Whole Means Healthy at a New location

March 30, 2010


I have decided to change the location of this post, because I need to learn only one blogging service rather than multiple ones.  I also am not sure I was satisfied with the ease of this service.  I have been using another and I am more familar with it, so that criticism could be unfair. 

In any case, the new location is: http://wholemeanshealthy.blogspot.com.  Please free free to clink on that link for any new material.  The old material was also transferred there as well on 3/30/2010. 

Thank you for your interest.

In Christ,


Whole Means Healthy for the Processes That Get Things Done

February 28, 2010

One of my greatest frustrations is watching nothing get done.  Don’t you feel the same?  Yet I’m not just talking about politicians and Washington.  I am talking about life in general and not the least the life of the church.  How can we afford to get so little done, when a credible book title reads: The American Church in Crisis?

What I would like to suggest is a process that goes back a ways,but that has a record of working.   My professors in college referred to it as the cultural processes of language.  I would like to expand it into the cultural processes of the church and also compare it to the processes of our American political system.  

The Protestant Reformation (or Evangelical movement) had a cultural process that perhaps needs to be made more explicit, so that we know what process works rather than getting side-tracked by processes that claim that lineage, but get nothing comparable done.  Let’s face it.  Luther got things done.  Calvin got things done.  You know what I mean.  Read the history books. 

We are not getting it done in the same way.  So let me outline my professor’s insights, then talk about what went awry and then talk about how the process applies to us. 

My Professor outlined things this way (with a few modifications by yours truly):

I. Process and Non-Process (the whole)

           A. Continuity and Change (the Amount)

          B.   Bond and Barrier/Liberty (the Relationship)

          C.  Rule and Freedom (the Action)

         D.  Sense and Nonsense (the Thing)

In the universe of multiple languages these apparently are the processes by which things get done.  If you don’t follow these processes, you don’t get the job of communication done.  Instead, communication fails.  By analogy, I think these rules can be applied to the Christian Church. 

I think there was a process that was whole and therefore healthy that allowed the Protestant Reformation to accomplish healthy things.  They also where balanced in another sense besides being whole.  They were balanced in how they saw the process of doing actions.  

Their process was not all about change, or all about barrier (liberty), or all about freedom or all about nonsense (calling all present thinking that).   It was instead a process that Luther saw as traveling a middle path between a  rock on his right and a hard place on his left.  So his process of Reformation also consisted of continuity, bond, rule and sense.  He was no extreme radical by his own profession. 

Likewise politically, in the United States, George Washington was no radical.  He was very upset with Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense, who later went to France and contributed to the French Revolution, for Paine’s later radical political processes that he supported in France. 

Neither the Protestant Reformation nor the American Revolution were as radical in their cultural processes as they are sometimes portrayed in high school or college classes.  Often you hear only the themes of change, liberty, freedom and non-sense (“that’s hogwash”) bantered about with no mention of the other aspects of the process.  You don’t hear that Luther tried to establish continuity (w/Augustine, etc.), bond (w/the early church), rule (w/his concept of law) and sense (w/his views on science).   He and other Protestants lapsed both ways without a doubt.  They weren’t always balanced. Yet it was on the whole a middle path. 

Our problems is that the middle path is often not explicit enough historically to avoid being mushy.  First, it needs to be whole to be healthy; not just a middle path to be balanced.  Second, because it is not clear enough the middle path has not been regularly strait or straight, but intermittedly distorted or windy.

I think my professor’s systematic approach is healthy, because it looks at the system of language as a whole.  But it is also healthy in the area of action or process, because it is balanced and uses both of the parts of a process needed to get things accomplished. 

I think we are stuck and getting nothing done, because our process is neither whole and healthy nor balanced and getting things done.   I think the lack of a balanced system means not getting things done in the real world, just like the lack of a balanced process in language leads to no communication getting done.  Is my meaning clear? 

Let’s get things done again by using a balanced process that does things, rather than either an overly conventional or overly radical approach that either heads us into a rock or into a hard place.  I can tell you from experience, neither one is pleasant. 

In Christ,


Whole Means Healthy After All Else Fails

January 29, 2010

Thomas Edison was an incredible example of perseverance.  While interviewers wanted to know about his final success, he knew that the key was in the 99 attempts that failed and not in the 1 attempt that succeeded.  What we often miss is how normal it is to have to keep going after 99 failures.  What we maybe miss even more is that we each have a long path of failures before most of our successes. 

