In this episode we explore this season as a conversational pilgrimage shared between the hosts, listeners, and conversation partners. We go on to consider that our human-to-human relationships offer insight into our human-to-divine relationship, and therewith honesty in terms of where our relationship really is at.
In this episode we explore the transition in Christianity from presence to mystery. In the primal expression we find high concentrations of engagement with God in small communities of Christ followers. Such experience is non-negotiable. After the creation of the institution of the Church we then find ridiculously low concentrations of relational engagement with God amidst a vast population now defined as Christian by citizenship and birth. Ever since relational engagement with God has a not been considered essential nor has it been required. The result is that we believe, behave, and belong as those raised Christian in a mostly Christian world.
In this episode, we explore the shift from presence to mystery and the challenge of trying to engage God relationally in the context of a life and faith defined by mystery and silence.
In this episode we continue the conversation around relational experience in relation to other people and in relation to God.
Here we distinguish between God’s non-relational relationships and God’s relational relationships. This might sound complex but it really comes together as we talk about our human to human relationships and the relationship we can have to ‘the idea of God within us’ as opposed to having ideas about God and relating to God as the Person who draws near and withdraws.
Our latest episode kicks off the new season of the podcast of the urban mystic.
In this episode, Tim Victor and Steve Carter talk about the season and what’s ahead. This is our most ambitious season yet and we’ll be establishing Relational Spirituality in concept and in practice. As a model of spirituality it differs to devotional and introspective spiritualities which grapple with the mystery of God in activities. In contrast, Relational Spirituality focuses on God drawing near and withdrawing. It is focused on the presence of God rather than the mystery of God as behind the scenes.
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.
* 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.
An outline of the episodes in season one of the podcast of the urban mystic.
In Season One of the podcast of the urban mystic Tim introduces some ideas Then Tim and Steve dive into conversation with each other and explore their deconstruction of the doing church paradigm.
Below is a list of episodes and a short note about them:
Episode 01: Introducing Urban Mystic, Definitions and Caveats (April 11 2020). Here we introduce and explore the relationship of and differentiation between spirituality, religion and mysticism within our capacity to relate to ideas, causes, objects, processes, institutions and persons. This is the podcast to follow if you’re interested in a post-religious relational pursuit of God rooted in experience. Listen here.
Episode 02: The horizon and the transcendent (April 27 2020). In this episode we explore how practical language enables us go about changing our experience. Here the idea of the horizon is explored along with the meaning of the transcendent. Listen here.
Episode 03 – From religious institutions to what comes after (May 2 2020). In this episode Tim is joined by Steve and they share a somewhat focused yet meandering conversation around the transition from institutional religion to what may come after. Listen here.
Episode 04: Worldviews and problems that arise with religion, spirituality and mysticism (May 18 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve discuss worldviews and some problems of translation and interpretation that arise across worldviews. Listen here.
Episode 05: The problem of God (May 25 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve explore the interaction between human beings and spiritual beings. This phenomenon is central to the three great monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and near-universally present in primal cultures and our present world. Head on over to urbanmystic.blog for a mindmap summarising the phenomenon. Listen here.
Episode 06: Our own experiences – Part 1 (June 5 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve share some of their own mystical experiences. This evidences how down to earth such experience is and how well it can integrate into daily life. This is Part 1 of 2. Listen here.
Episode 07: Our own experiences – Part 2 (June 12 2020). This is the second episode of the two part conversation where Tim and Steve share their own personal or mystical experiences. These are normal experiences that can be pursued, cultivated, and shared. This is a refreshing alternative to the notion of faith as somehow disconnected from daily life and relationships. Listen here.
Episode 08: Understanding personal mystical experiences – Part 1 (June 19 2020). In this episode Tim puts forward a model enabling us to understand personal mystical experience while respecting the diversity of the phenomena. This is part 1 of a 3 or 4 part conversation. If you’d like to see the diagrams provided click here. Listen here.
Episode 09: Understanding personal mystical experiences – Part 2 (June 27 2020). In this episode Tim puts forward a model enabling us to understand personal mystical experience while respecting the diversity of the phenomena. This is part 2 of a 3 or 4 part conversation. Listen here.
Episode 10: Emerging caveats (July 5 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve briefly discuss some emerging caveats. These are by way of answering some of the questions we’ve been fielding offline. Listen here.
Episode 11: Understanding personal mystical experiences – Part 3 (July 23 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve continue the conversation around the model of personal mystical experience. This is part 3 of a 4 part conversation. Listen here.
Episode 12: understanding personal mystical experiences – Part 4 (August 3 2020). In this episode Tim and Steve continue the conversation around the model of personal mystical experience. This is part 4 of a 4 part conversation. Here the focus is on distinguishing relational engagement with God from faith as the emporer’s new clothes. Listen here.
In episode 6 we deconstruct the notion of a calling and in episode 7 we deconstruct spirituality. This is a conversation between Steve Carter, my cohost, and myself. It is split into two parts. It was inspired by our conversations with Christopher Harrison and Dion Forster in Part 1 and Part 2. It was such a privilege to hear their stories and get to know them.
The first kind of deconstruction represented on the podcast of the urban mystic relates to the professional career in the ministry. Our first guest, Christopher Harrison, deconstructed his own career in ministry and now works as a missional coach enabling others to develop a broader, more creative and relevant approach to doing ministry. Our second guest, Dr. Dion Forster, likewise deconstructed his career in ministry and now serves as an academic for the church. Both conversations are richly layered with their experience in life and work.