Archive for the ‘postmodernism’ Category

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Of this I am certain (An ongoing conversation)

January 7, 2010
Is certainty the enemy of faith? Does being certain mean that mystery is no longer allowed? I run into those who seem to teach that we must be certain in all things of faith yet I just don’t see how that can be. I see that living in doubt leads one to fear, yet faith leads us to certainty and courage… so how does this all fit? I see this as a bit of a false dilemma made by those who cling to certainty and do not allow awe and mystery… or see that someone that simply trusts in God and does not need to know with certainty the answers… but knows that God IS the ANSWER.
Just on a personal level I have not issue with certainty… yet to me that does not mean all knowledgeable. The issue that I see is that many base their certainty as the basis of their fiath. Yet, Jesus stated, “Even more blessed are those that believe and have not seen.”
So I am certain that the bible is authoritative, not because I can prove it is infallible or inerrant, but that Jesus stated it was authoritative. Modernism seems to gut faith out of the bible and bring all of Heaven into the realm of man’s logic and reason. God is so far beyond us that to do so is to declare God is made in our image and results in God becoming vain human imagination.
So certainty can have mystery in it as we grow. One can be certain as to what God has taught them, and yet acknowledge there is so much more (an infinite amount of knowledge) to learn. This take humility which some lack as they make human logic and reason their certainty and believe they have arrived. They reduce faith in Jesus to believes and base salvation not on Grace or that the “Just shall live by faith” to salvation by believes and living by logic and reason.
To me I am certain in many things God has taught me… yet I am open to being wrong. Yet, often I confess God must bang my head against the wall to change my mind… but usually God hits my heart and then m mind follows. Then again, I may be wrong…

Peace.
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Re-post: Performatism: post-postmodernism