We think Edison is the exemption, not the rule.  Yet from my own experience, long before I considered that whole means healthy, I tried a barrage of other things that failed.  I became a real expert on how to fail.  Some ideas failed miserably and some failed gloriously, but in the end they all failed.  At the ripe age of 10, I thought I found the resolution to my spiritual struggles.  Yet at the next struggle, it was ill-equipped to help me.  At age 17, I found resolution again to another struggle.  Yet at the next struggle, it actually made things far worse and drove me into the darkness of depression.   Then at age 23, I again emerged a little more cautious, yet hopeful as I emerged stronger and I was able to defeat depression through lessons from God’s Word.  Yet once again, this resolution was poorly suited to my next struggle.  Still again, I found resolution to another struggle with still more caution and humility.  Yet even with that caution and humility, the next struggle was not resolved by my previous lessons.  I had to learn yet more and more and still fail and fail.   Finally, in 2004, I found a resolution that brought together the lessons of all that I had been taught previously. 

Yet in many ways, I can say that I was perhaps open to this 1 resolution, because I had first failed 99 times.  I think my thinking arises from knowing what it is to try something and see it fail before being willing to seek out a success.  A lot is learned the hard way.  Only after that, does 1 idea come the easy way. 

I consider that one of the greatest applications of what I have learned from wholeness is that Edison was right and the interviewer wrong.  This world is not a place where everyone is seeking success and just needs to find it.  Rather people often have to fail at something else before they will accept a successful option.  As long as they see something as potentially successful, even if everyone else knows it will fail, they will hold onto that bound to fail option. 

Again, I see this with my own strength or my physical health.   I have tried many many options to bring my physical health to where it should be.  Yet I still have an unresolved difficulty.  A resolution came in 2003 for 6 months, yet neither I nor my doctors to this date, understand what made the difference.  So I am still trying options that might potentially work.  Like Edison, yet under the inspiration of the hope that God inspires, I am marching on toward what I hope will resolve my health issue for the long term. 

Yet it is often a long and lonely path.  It seems that so many things I have tried, that I thought would work or a doctor thought would work, have failed.  It is also true that the path is lonely, because there are many naysayers that claim to know the answer already.  They perhaps think that 99 attempts must mean I am on the wrong path.  Yet there lurks the danger for them. 

Yet I now know this.  Wholeness has brought many successes that were not previously there.  It has also continued to meet new challenges the previous failures did not.  I think Thomas Kuhn, the sociologist of science, and Imre Lakatos, the philospher of science, both had it right.  Old ideas die hard.  They must fail before we give up on them.  That sounds sort of biblical doesn’t it, in light of our sinful tendencies.  

Perhaps failure is the soil that then the plant of success can grow in.  It is as though the seed cannot be planted until the ground is well tilled.  So when people still resist an idea, perhaps it is true, they are still working on a failure.  Just wait until they realize the failure.  Just maybe then, they will accept the one thing that succeeds after all else fails. 

In Christ,


Whole Means Healthy Without Giving In

January 12, 2010

Whole means healthy has a tremendous number of implications.  One of the greatest problems for many of us is that without a focus on being whole, we feel a great deal of insecurity.  The word for healthy in the Bible is also translated as sound.  We lack security and soundness, because we have placed so little attention on what creates that security in our personalities.

I have found that knowing that holy means whole and that whole means healthy through their close relationship have made me a far more secure person.  My only frustration is that the habits of insecurity don’t die easily. 

Insecurity in our personalities draws into our lives those who are abusive and negative.  I have seen plenty of that in my own life.  Unfortunately, not all of that trait of being insecure has gone away.  Yet what I have noticed, since growing in my own understanding (standing under) of being whole is that fewer abusive people are a part of my life.   My prayer for you is that you could experience the same thing.   I have not found any way that works better than this one to remove insecurity effectively. 

I have experienced unsound negative criticism in my lifetime, but that is the stuff of those unwilling to enter into negotiating and understanding (standing under).  The really great people in this world are able to negotiate in a healthy way about things they don’t understand and they are able to grow in understanding.   I hope you will take this to heart, if you are one of those who tends to give in under harsh and unsound criticism. 

I am very confident that the next great revival or reformation will have at its core the twin ideas of holy means whole and whole means healthy.  I am more than willing to negotiate with those who disagree.  Yet it is high time to not give in to unhealthy or unsound criticism.   It is great to feel secure in saying that, because I know the foundations for being healthy and sound.  I pray that you will discover the same sense of security. 

