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January 21, 2008

Today marks the end of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour. This was meant to be only a two week tour, but events conspired to keep me from visiting SharperIron on the scheduled date. We decided we would add one date to the tour so I could make that stop.

The guys at SharperIron focused on the common belief that discernment is intuitive rather than something that requires dedicated thought and practice. How does Scripture tell us to view discernment as a step of rational thought guided by the Holy Spirit, rather than a supra-rational sixth sense? After that opening question, they asked several questions that furthered application. For example, If I use my knowledge of Scripture to judge some action as evil, and this discernment seems clear, how should I view my brother who does not make the same discernment? These were surprisingly difficult questions that I struggled with for quite some time.

Read my answers here.

I am grateful for all of the bloggers who chose to participate in this tour:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 21SharperIron
January 18, 2008

Today is the second to last day of the blog tour for my new book The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. For the past two weeks I’ve been answering questions that have been asked by a variety of bloggers. Though something neither I nor Crossway had tried before, this blog tour has been fun, I think, and I’ve been pleased to receive quite a lot of positive feedback. Today the tour moves to Church Matters, the blog of 9Marks Ministries. They asked the following two questions: Tim, from your perspective as a layperson, what steps would you like to see more pastors taking to grow in discernment? And, Are there specific areas of church life and pastoring in which you find yourself wishing pastors would exercise greater discernment?

Read my answers here

Here is a list of the blog tour stops:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 21SharperIron
January 17, 2008

We are nearing the end of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour and today the tour takes me to Michael Spencer’s blog. I appreciated these words from Michael: “Those of you looking for an argument can move along. I’m sure Tim and I disagree on many things, but scripture tells us that it’s a good thing when brothers dwell together in unity. Our agreement on the Good News of Jesus outweighs our disagreements.” He asked questions about what happens to churches and Christians who refuse to practice discernment, about freelance discernment ministries, about a Protestant magisterial and about Tim Horton’s (along with a few other topics).

Read my answers here

Once more, here is where the tour has gone and where it will go for its last two stops:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 21SharperIron
January 16, 2008

Today brings us to the eighth day of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour. For those who were concerned about the fact that we missed the planned stop at SharperIron, you’ll notice in the schedule below that we’ve added one more date to the tour and we’ll finish up at SharperIron on Monday.

Today I stop by for a visit with the Pyromaniacs. I’ve been reading this blog since it first came into existence—back when Phil Johnson was the only contributor. But, as you may know, Phil eventually decided to rename the blog and to take on a team of people to blog with him. Thus Dan Phillips, Frank Turk and Pecadillo came on the scene. Earlier this week Frank Turk took the opportunity to ask me quite a few questions about the sources I relied on, about my hermeneutic, about the use of humor and levity in discussing serious topics, and about which of the Pyro team is my favorite.

Read my answers here

And here, once again, is where the tour has gone and where it will go in the days ahead…

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 21SharperIron
January 15, 2008

The blog tour for The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment marches on and today makes a stop at Between Two Worlds, the blog of Justin Taylor. Chances are that if you read my blog, you also read Justin’s or are, at the very least, familiar with it. Justin’s site is an indispensable source for news and good links to other resources and it’s a blog I recommend above just about any other.

Here is what Justin asked me:

As the World’s Most Famous Canadian Reformed Blogger, you seek to practice discernment as you critically engage culture and review books. Having now extensively studied the concept of biblical discernment, I wonder what implications you think this has for “discernment blogging”? In part, I’m thinking of “watchdog” blogs and bloggers that have “discernment” as their primary focus. Speaking generally, what are they doing right, and where do they need correction?

Read my answer here

Here again is the schedule for this tour.

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 21SharperIron
January 11, 2008

This morning I continue with The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour by answering a question at Gender Blog, the official blog of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The question is one that is important, interesting and, I found, quite difficult to answer adequately and sensitively. Here is what they asked:

It is not an uncommon experience reported by female pastors today that they believe they have received an actual call from God to become a pastor. Here are two recent examples from the newspaper:

  • Jacci is not a rebel. She didn’t want to break new ground for those “crazy feminists.” She only wanted to follow God’s leading. After much study and soul-searching, Jacci’s thoughts became clear during a college trip to the Holy Land. “It was a call,” she stated. “It was quite amazing. I turned to a friend and said - I think God is calling me to be a minister. I was waiting for God to strike me dead. It was a huge shift in my thinking. That was not in the realm of possibility for my life the way I had grown up and had been taught.”