September 29, 2009
I originally post this in 2007 and hope to re-examine the ideas here since we seem to be actually seeing this begin.
Disclaimer: I know that this is very much over simplified, yet there is not much out there on this topic.
I wrote about the next thing beyond postmodernism… and I saw two different things happening at the same time.
Pragmatism and Performatism.
Most are familiar with pragmatism.
Here is a bit, (as it is still developing) on Performatism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Postmodernism
In a book on City as landscape: a post-postmodern view of design and planning (E&F Spon, 1986], Tom Turner argues that:
The modernist age, of “one way, one truth, one city”, is dead and gone. The postmodernist age of “anything goes” is on the way out. Reason can take us a long way, but it has limits. Let us embrace post-postmodernism—and pray for a better name.
“Performatism” was coined by Raoul Eshelman, as a term to describe or replace the term “Post-Postmodernism”. He goes on to describe it as “a new epoch in which subject, sign, and thing come together in ways that create an aesthetic experience of transcendency”…a place where meaning is created.[1] See also his other works.[2]
Mikhail Epstein also argues that “Post-postmodernism witnesses the re-birth of utopia after its own death, after its subjection to postmodernism’s severe scepticism, relativism and its anti-utopian consciousness”. Post-postmodernism has also been described as renewed faith.[3]
Here is a bit more on the subject and the “change” that is coming.
“The way out of postmodernism does therefore not lead through the intensified search for meaning, through the introduction of new, surprising forms or through the return to an authentic origin. Instead, it must take place through a mechanism completely impervious to postmodernism’s modes of dispersal, deconstruction and proliferation. This mechanism, which has been making itself felt with increasing strength in the cultural events of the last few years, can be best understood using the notion of performance. Performance in itself is, of course, not a phenomenon new or unknown. In Austin’s speech-act theory it refers to a language act that does what it promises (“I now pronounce you man and wife”). In the sense of an artistic event in the modernist avant-garde, a performance foregrounds or “makes strange” the border between life and art; in the happenings and performance art of postmodernism it integrates the human body or subject into an artistic context. The concept of performance I am suggesting here is, however, a different one. The new notion of performativity serves neither to foreground nor contextualize the subject, but rather to preserve it: the subject is presented (or presents itself) as a holistic, irreducible unit that makes a binding impression on a reader or observer. This holistic incarnation of the subject can, however, only succeed when the subject does not offer a semantically differentiated surface that can be absorbed and dispersed in the surrounding context. For this reason the new subject always appears to the observer as reduced and “solid,” as single- or simple-minded and in a certain sense identical with the things it stands for. This closed, simple whole acquires a potency that can almost only be defined in theological terms. For with it is created a refuge in which all those things are brought together that postmodernism and poststructuralism thought definitively dissolved: the telos, the author, belief, love, dogma and much, much more.”
Source: http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap0602/perform.htm
Now to break that down to be a bit more “user friendly”, If you buy a razor that advertises the “closest shave ever” it will deliver that promise. Or if you buy a car that has the “best gas mileage” it will deliver just that… The best gas mileage you ever got!
In it is also the idea of part become part of the bigger or whole picture. In that many make up the one… singular become the plurality. It is also about seeing people as a whole person. If one looks a the single person in all their complexity, they will be seeing them as a whole and not 1 or 2 demensional figure. Meaning a person may see a “drunk” but now will see that there is more complexity behind the “drunk” as there is also a whole person… be that they may be inwardly shaddered.
Now, if we take this into the context of Christianity and faith… it has many incredible and some scary ramifications.
People will fall between the pragmatic and the performativity of their religion… whatever works and what ever performs and get results and the people see real results will be the future of all religions and faiths.
People will still justify if it works it must be true.
Now, as a person of faith in Christ Jesus, I see that this is no problem in how I approach my faith, yet many will not find that their faith is stable to withstand the ideals of “it does as it promises”.
So, does a fundamentalist who shouts that the devil is everywhere… and that wearing a suite is more respectful to God than wearing jeans to preach in have a chance in the future… most probably as they will stay in the pre-modern/modern view… yet will see that even less people are listening to their “old truth” and searching for “eternal truth” that has been around and proven.
The difference between “old truth” and “eternal truth” that that one is based on a reinterpretation and return to scripture (which is not bad) in the 16th century, and “eternal truth” is something that has and is and will always be. In that the truth from the “eternal” is more “holistic, irreducible unit that makes a binding impression on a reader or observer.”
If we as Christians do not look very close at our beliefs and doctrines we will find churches losing more people as the “promises given” have not given the results. If for an example your church promises that God heals, you better produce that fruit. Or, say that you teach your doctrine will change one’s life then the fruit better follow suite from the promise. If you preach prosperity, then your church better be getting very rich!
Yet even more I see that a person will seek out to see that they can be a part of a bigger picture that is making a difference. They seek to be a part of the whole. In that we need to help bring people into the bigger picture and understanding of being part of the Body of Christ.
Now, I see where the real struggle will be is that the fundamentalist will be seen as not matching what they stand for.. and to survive as people of true faith, we better better represent what or Who we stand for. Otherwise, people will look as us and see a fraud or a representation of Jesus Christ.
Now, here is the “eternal truth”. Man is dead in his sin. He will always “sin” and die, unless these issues are dealt with. You see the promise is of the resurrection that is in the future… yet we also experience this resurrection now in that lives are changed.
Churches better see men and women becoming more and more like Jesus. To be not reaching to become more “god-like” (meaning we seek to be divine and “like-god” as the serpent seduced Eve with.) but to reach to be the fully human God created us to be and that Jesus was and is. (Yes, Jesus is fully God and it seems I have to state this as some will think I am talking human potential and this is like that, but not anything like it… it is not about humans become more and better “sinful” humans… but that we are becoming the New Human that is born of Heaven as Jesus was and we are to realize our New Human potential as we are “in Christ”.)
We are being transformed in to the image of Christ by the renewal of our minds… for now as we are still in the perishable body, we must be changed now in our thinking. Later we will be clothed in the imperishable.
The idea that what we teach must be able to work in the lives of those we teach must be based on these “eternal truths” that before creation Christ Jesus was “the plan” for the “us” and that we would be placed in Him at just the right time.
It is now more than ever we must depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us.
I hope to develop these thoughts more fully as I see we are fast moving from the “post-modern” to the “post-post-modern” and into this Performatism.
For a more down to earth hands way of getting this is to look at people’s lives like Mother Teresa… or Shane Claiborne. To me these are people who walked or still walk as they believe… their performance of their faith matches their faith.
We must start to learn what it means to love one another… as we have just begun to learn to love God. This means we must attempt by God’s power to do this… even if it is not done well but to do it over and over until we can transcend what drags us down. In a biblical sense also to learn what it means to become overcomers… and that by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