In Christ,


Whole Means Healthy In the Real World

December 16, 2009

“Among the multitude of scholars and authors we feel no hallowing presence; we are sensible of a knack and skill rather than of inspiration; they have a light and know not whence it comes and call it their own: their talent is some exaggerated faculaty, some overgrown member, so that their strength is a disease.”  I start with this quote because this blog is intended to speak about being healthy and part of that is the importance of things and not just words. 

My other blog intends to discuss a skill in words.  Yet a knack and skill in words alone carries the danger spoken of above, if it is exaggerated.   The author of the above quote also wrote: “…  answers never by words, but by the thing itself that is inquired after.”    The author also wrote: “No answer in words can reply to a question of things.” 

The balance that I want to achieve is that of a healthy relationship between things and words.   I want to be derogatory toward neither, except when one truly becomes over-developed at the expense of the other.  One of my professors in college points out this distinction another way.  He calls it the difference between a knower and a teacher or the difference between a learner and a student.   The former is concerned with things, the latter with words.  Both are needed together in a healthy educational atmosphere. 

What has really driven me to write about being whole and healthy are the real world need for each.  Look around you at the people you know.  Do not many people need to be whole and healthy?  Isn’t healthy also a buzz word in our time?  Yet what is the thing called healthy?  Or what is the thing called whole? 

Long before I stumbled upon the word holy meaning whole, I stumbled through life in need of being whole.  I was not a holy person, because I was not aware that a holy person was a whole person.  The words I heard took me away from being healthy to “some exaggerated faculty, some overgrown member.”   Whether the topic was humility or love or some other, they each in succession pulled me away from the reality of being a whole person, because the community and communication exaggerated one part in place of the whole. 

This is where the skill of words becomes important.  Words are carriers of things between people and from God to us and us to God.  It is much like money which takes the place of the goods.  Words are the carriers of things from one person to another, much like people can exchange goods through the exchange of money.  Yet the money ultimately is concerned about the goods and about the tremendous advantage that money offers over a world where there is only the goods.   

Likewise words themselves are about things and about the tremendous advantage we have, because we have the faculty to communicate by words.  I think we have a great yearning in our day for being whole and for being healthy.  I think quite a few of the broken want to be healed.   I think a few want to stop that healing for others and I think a few of the broken enjoy the excuses they can make from their brokenness.  I also think many healthy people can discern something whole and something broken. 

What is missing is God’s communication on this subject, because the thing called words are in disrepute.  They aren’t regarded like money.  People too often exaggerate the power of money and dismiss the power of words.  If God meant to communicate that a holy person is a whole person and therefore a healthy person, then we are missing out because I don’t get that thing called healthy, when I exchange my words with another person.  This is because the message we are receiving or the money we are getting says that the thing we can exchange our words for is not a whole thing, but a separated thing. 

The problem is that the thing we are receiving for our words is not what we need.  Unfortunately, while money can be spent on a diversity of things, if you have enough; words can only be exchanged for the thing they are agreed to refer to in the language we speak to one another.  So back to my earlier quote: “Among the multitude of scholars and authors we feel no hallowing presence; we are sensible of a knack and skill rather than of inspiration ….”  Inspiration comes not from words, but from things.  Are you sure when we read your Bible, you are getting the thing God intended and that you needed or has someone swapped the goods on you?

Whole Means Healthy

June 17, 2008

Hello.  I want to begin by saying that this blog is intended to link teaching to everyday things, to daily topics and to local or even international issues.  I am not a great admirer of those who learned nothing in the classroom nor of those who are stuck in it. 

Wholeness and whole are classroom material that clearly express the meaning of holiness and holy.  If you want to research this topic, you can check out: http://definitionofholy.blogspot.com.  That was written to fill the teaching need in our lives. 

Healthy and unbroken are the everyday stuff of life that must be addressed, if we are going to make a difference in this world.  As only one example, Martin Luther was saved through the teaching of the righteousness of God in Christ, but he delivered a deathblow to the world the way it was by addressing everyday and eternal acceptance topics like indulgences.  This everyday stuff is what eventually lit the fires of world transformation! 

My desire is to see the world transformed once again through the renewing of our minds and the transforming of our lives (Romans 12:1-3).  May God make changes in our day like what He has done before.  God’s blessings on your day. 

In Christ,

Pastor Jon