  • There was no writing in the sky, no voice from heaven. “I would have loved that,” said the Reverend Keri, “but that doesn’t happen. At least, it didn’t happen to me.” Nevertheless a bolt of some sort caused Pastor Keri to suddenly quit her job and go to seminary. She is now the new shepherdess of a 266 member church..

How would you help a woman discern whether or not she is receiving an actual “call from God” to become a church pastor?

Read my answer here

The tour will go on a weekend hiatus before continuing next Monday with visits to Jollyblogger, Justin Taylor, the Pyromaniacs, the Internet Monk and 9 Marks Ministries. And the questions just keep getting tougher! Here is the schedule:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 10, 2008

Today The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour moves to Adrian Warnock’s blog. In case you’ve missed it on previous days, the tour works like this: the owner of another blog poses a question about discernment and my answer is posted on his or her blog on an appointed day. I follow the comments made on the blog, addressing them as they arise. It has become, I hope, a chance to facilitate a productive and God-glorifying conversation about the issue of discernment through a series of exchanges with others. It allows me to attempt to address questions other people may have about discernment and potentially to address questions that are of particular importance to readers of other blogs. This is an unexpected stop on the tour as there was somehow a mix-up and we had to adapt on the fly. So thanks to Adrian for stepping in.

Today I answer a question that seems to come up whenever I discuss this topic and in just about every interview I’ve done recently: Isn’t spiritual discernment a gift of the Holy Spirit?

Read my answer here

Here is where the tour will go tomorrow and next week:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Adrian Warnock
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 09, 2008

Today The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment blog tour moves to The A-Team Blog. In case you’ve missed it on previous days, the tour works like this: the owner of another blog poses a question about discernment and my answer is posted on his or her blog on an appointed day. I follow the comments made on the blog, addressing them as they arise. It has become, I hope, a chance to facilitate a productive and God-glorifying conversation about the issue of discernment through a series of exchanges with others. It allows me to attempt to address questions other people may have about discernment and potentially to address questions that are of particular importance to readers of other blogs.

Here is what Amy of the A-Team asked:

Which aspect of contemporary Western culture do you think most hinders us (Christians shaped by this culture) from developing the skill of discerning the truth about God and His will? Which aspect of Western Christian culture? What practical steps can we take in our own lives to help us resist these particular cultural influences?

Read my answer here

Here is where to tour will go in the coming days:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Sharper Iron
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 08, 2008

Today marks the second day of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment Blog Tour. The tour works like this: the owner of another blog will pose a question about discernment and my answer will be posted on his or her blog on an appointed day. I will follow the comments made on the blog, addressing them as they arise. It will be, I hope, a chance to facilitate a productive and God-glorifying conversation about the issue of discernment through a series of exchanges with others. It allows me to attempt to address questions other people may have about discernment and potentially to address questions that are of particular importance to readers of other blogs.

Today we move the tour to Tall Skinny Kiwi, the blog of Andrew Jones. Andrew asked me two questions. First, he asked Why all this controversy about having only trained, credentialed professions writing books like this from people that give verbal assent to the priesthood of all believers? He followed that question with this one: The wisdom of crowds in the blogosphere can no doubt help in the self-correction of error but what do you see are the dangers?.

Read my answers here.

Here is where the tour will take me over the next couple of weeks:

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Sharper Iron
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters
January 07, 2008

As I mentioned recently, this week and the next will see me participating in a “blog tour” in support of my new book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. The owner of another blog will pose a question about discernment and my answer will be posted on his or her blog on an appointed day. I will follow the comments made on the blog, addressing them as they arise. It will be, I hope, a chance to facilitate a productive and God-glorifying conversation about the issue of discernment through a series of exchanges with others. It allows me to attempt to address questions other people may have about discernment and potentially to address questions that are of particular importance to readers of other blogs.

The first day of this blog tour takes me to Joe Carter’s Evangelical Outpost. Joe’s blog is one of the first ones I ever read and has been a daily stop for years. I’m thrilled, then, that he was willing and eager to participate. He asks What does discernment mean from a biblical perspective?

Read my answer here.

Here is how the tour will shape up over the next two weeks.

January 7Evangelical Outpost
January 8Tall Skinny Kiwi
January 9A-Team
January 10Sharper Iron
January 11Gender Blog
January 14Jollyblogger
January 15Between Two Worlds
January 16TeamPyro
January 17Michael Spencer
January 18Church Matters

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