(Originally posted: 11/08/2006 09:09:00 PM
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Jack Chick… now in animation

May 2, 2008
I was a huge Jack Chick fan years ago, but as I grew I did not see things quite like Jack. This was pointed out by a new friend Michael Krahn. I found it compelling on many different levels. Watch it, read the write up on it then let’s talk!

http://p.castfire.com/Xu7m0/video/11122/bbtv_2008-04-30-014242.flv

Talk points.

1. Do you think the polarization of the opposing men is fair?
2. Is the Fatherhood of God brotherhood of man not in the Bible as claimed?
3. Could the presentation have been more balanced?
4. When they are in hell, what do you think of Jack Chick stating it is only “temporary?”
5. Is “judgment” only bad?

Be blessed,
iggy

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Jack Chick… now in animation

May 2, 2008
I was a huge Jack Chick fan years ago, but as I grew I did not see things quite like Jack. This was pointed out by a new friend Michael Krahn. I found it compelling on many different levels. Watch it, read the write up on it then let’s talk!

Talk points.

1. Do you think the polarization of the opposing men is fair?
2. Is the Fatherhood of God brotherhood of man not in the Bible as claimed?
3. Could the presentation have been more balanced?
4. When they are in hell, what do you think of Jack Chick stating it is only “temporary?”
5. Is “judgment” only bad?

Be blessed,
iggy

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An Open Letter to Matt Slick

December 5, 2007

Matt,
I wanted to thank you for having Doug Pagitt on. I am also part of the “emerging church”. Though I am not a “member” of emergent, I have seen much value in the things they discuss. I see that they are especially of value in the area of Christoplatonism.
I wanted to also thank you for not being rude. So often these type of interviews are reduced to just that. I was a bit worried though with the opening. =) You might also find it interesting that I really appreciate Doug yet do not agree with him on all points… especially in the area of “eternal security”. Yet, there are orthodox people on both sides of that issue.
In the ec I hope you realize that there is much room in our conversation. As you might have already noticed there are some that view women pastors are fine and some like Mark Driscoll (who some of us no longer see as “emerging”), who do not see that is fine. Yet, within the “movement” (which is still an in-house debate whether to call it that or if it is one) we are open to challenging one another… with respect.

