* Random fun fact – there’s a minimum distance between camera and subject for the portrait mode to work on my phone. Turns out my arms aren’t that long, my neck only bends so far, and I can’t get a half finger up alongside the three for season 3.5!
We’re recording a mini-series on Open and Relational Theology with the plan to publish in November. Season 4 will take the podcast to the end of the year. We’ll be taking a break from recording and publishing while we work on two “next seasons.” The one includes a number of guests who are ‘off the map’ when it comes to cultivating and nurturing community. This will take some time to organise and we really want to up our production game. This will likely be our Season 6. I believe this to be an incredibly valuable season and one that will be of interest to anyone interested in cultivating community. The second series we’re working on will likely be Season 5. This season will consist largely of conversations between Tim and Steve and will really dive into the experience of God and the question of intimacy with God.
Thanks to everyone joining us on this journey as guests, listeners, and conversation partners.
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 MasculinePodcast calls “dominator culture” and we need what’s after that to emerge from the ground up in “relator culture”. 
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.
On the podcast of the urban mystic we ask our guests about their earliest experience of God and how that leads into their careers. This is a very important question to ask and its been really interesting feeling like there’s often a wrestling for an answer. What do you make of the question? Do you feel like there’s a wrestling for an answer? What do you make of how the guests answers?
We’re joined by Michael Ward, author of The Sixth Sola, for two episodes:
In S03E06 we get to know Michael and explore his early experience of God and some of his deconstruction. These are great conversations for anyone whose deconstruction leads toward exploring the reality of God within the context of faith.
In S03E07 we we dive into a discussion around what walking in the spirit means in terms of experiencing God. These are great conversations for anyone whose deconstruction leads toward exploring the reality of God within the context of faith.
You can find out more about The Sixth Sola on his website.
In S03E04 Karl Teichert – A cry for intimacy with God we explore.
We’re joined by Karl Teichert, director of OC Africa, for the second of two episodes. In this episode we hear about the research conducted by OC Africa into the training needs of church leaders in South Africa. This work is profound in that leaders reported their primary needs as relational. Church leaders are starved for intimacy with God and longing for mentors. This is a deep dive that frames the research and dials into the need for relational engagement with God.
On the podcast of the urban mystic we are exploring the tension between faith and experience in Season 3, which is actually a tension between faith and relationship. Our first guest is Karl Teichert the Africa Area Director for OC International. Karl moved to Johannesburg, South Africa in 1997 to serve as a missionary with OC Africa. Karl worked with Willie Botha and David Bulger to research and publish A Cry for Intimacy with God. This research evidences the absence of intimacy with God among church leaders throughout South Africa and, by implication, in other nations following a similar doing church paradigm.
This is solid research standing alongside others that really supports what we’re wrestling with on the podcast of the urban mystic.
This week we launched Season 3 of the podcast of the urban mystic. Listen to the episode online. There’s also a new website up and a Patreon. Here Tim and Steve discuss the series focus and that the podcast of the urban mystic is only the tip of the iceberg.
Our focus for Season 3 is on the tension between faith and experience. This is as faith meaning belief in God on the basis of faith and not experience. It means accepting God on the foundations of faith as meaning the authority of the Bible or Church. So the tension between ‘faith and experience’ is actually as between ‘faith and relationship’. Are we expected to believe in God apart from experiencing God? Does it makes sense that we relate to God apart from relationship with God? Does this personal God only relate to us indirectly through the historical Jesus and the Bible? Explore this with us in Season 3. Listen to the episode here.
The work of the urban mystic includes one-on-one conversations. We also see people one-on-one either in person for a cuppa or online via Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp. These are conversations similar to what we have on the podcast. These conversations are personal and include questions that emerging from listening to the podcast and from people’s lives, stories related to God’s absence and presence, and even people challenging our thinking. If you’d like to connect with us, fill out the form on ourwebsite.
The vision of the urban mystic is much larger than the podcast. We seek to encourage individuals to adopt the practice of the presence of God. And we’re working toward bringing our courses online which have a proven track record of enabling people to adopt a relational paradigm. In the longer term we foresee a network of individuals sharing the value for intimacy with God gathering and practicing the presence of God. Please connect with us via our website if you’re inspired by this vision.
Thank you so much to those who currently support the work of the urban mystic. Without your support it would not be possible to continue this work. This year I’m looking to step out further and increase the work—to go from being a small fish in a small pond to a small fish in a bigger pond. Starting a Patreon is an important step to expanding the work of the urban mystic. I discern that the next step is not only to keep going with the Podcast and add Video via YouTube but also to facilitate groups and develop a post-church community. I feel ill-equipped for this. Nervous. Scared. Much of the time I feel that God has made a mistake calling me to this. But the urge is there and won’t leave me. So I’m going with it. Here Patreon offers an opportunity to connect with people and receive support. This will enable urban mystic to develop a team who connects one-on-one with people and produces digital content as well as hosts online and face-to-face groups.
In the next few weeks I’ll launch our Patreon page. Kindly consider supporting the work of the urban mystic. But even if not, know that the work will stay de-commercialised. All our courses, our one-on-one work, podcast, upcoming YouTube material, etc. will stay 100% free. We’re not looking to establish any kind of transactional relationship.