Spirituality

'Basic Instinct' Author Has Damascus Road Experience

After a lifetime of wild living…

“He felt an overwhelming peace. His heart stopped pounding. His hands stopped twitching. He saw a ‘shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands.'”
–Joe Eszterhas, author, Basic Instinct and new spiritual memoir Crossbearer

Toledo Blade Article: ‘Basic Instinct’ author writes book about faith

‘Basic Instinct’ Author Has Damascus Road Experience

After a lifetime of wild living…

“He felt an overwhelming peace. His heart stopped pounding. His hands stopped twitching. He saw a ‘shimmering, dazzling, nearly blinding brightness that made me cover my eyes with my hands.'”
–Joe Eszterhas, author, Basic Instinct and new spiritual memoir Crossbearer

Toledo Blade Article: ‘Basic Instinct’ author writes book about faith

What Does A Spiritually Whole Person Look Like?

“A spiritually whole person longs in certain classical ways. She longs for God and the beauty of God, for Christ and Christlikeness, for the dynamite of the Holy Spirit and spiritual maturity. She longs for spiritual hygiene itself—and not just as a consolation prize when she cannot be rich and envied instead. She longs for other human beings: she wants to love them and to be loved by them. She hungers for social justice. She longs for nature, for its beauties and graces, for the sheer particularity of the way of a squirrel with a nut. As we might expect, her longings dim from season to season. When they do, she longs to long again.

She is a person of character consistency, a person who rings true wherever you tap her. She keeps promises. She weeps with those who weep and, perhaps more impressively, rejoices with those who rejoice. She does all these things in ways that express her own personality and culture but also a general “mind of Christ” that is cross-culturally unmistakable.

Her motives include faith—a quiet confidence in God and in the mercies of God that radiate from the self-giving work of Jesus Christ. She knows God is good; she also feels assured that God is good to her. Her faith secures her against the ceaseless oscillations of pride and despair familiar to every human being who has taken refuge in the cave of her own being and tried there to bury all her insecurities under a mound of achievements. When her faith slips, she retains faith enough to believe that the Spirit of God, whose presence is her renewable resource, will one day secure her faith again.”
–Cornelius Plantinga, Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be, pg.34-35

CT Editor: “God Spoke to Me”

A professor of theology, author, and contributing editor for Christianity Today wrote an article about how God spoke to him. The article starts out:

I’m a middle-aged professor of theology at a well-known Christian university. I’ve written award-winning books. My name is on Christianity Today’s masthead. For years I’ve taught that God still speaks, but I couldn’t testify to it personally. I can only do so now anonymously, for reasons I hope will be clear.

Find the whole article here: My Conversation With God

A New Kind of Life

I want to spend a month in the wilderness, with nothing but healthy food to eat, natural spring water from the mountain to drink, my soul, and the person who made all the universes. I have spent 25 – by the time May rolls around, 26 – years of my life mostly existing and letting life happen to me, being blown wherever the wind of the world wishes to carry me. I will not spend the next 50 years, God-willing, like this. I want a disciplined life – physically, mentally, spiritually – so that I am a receptacle that God can use to do in me what He wishes to do in me. I didn’t create myself, so I have no right to live as I please. This is not something I have any control over – I cannot choose to end my life and bring myself into existence again so that I’ll be held accountable to nobody but myself. This fact will remain forever – I have been created by somebody else; I am not my own.

In the past I have tried to totally re-orient my life in a good direction, even in the God-direction, and I’ve failed, usually within the first week. I don’t pretend to believe that if I spent a month in seclusion everything will be completely different. We are essentially the same people throughout life. The person I was when I was 10 is not much different than the person I was when I was 18, which is very similar to the person I am today. Sure I’ve grown. I’ve learned. I’ve been through life experiences that have made me who I am today. But an introverted person doesn’t usually turn extroverted just because he admires extroverts. A lazy person doesn’t become a super-disciplined man because he realizes he needs to accomplish more. Some people don’t struggle with laziness. Give one woman 24 free hours and she’ll sit on a couch, watch TV, surf the internet, talk to her friends on the phone, and read a novel. Give another woman 24 free hours and she’ll start her own business. Everybody is different. I can’t believe that I’m going to be a different man because of one month in solitude and a change in geographic location.

When I moved to China for a year I didn’t think my struggles could follow me up 30,000 feet at 600 mph, over a vast ocean, through numerous time zones, across several continents, and through my new locked apartment door. But they did. China didn’t change fundamentally who I was. I learned some things. I met some new people. But I was still Victor. Same Victor.

Hopefully the difference this time will be that I am Victor under a different authority. For most of my life I’ve been God to myself. I didn’t make myself but I acted as if I did. I didn’t know what was best for me but my actions proved that I believed otherwise.

In God’s dealings with certain humans in history, when their father died God gave them a new name. In the Hebrew language and culture, a name was not just a name, but it had to do with actually who a person was. When Avram’s father died and he moved to a new land, God re-named him according to his plans for him. He was no longer Avram but Abraham, because his destiny was to be the father of billions of others. In the Scriptures, whoever named a person or animal had authority over them.

I don’t plan on having a new name (although anything is possible with Him) but I do hope to have some sort of idea about my destiny. I don’t think this is always a cut-and-dry thing that God reveals to each of us once-and-for-all at a certain point in our lives (though he has done that with a few people), but I also would be foolish to continue letting the wind of the world blow me where it wishes, molding into a person I was not intended to be, slowly raping me of an existence that is exploding with the kind of life that God has in himself.