In regards to Karen Ward, I am not that read up on her myself. She may be considered a “leader” but there are some that consider ME that also… which I have to chuckle over as I am not that much of one if I am! LOL!
Yet, in this case you were unkind and did admit it to Doug. I think you should apologize.
Now, having said that, I agree with you that if she did state that it was OK to not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus then she is in error… and most other emerging/emergent I have run into would not agree with her at all.
Now, how we work though is if she is in error, and this is brought to the table of discussion so to say, she would be challenged by the rest of us. Again, mutual respect is help as one of the highest of values as we view commonly that God places high value on all humans be they believer or not. He sent His Son to die for us so we see that as one of the greatest values.
In this type of discussion we will firmly debate with one another. If one cannot “back their view” biblically… then we will agree to place in the secondary position of “is this an essential”.
In this iron sharpens iron… and I am sure Doug will talk with Karen and if it is as you state will discuss this.
As far as your ministry, I agree that you are in a very interesting place. To look for “orthodoxy” and to find whether one is a heretic or not would be tough to do. Yet, still if a person be a Mormon or JW, I would still place love in front of all things as I approached them. Mostly I would allow God to work as I did converse with them. I would challenge their view but not deride the person.
Walter Martin, who I understand mentored you, (unlike that other guy who stated he was mentored by Walter as he listened to a bunch of tapes) stated that this was very important to do… to not put down their leaders or attack their person… but focus solely on their doctrines.
As far as how this is done, I think it depends on the person. I have had to confront unbelievers who were sick from drinking binges… and after the second or third time I ran them to the emergency room I would be straight forward and tell them they needed help… and I would not let them get away with saying they had a “disease”. As, I am diabetic and have an actual disease I see that someone who places a substance purposely in their body, as in the case of alcohol is a drunk, not “sick” in the same way as someone with cancer. They need help but they do need to be confronted with their “sin” that is killing them. Cancer never comes in a glass nor did my diabetes. (I understand that this is a bit out of the AA understanding, but the bible calls a drunk a drunk) This may sound harsh but I am meaning that I have built a bit of a relationship… and in that can give that person my honest and blunt opinion. Also, I see that this person is dying and in that do not care to waste much time “just to be nice” though I do not want to be unkind.
I think that Doug was very much in your face, yet you could sense he cared and still had genuine love for you as you talked… I see that this is the way you need to confront others also.
Over all I wanted to thank you as I did. I have been attacked by some very harshly and called an apostate and told I am not saved, just becuase I have a link to Brian McLaren on my website… that is a bit silly as I also have Dr. J Vernon McGee and Chuck Missler. They seemed to not care in my confession of faith in Jesus but only that they hate those they see outside their own narrow belief and doctrine… in fact many of these get confused when I state things like “having a relationship with Jesus” or “must recieve the Life of Christ” which seems to me the most crucial of beliefs one should have as a believer in Jesus.
I wanted to recommend two other “emerging” folk.
Andrew Jones is a great guy and I think you would enjoy interviewing him. He is also known as the Tall Skinny Kiwi. I would also recommend Scot McKnight who is a professor and author and considered to be one of the finest up and coming theologians out there today. His blog is called Jesus Creed like his book of hte same name. Allen Roxburgh of ALLELON would be another person as he is very close to Brian McLaren.
Be blessed,
iggy
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An Open Letter to Matt Slick

December 5, 2007

Matt,
I wanted to thank you for having Doug Pagitt on. I am also part of the “emerging church”. Though I am not a “member” of emergent, I have seen much value in the things they discuss. I see that they are especially of value in the area of Christoplatonism.
I wanted to also thank you for not being rude. So often these type of interviews are reduced to just that. I was a bit worried though with the opening. =) You might also find it interesting that I really appreciate Doug yet do not agree with him on all points… especially in the area of “eternal security”. Yet, there are orthodox people on both sides of that issue.
In the ec I hope you realize that there is much room in our conversation. As you might have already noticed there are some that view women pastors are fine and some like Mark Driscoll (who some of us no longer see as “emerging”), who do not see that is fine. Yet, within the “movement” (which is still an in-house debate whether to call it that or if it is one) we are open to challenging one another… with respect.

