Monday, February 16, 2009

Christianity Today - Radical Faith

The Feb issue of Christianity Today hit the shelves last week. I wrote a story on My Search for Radical Faith that landed on page 36. If you took the time to read it, I'd love to hear from you. If so, what made the biggest impact on you?

Of all the articles I've written, the process behind writing this one effected me the most - so far anyway. I had originally written this at the request of Relevant Magazine. But after I submitted the first draft to the editorial staff, without much explanation, they asked me to change the direction. But that direction - and the surprise ending - was something I could never change because it had so deeply effected me.

In a twist, a fellow Judson University alum, Ed Gilbreath at Urban Ministries in Chicago, referred the story to a CT editor who really loved it.

Here is a link to the web version. I'd say "enjoy the read", but if you genuinely read the story, joy is probably not the first emotion that you'll have. So... umm... more peace on you then.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, I just read your article in Ct and you said you'd been in Denver and hadn't found any radical Christians?! Might I suggest you check out Scum of the Earth Church and its alternative ministries. And for good measure, the YWAM base in Denver is home to their skiers, boarders and skaters discipleship training.
Blessings, and good luck with the mortgage company.

Fran Blomberg

Mike Barrett said...

Fran, thanks for the comment. But I think you missed the overall message of my CT story. My conclusion was not so much that I could not find them, but that I did not know what to look for. My definition of what was "radical" was wrong. YWAM and Scum of the Earth folks notwithstanding, true radicals are everywhere and difficult to spot.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, throughout. Probably not popular, but it's time someone points out the real definition of "radical" as you have -- even if it means they've been sitting next to it all along and it looks like their father. I'm 47 and we used to teach that what was on the outside didn't matter--I was afraid we were slipping in a major way. Your article is an excellent affirmation that the "stuff" ebbs and flows, but radicals for Christ come in all flavors, yes, even gray hair and business suits. Thank you.
Joni in Jacksonville, Fla.

rene the rugrat said...

Excellent article.

As I was reading I was thinking of one 50 something man I know.
He has MS, and as a direct result his wife left him, but he has soldiered on as both a volunteer prison chaplain and a small group leader and it is that small group that really makes him a radical.

This is a group that no one would choose to lead, including himself, but he does. The members can all be described using one or more of the follwing terms, self-absorbed, mentally ill, addict, having authority issues, physically disabiled, mildly retarded, financially impoverished and spiritually wounded, among others.
He looks "normal" and if you met him he probably would not even mention his faith at first, he is also a full-time cyclist, claiming it is his workout regime that has kept him out of a wheelchair to date.

Also since you are so close to British Columbia you should make the effort to meet Brad Jersak in Abbotsford at Freshwind Christian Fellowship - an ordinary man who is supposedly doing an exraordinary work. He has stories about other churches sending their problem people to him.

Anonymous said...

The deepest most real faith is by it's own nature radical. It's roots grow deep into God. In this world it makes no sense at all.
When we are guided by continual and very difficult circumstances to finally give over our life to Christ for his purposes....oh my, it's usually when all else has either been stripped away or completely destroyed.
When everything we personally hold as precious is gone, then comes the freedom to walk in radical faith.
We are free to truly believe the words Christ taught. We are able to perceive God's very heart. When you know someone's heart you know what to expect from them. To know by experience the heart of God is to know he can be trusted always. To be able to trust always, is to step out of the boat. To step out of the boat when the waves are crashing violently against the darkest waters is faith. Radical Faith.

Robert Peterson said...

Thanks Mike. Great article. Just read it this evening in a copy of CT that made it's way to Cameroon, West Africa. Radicals can get discouraged sometimes too and I'm sure your visit was an encouragement to Rich and Ellen.