Podcast Bonus Episode – Phil Drysdale – The Deconstruction Network

Phil Drysdale

In This episode we speak to Phil Drysdale from The Deconstruction Network. With deconstructers standing as perhaps the fastest growing spiritual movement in the west, this research is tremendously important. Phil is among those doing research into deconstructers which evidences a different picture to what institutional supporters paint them out to be.

This is a bonus episode that best slots in with Season 2 where we spoke with fellow deconstructers.

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Podcast Season 5

@ Aaron Visuals, sourced from unsplace.com

We’re hard at work planning, recording, and editing some bonus episodes and Season 5 of The podcast of the Urban Mystic. Through the previous seasons we’ve really found our voice, gained clarity on our value for intimacy with God and problems associated therewith, and will focus directly on the experience of God this for Season 5.

We’re really tuned into exploring the tangible experience of God and developing a relational spirituality. By the ‘tangible experience of God’ we mean the experience of God showing up in Person to speak and act. And by ‘relational spirituality’ we mean something different to spirituality as character formation arising from the doing church paradigm, the devotional paradigm, and the Christian Wisdom Tradition. We’re thinking of relational spirituality as about entering deeply into living and loving in all our relationships yet as rooted in a value for intimacy with God and therewith relational engagement with God.

Miniseries Episode 5 – ORT – Robert D Cornwall

Robert D Cornwall

In episode 5 of our miniseries on Open and Relational Theology we squeeze in one final. Tim stumbled across an article Bob had written and so we decided to extend the series and include our conversation with him. Bob has also published a number of books, some of which he speaks to in this conversation. You can find his work here if you would like to dig further into his thinking.

Urban Mystic 2020 and 2021

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

This has been quite a year following on from last year with a continuing pandemic exacerbating the frayed edges of our society. The picture above is kinda how I’m feeling 😂. Half-way through 2019 I made the decision to stop supporting existing churches and serving as a missional coach encouraging institutional expression of the church tied to ‘the doing church paradigm’. This enabled me to complete my Masters in Theology (Spirituality) and raised the question of what on earth to do instead. This decision resulted in a tremendous amount of anxiety as I needed to consider what the expression of my calling is to be when leaving all the institutional opportunities.

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Miniseries – ORT – Bonus Episode – Tim’s FB Post

Tim Victor

This is a bonus episode we’re squeezing in between conversations with our miniseries guests. It arises from a Facebook post Tim wrote (link) about healing and how we follow the Kingdom of Jesus behaviour to go in an ambassadorial way into the world to do as Jesus did/does. 
It is a stand alone conversation, though in many ways it connects deeply with so much of our thinking and conversing over the past year. 

At the root is a desire to take seriously the God who speaks and acts in this world, and draw near to that God, to self and to others in a way that acknowledges the living presence and desire of this alive God. 

We’d love to hear from you in response. Drop us a message or email so we can connect.

You can also support our work through our Patreon Page.

Miniseries Episode 4 – T.C. Moore

T.C. Moore

TC Moore joins us this episode of the podcast for a conversation about Open and Relational Theology. Of course, we start by digging into his life story and first experiences of God – and it’s a fascinating story.

We also spend some time looking into TC’s ROSE acronym which he offers in contradistinction to John Calvin’s 5 points of Calvinism – most often referred to by the TULIP acronym. You can access the Youtube link here to a longer and deeper dive into TC’s work on Open and Relational Theology.

We’re so grateful to TC and our other two guests, Delvyn and Rory, for joining us on this miniseries. Next week will be the last episode in this series as Tim and Steve wrap up and reflect on the guests and the three conversations. 

You can also support our work through our Patreon Page.

Miniseries Episode 3 – ORT – Rory Randall

Rory Randall

Rory Randall from the Center for Open and Relational Theology joins us in conversation on this episode of the podcast. Rory has published a book recently entitled, “An Open Theist Renewal Theology: God’s Love, the Spirit’s power, and Human Freedom“. We asked Rory to share some handles with which to understand this emerging theology. As usual though the theory is woven into the backdrop of life story, and so Rory shares his first experiences of God within the telling of his life story. Towards the end of the episode we return to the question of how we experience God and what it means to ‘practice the presence of God’. 

We hope you enjoy this conversation. We’d love to hear from you in response to any of our conversations or topics. 

You can also support our work through our Patreon Page.

Miniseries Episode 2 – ORT – Delvyn Case III

Delvyn Case III

In this episode of the podcast of the urban mystic we speak to Delvyn Case III about his first experience of God, his work, and ministry in ecumenical spaces. You can find out more on his website.

We really weren’t sure if Delvyn was an Open and Relational Theology (ORT) devotee, but his story of process and deconstruction brings nuance to the impulse to look for a new theological framework within which to move and breathe more freely. For this reason we thought we’d include our conversation with him as part of this series. Delvyn considers himself a progressive Christian and is in fact into ORT.

Del is a musician, educator, writer, scholar and speaker. You can head across to his website to connect with some of his current work, or connect with him on Facebook.

On abandoning abandonment

My morning photo

There’s a well known piece of writing “Footsteps in the sand.” Its about someone walking a beach, looking back, and noting there to have been a pair of footsteps followed by a single set. When asking why they’d been left to walk alone, God responds to say, “That’s where I carried you.” And though that’s true for many and offered as an encouragement it falls short of two further legs on the journey. There’s a point in everyone’s journey where God abandons them and another where they abandon God. The footsteps story may speak to one part of people’s journey where God may have carried them (and not everyone experiences this and we need to discern whether they have before offering this as though they ought to have), but offering “Footsteps” to those abandoned by God is unwise, ill-discerned, and unhealthy. Similarly, to offer footsteps to those enduring a period of the abandonment of God by them is likewise ridiculous.

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Faltering starts, but stepping out again

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

My life story includes a rich trove of mystical experiences. This includes the Divine Instigator prompting me to connect with people, not always telling me why, and a shit-ton of just awkwards. Having deconstructed from this I’m stepping forward again. “/Hello World.”

For a while I pushed boldly into the immediacy of relational engagement with God over the classical “evangelism”. And though the commercialism of the HLF and church enabled this it was also disabling. I ran into frustration with the broader church experience of people and for myself. The deconstruction necessary wasn’t possible within churches and I’ve come to believe does not lie in repeating ecclesial or monastic structures. These things are rooted in what Ian McKenzie on the Mythic Masculine Podcast calls “dominator culture” and we need what’s after that to emerge from the ground up in “relator culture”. [1]

My deconstruction around this has been longer than my deconstruction of the institutionalism of the church. It’s been more personal because as it includes my own wants and the complexity of my inner life and intimate engagement with God. I’ve not been able to “want” to hear from God or own my “desire” to see people experience face-to-Face encounters with whatever follows from that. My level of expectation is tremendous. I’m continuously told by most that it’s too much; in dreams that it’s too little. The tectonic tension within tremendous as I both want and don’t want the expectation and desire. I internalised and ended up traumatised and re-traumatised by the constant criticisms which layered onto deep relational trauma.

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