Embracing a new paradigm: my shift from transactional Christianity to a training faith
I identify with this on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom! I’m so looking forward to the book!
Hello Jonathan, I just discovered you yesterday on Substack. Thank you so much for your posts. I've already read several and have gotten so much out of them. I love the way you describe transactional vs. transformational Christianity. I never looked at it from that angle before but it makes so much sense to me. I so want to be transformed by Christ and am so frustrated with the slow growth. Is there a book you'd recommend as a starting point? I've been a struggling Christian for several years. Got saved in 1982 and although I've grown a lot, I know there is so much more God has and wants from me. I am not familiar with the 3 fold way but can see how it has been part of my walk with the Lord even though I didn't have a name for it. I have been a Renovare online follower for several years now but moreso lately as my desire for Christ seems to be intensifying lately. I have several of Dallas's and Richard's books but honestly have finished few of them. I'm 64 and it seems like after putting in a full day's work, my energy is drained. I do try to read some on Sunday's but generally bounce from book to book and never finish one. I'd love to hear your recommendations and again, thanks for sharing. Jo-Ann
I’ve been waiting for this! Having been part of the threefold way , one of the Uber privileged group to get a third year at renovare, I am super excited to read the rest of your book, knowing in part what is to come! Can’t wait. Thank you for the preview. How I wish I’d known this before I unwittingly passed on the transactional way to my kids…. Transformation through training and moment by moment abiding is not only THE way, but the most beautiful way. Beauty, they say, will win the world. May it be so.
Oh I have been waiting for this! Not only is my story so like yours, if I wasn’t considerably older than you, we could have been going down the same aisles!! There are trigger songs that if I hear anywhere, I look for an aisle simply cuz it was a default through early twenties! Really fast forward, after dipping in several various streams (nod to R. Foster), I have since 2018 encountered my own stumbling out of the wardrobe into Narnia! The contemplative way and the discovery of more treasures than even Nicolas Gage in National Treasures! I have never felt more fully alive and can truly say, “aha! This is how it works!”. Ever since your “pithy little booklet” The Eternal Journey came out, I have hit repeat on it every 30 days and have ordered more times in bulk as a hospitality gift to everyone who enters my home! So yes, I am apprenticing under the greatest Artisan ever and even wear an Id bracelet with the word magnanimity on it ( my gift to myself in 2021) to remind me that after my husband went Home suddenly to us in 2016, just a year and a half later, I would be embarking on the greatest adventure I had ever experienced! To my 7 year old self walking the aisle at Rice Temple Baptist Church, I would say, “ oh child, you have no idea how faithful Your Father is to see you finished this walk!” Thank you a gazillion times Jonathan R. Bailey! I can’t wait for your book to find its way to my home and heart!
Just one of the things I treasure about you and your writing, Jonathan, is how clearly you explain the points and perspectives you are trying to convey. Your explanations of spiritual constructs (e.g. VIM, Three-Fold-Way) are not just presented cognitively. Through your clarity and repetition (i.e. saying the same thing but in a different manner each time), I am able to absorb your teachings in my heart and body, as well as my mind. The style of Christian living you present becomes real and possible. Thank you and thank God for you. Very much looking forward to having your book in my hand.
Hello, Jonathan! (I'm part of the Atlanta Renovaré cohort and enjoyed a few meals in your company this past March.) I just finished reading your "Longing to Change" post and wanted to comment.
Thank you for sharing your story here, for describing some things so very familiar to me and now, I'm noticing, familiar to my kiddos as they grow up with a very similar approach to Christianity in our particular church community. I appreciate how you articulate the missing component in the context of Dallas's VIM model, and then how you invite reflection on the Threefold Way, which I'll admit to being unfamiliar with (other than having encountered the archaic language before--as I know floats your boat! =P).
I am in pain reading your stories, because they return me to my own pain. Such a desire for change, and such guilt, and such dearth of someone to show me the way. I really appreciated you painting the picture of your father reading, with his soft music, and the coffee, and how you enjoyed being in that space with him.
Is this Threefold Way an older way of describing what Dallas writes about in "Renovation of the Heart," Surrender-Abandon-Contentment-Participation, or something like that? Is it related at all to Henri Nouwen's three movements in "Reaching Out," to our innermost self, to our fellow human beings, to our God? I haven't taken the time to compare and ponder, just blabbing first thoughts.
I look forward to reading your book and seeing how you draw out the wisdom of our brothers and sisters of centuries past into something eminently understandable. I'm glad God captured you with Dallas's quote, and that this has sent you on the voyage it has. I'm curious how the learning you've done over the past twenty years has shaped the way you raise your kids. I feel like by the time I wrap my head around everything I'm learning, I may be able to influence my grandchildren. :P
Thanks again for sharing this!