In regards to Karen Ward, I am not that read up on her myself. She may be considered a “leader” but there are some that consider ME that also… which I have to chuckle over as I am not that much of one if I am! LOL!
Yet, in this case you were unkind and did admit it to Doug. I think you should apologize.
Now, having said that, I agree with you that if she did state that it was OK to not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus then she is in error… and most other emerging/emergent I have run into would not agree with her at all.
Now, how we work though is if she is in error, and this is brought to the table of discussion so to say, she would be challenged by the rest of us. Again, mutual respect is help as one of the highest of values as we view commonly that God places high value on all humans be they believer or not. He sent His Son to die for us so we see that as one of the greatest values.
In this type of discussion we will firmly debate with one another. If one cannot “back their view” biblically… then we will agree to place in the secondary position of “is this an essential”.
In this iron sharpens iron… and I am sure Doug will talk with Karen and if it is as you state will discuss this.
As far as your ministry, I agree that you are in a very interesting place. To look for “orthodoxy” and to find whether one is a heretic or not would be tough to do. Yet, still if a person be a Mormon or JW, I would still place love in front of all things as I approached them. Mostly I would allow God to work as I did converse with them. I would challenge their view but not deride the person.
Walter Martin, who I understand mentored you, (unlike that other guy who stated he was mentored by Walter as he listened to a bunch of tapes) stated that this was very important to do… to not put down their leaders or attack their person… but focus solely on their doctrines.
As far as how this is done, I think it depends on the person. I have had to confront unbelievers who were sick from drinking binges… and after the second or third time I ran them to the emergency room I would be straight forward and tell them they needed help… and I would not let them get away with saying they had a “disease”. As, I am diabetic and have an actual disease I see that someone who places a substance purposely in their body, as in the case of alcohol is a drunk, not “sick” in the same way as someone with cancer. They need help but they do need to be confronted with their “sin” that is killing them. Cancer never comes in a glass nor did my diabetes. (I understand that this is a bit out of the AA understanding, but the bible calls a drunk a drunk) This may sound harsh but I am meaning that I have built a bit of a relationship… and in that can give that person my honest and blunt opinion. Also, I see that this person is dying and in that do not care to waste much time “just to be nice” though I do not want to be unkind.
I think that Doug was very much in your face, yet you could sense he cared and still had genuine love for you as you talked… I see that this is the way you need to confront others also.
Over all I wanted to thank you as I did. I have been attacked by some very harshly and called an apostate and told I am not saved, just becuase I have a link to Brian McLaren on my website… that is a bit silly as I also have Dr. J Vernon McGee and Chuck Missler. They seemed to not care in my confession of faith in Jesus but only that they hate those they see outside their own narrow belief and doctrine… in fact many of these get confused when I state things like “having a relationship with Jesus” or “must recieve the Life of Christ” which seems to me the most crucial of beliefs one should have as a believer in Jesus.
I wanted to recommend two other “emerging” folk.
Andrew Jones is a great guy and I think you would enjoy interviewing him. He is also known as the Tall Skinny Kiwi. I would also recommend Scot McKnight who is a professor and author and considered to be one of the finest up and coming theologians out there today. His blog is called Jesus Creed like his book of hte same name. Allen Roxburgh of ALLELON would be another person as he is very close to Brian McLaren.
Be blessed,
iggy
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Performatism: post-postmodernism

November 18, 2007

Performatism: post-postmodernism

Disclaimer: I know that this is very much over simplified, yet there is not much out there on this topic.

I wrote about the next thing beyond postmodernism… and I saw two different things happening at the same time.

Pragmatism and Performatism.

Most are familiar with pragmatism.

Here is a bit, (as it is still developing) on Performatism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Postmodernism

In a book on City as landscape: a post-postmodern view of design and planning (E&F Spon, 1986], Tom Turner argues that:
The modernist age, of “one way, one truth, one city”, is dead and gone. The postmodernist age of “anything goes” is on the way out. Reason can take us a long way, but it has limits. Let us embrace post-postmodernism—and pray for a better name.
“Performatism” was coined by Raoul Eshelman, as a term to describe or replace the term “Post-Postmodernism”. He goes on to describe it as “a new epoch in which subject, sign, and thing come together in ways that create an aesthetic experience of transcendency”…a place where meaning is created.[1] See also his other works.[2]
Mikhail Epstein also argues that “Post-postmodernism witnesses the re-birth of utopia after its own death, after its subjection to postmodernism’s severe scepticism, relativism and its anti-utopian consciousness”. Post-postmodernism has also been described as renewed faith.[3]

Here is a bit more on the subject and the “change” that is coming.

“The way out of postmodernism does therefore not lead through the intensified search for meaning, through the introduction of new, surprising forms or through the return to an authentic origin. Instead, it must take place through a mechanism completely impervious to postmodernism’s modes of dispersal, deconstruction and proliferation. This mechanism, which has been making itself felt with increasing strength in the cultural events of the last few years, can be best understood using the notion of performance. Performance in itself is, of course, not a phenomenon new or unknown. In Austin’s speech-act theory it refers to a language act that does what it promises (“I now pronounce you man and wife”). In the sense of an artistic event in the modernist avant-garde, a performance foregrounds or “makes strange” the border between life and art; in the happenings and performance art of postmodernism it integrates the human body or subject into an artistic context. The concept of performance I am suggesting here is, however, a different one. The new notion of performativity serves neither to foreground nor contextualize the subject, but rather to preserve it: the subject is presented (or presents itself) as a holistic, irreducible unit that makes a binding impression on a reader or observer. This holistic incarnation of the subject can, however, only succeed when the subject does not offer a semantically differentiated surface that can be absorbed and dispersed in the surrounding context. For this reason the new subject always appears to the observer as reduced and “solid,” as single- or simple-minded and in a certain sense identical with the things it stands for. This closed, simple whole acquires a potency that can almost only be defined in theological terms. For with it is created a refuge in which all those things are brought together that postmodernism and poststructuralism thought definitively dissolved: the telos, the author, belief, love, dogma and much, much more.”

