? If so, how? And what do you mean by unity and uniformity? You use both terms here, and I'm not sure if you're using them interchangeably. Thanks.

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jeremy

about 2 years ago

I'll humor you on this one... Doubt = to question why I think something is true in hopes at arriving at a better understanding (does it line up with Scripture, does it line up with the fellowship of believers, does it line up with what God's Spirit is communicating, are my own biases clouding my judgement, etc.). There is an unhealthy doubt, when someone questions something for the sole reason of justifying what they don't want to believe. Ironically, this is more like mindless certainty than the doubt I'm referring to. mindless certainty = blind faith, or whenever someone believes something without adequate thoughtfulness, a lack of doubt, usually resulting in shallow understandings or complete misunderstandings unity = diversity brought together for a greater purpose, harmony uniformity = a collection of people who share mindless certainty and only surround themselves with people that look like them, think like them, act like them, etc. Your question about whether a person can have thoughtful certainty is a great question. I would say no. Thoughtfulness demands doubt and usually comes with it. When someone is certain they have no need for doubt and no need to keep challenging what they believe. Complacency kicks in and they look for people to reaffirm them. Certainty always ends the journey. Just because a person has thoughtful uncertainty in God doesn't mean they can't surrender their life to Him and follow Him. It simply means they will do so while continuing to wrestle with why they do what they do.

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peter

about 2 years ago

Thanks. No need to humor me - I'm not looking to set you up. I'm looking to learn. I'll be the first to admit, I struggle with wanting to be be right and point at others saying you have it wrong. I'd like to think I'm getting better at that. I asked because I believe far to many discussions and disagreements occur because terms aren't defined ahead of time. You've used these terms before and I may have missed you defining them - so thanks. I was curious about your take on thoughtful certainty and I must say, I've never thought of it like that. I can't say I've ever read that approach either. I read Daniel Taylor's The Myth of Certainty and don't remember him defining certainty like that, but it's been awhile and he's not the easiest guy to follow. To date, I haven't come across a single use of doubt/ uncertainty in the Bible that's shown in a good light. Doubt is always rebuked or corrected, or at the very least, seen a season but never where we should reside. I know your take on Luke 7, but I just don't read it like that. I think Jesus gave Paul some comforting words when He quoted Malachi and wanted John certain as he languished in prison. Are there other Scriptures that point to your take on doubt?

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jeremy

about 2 years ago

I appreciate your response Peter. I feel like this is a much bigger conversation than I can do justice with by mentioning a few verses. I'm currently reading through a book called The Blue Parakeet (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0310331668/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=tomorsrefle-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=0310331668&adid=0F9027972KHB17SV5TEP) that talks about how to read the Bible. He addresses scores of issues where we have to use discernment (and why) when we interpret how to live out the Bible. I'd recommend you check it out as it may show you the complexity that I wrestle with on a regular basis.

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Peter

about 2 years ago

Will do.

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Robert Tewart

about 2 years ago

Jeremy. I haven't checked out the book you mention, but generally, there are three ways that scripture is read and interpreted. For anyone who isn't familiar with these methods, they are generally referred to as biblical hermeneutics. The methods are Historical Grammatical, which operates on the premise that the bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God, the Allegorical Method which takes in to consideration the imagination of the reader. The last method is the Historical Critical method (you seem to fall in here) which begins with the belief that the bible is a human document. While it may be inspired, it leaves a lot up to critical interpretation. That is, one must study the writings very carefully and in great detail to determine if what they say is factual. This is a method of doubt, which seems to fall into the current theme of your latest blog article. Problem is, you end up sounding like a lot of other post moderns (I could name a couple but I don't want to necessarily put you in their camp.) Much of your writing however leaves me wondering what in the world it has to do with the truth of the bible. I guess in the end, I have a simple question for you. Do you believe that the bible is the inspired, innerant word of God. Finally, I notice that you are a bit sarcastic when there is even a hint of dissention in the responses here. Why would you need to "humor" the last commentor? You have found my comments "hysterical." You are in a position of authority and influence, do you really need to go there? Maybe it shouldn't bother me, but it does.....just kind of condescending I think.

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