How can I find a good church? What kind of church do you recommend?

Back in the "stage 3” mindset this answer seemed pretty simple and flat. And that would be something like doing a simple belief comparison and find a church that has “beliefs” that are “correct” enough. But at this point, such a place or mindset would send me running for the hills.

It seems that every church has some aspect of this “static propositional conclusions held as ‘doctrine’ all compiled into a statement of confession of faith.” There are multiple historic reasons why nearly all traditions have acquiesced to this, and that is a worthwhile endeavor to explore, but I won’t delve into it here. The point is, at any church, one will have to tolerate quite a number of things that aren’t ideal.

So the question is really now more about you than it is about any particular church or assembly. Your questions would be about yourself and your family: what level of development are you at now? What level of development are you aiming for? Does this church or local assembly have practices, aspects and components that will afford that growth and transformation. If that answer is “yes,” it’s okay if it’s just a temporary “yes.” For example, a certain church may help a person get from stage 3 to stage 4, but they may need something else when it’s time to go to stage 5.

There is a phenomenon with animals called “indeterminate growth,” which refers to the fact that some animals only grow to the size of their environment or container, even though there are many other factors involved. This phenomenon in nature is somewhat controversial, so I’m not trying to argue for it, but simply using the concept as an example. Some spiritual situations may keep a person from achieving their growth potential. For example, if a person is an Independent Fundamental Baptist, or a Calvinist, or a Provisionist, there are no affordances beyond stage 3 in those in-group environments, and even that version of stage 3 is pathological. Those who stay there will never advance beyond stage 3. Or to say it another way, only those who don’t advance beyond stage 3 will stay in places like that.

There are many official Eastern Orthodox “beliefs” and practices that I do not agree with. However, the reason I like Eastern Orthodox is because I believe that it has many practices, aspects and components that can afford substantial growth. This may vary depending on the particular assembly and its leadership. So there is no such thing as a blanket endorsement. It’s not like a building having “Eastern Orthodox” on its sign would guarantee that it has what any particular person needs. It’s not like that. But there is enough flexibility within EO that the chances of finding affordances for growth are much higher than one might find elsewhere. I especially like their concept of theosis. Some recent involuntary experiences of mine have made this topic relevant to me.

I have a friend in her 50s who recently converted to Roman Catholicism. Her beliefs and practices are very incongruent with official Catholicism. But there are other aspects of the Catholic environment that are appropriate for what she needs right now. Catholicism has the potential to produce a Bishop Barron or a Richard Rohr, which are excellent examples of people in advanced stages. But there are also many Catholics who live their entire lives in stages 2 and 3. So there is no guarantee that any particular environment is what YOU need. You have to be very involved with this. Much growth that comes your way will be in spite of the tradition that you are practicing with, not because of it. And that shouldn’t be seen as a resentful thing. But those traditions will have affordances and leeway for you to grow, while not having any “formula” that constitutes the “prescription" one needs to grow.

Part of growth includes recognizing the absurdity of the religious endeavor as a “container” or cocoon, and hatching out of its constraints and "double binds" into wisdom. Religious traditions can almost be seen as a kid pulling back on a wind-up toy. The kid is the religious tradition and you are the wind-up toy. You can only do “your thing” once the kid lets go. But you can’t do your thing if they don’t pull you back far enough. Pulling back too far can damage you. There is a “tonos” or tension there that needs to be balanced in order for the person to “launch” properly.

Finding a church or spiritual growth group that is appropriate for you depends entirely what your developmental needs are at this time. There is no blanket answer that is appropriate for everyone.

What equipment and software do you use to make videos?

BTF Uses the following Equipment and software to produce videos:


Sony Handycam FDR-AX53




Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Mic System with Countryman H60W6TSR H6 Omnidirectional Wireless Headset

Shure SM7B

Rode NT1


Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Video

Editing Software:

Final Cut Pro X

Camtasia Video

Recording Software:

Wirecast by Telestream



Visual Aids:

MS PowerPoint

Logos Bible Software