Source: http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap0602/perform.htm

Now to break that down to be a bit more “user friendly”, If you buy a razor that advertises the “closest shave ever” it will deliver that promise. Or if you buy a car that has the “best gas mileage” it will deliver just that… The best gas mileage you ever got!

In it is also the idea of part become part of the bigger or whole picture. In that many make up the one… singular become the plurality. It is also about seeing people as a whole person. If one looks a the single person in all their complexity, they will be

Now, if we take this into the context of Christianity and faith… it has many incredible and some scary ramifications.

People will fall between the pragmatic and the performativity of their religion… whatever works and what ever performs and get results and the people see real results will be the future of all religions and faiths.

People will still justify if it works it must be true.

Now, as a person of faith in Christ Jesus, I see that this is no problem in how I approach my faith, yet many will not find that their faith is stable to withstand the ideals of “it does as it promises”.

So, does a fundamentalist who shouts that the devil is everywhere… and that wearing a suite is more respectful to God than wearing jeans to preach in have a chance in the future… most probably as they will stay in the pre-modern/modern view… yet will see that even less people are listening to their “old truth” and searching for “eternal truth” that has been around and proven.

The difference between “old truth” and “eternal truth” that that one is based on a reinterpretation and return to scripture (which is not bad) in the 16th century, and “eternal truth” is something that has and is and will always be. In that the truth from the “eternal” is more “holistic, irreducible unit that makes a binding impression on a reader or observer.”

If we as Christians do not look very close at our beliefs and doctrines we will find churches losing more people as the “promises given” have not given the results. If for an example your church promises that God heals, you better produce that fruit. Or, say that you teach your doctrine will change one’s life then the fruit better follow suite from the promise. If you preach prosperity, then your church better be getting very rich!

Yet even more I see that a person will seek out to see that they can be a part of a bigger picture that is making a difference. They seek to be a part of the whole. In that we need to help bring people into the bigger picture and understanding of being part of the Body of Christ.

Now, I see where the real struggle will be is that the fundamentalist will be seen as not matching what they stand for.. and to survive as people of true faith, we better better represent what or Who we stand for. Otherwise, people will look as us and see a fraud or a representation of Jesus Christ.

Now, here is the “eternal truth”. Man is dead in his sin. He will always “sin” and die, unless these issues are dealt with. You see the promise is of the resurrection that is in the future… yet we also experience this resurrection now in that lives are changed.

Churches better see men and women becoming more and more like Jesus. To be not reaching to become more “god-like” (meaning we seek to be divine and “like-god” as the serpent seduced Eve with.) but to reach to be the fully human God created us to be and that Jesus was and is. (Yes, Jesus is fully God and it seems I have to state this as some will think I am talking human potential and this is like that, but not anything like it… it is not about humans become more and better “sinful” humans… but that we are becoming the New Human that is born of Heaven as Jesus was and we are to realize our New Human potential as we are “in Christ”.)

We are being transformed in to the image of Christ by the renewal of our minds… for now as we are still in the perishable body, we must be changed now in our thinking. Later we will be clothed in the imperishable.

The idea that what we teach must be able to work in the lives of those we teach must be based on these “eternal truths” that before creation Christ Jesus was “the plan” for the “us” and that we would be placed in Him at just the right time.

It is now more than ever we must depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us.

I hope to develop these thoughts more fully as I see we are fast moving from the “post-modern” to the “post-post-modern” and into this Performatism.

For a more down to earth hands way of getting this is to look at people’s lives like Mother Teresa… or Shane Claiborne. To me these are people who walked or still walk as they believe… their performance of their faith matches their faith.

We must start to learn what it means to love one another… as we have just begun to learn to love God. This means we must attempt by God’s power to do this… even if it is not done well but to do it over and over until we can transcend what drags us down. In a biblical sense also to learn what it means to become overcomers… and that by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.