After writing a book that affirmed science on a level that made many Christians uncomfortable, Pastor Bradley becomes an enigma by writing a book that affirms the supernatural on a level that makes many Christians uncomfortable. The Rush and the Rest is the product of a decade worth of studying and practicing the supernatural ways of the Holy Spirit. Bradley aims to take us deeper into the Scriptures than we have ever gone before with this one-part academic and one-part spiritual work. Regardless of where you are on the Christian journey, this book is bound to have something fresh for you.
The Kindle form of my new book just came out this moment! Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing a physical version and audiobook version, but if you want to read it before everyone else, you can go download it now from Amazon! Also, in case you haven’t made the move, I’ve moved to www.jaminbradley.com. Here’s an excerpt from my introduction:
Believe it or not, the thought that alien life might exist is actually a very old idea. In the 4th-3rd century B.C., the Greek philosopher Epicurus taught that “we must believe that in all worlds there are living creatures and plants and other things we see in this world.”
The debate began to rage when Aristotle rose against this teaching around the same time. Most early Christian scholars followed Aristotle’s lead. It wasn’t until over a thousand years later in the 13th century A.D. that a handful of Christian scholars wanted to talk about the topic. While all of these leaders rejected the notion of life on other planets, they at least wished to enter the conversation.
That wish finally came true in the year 1277 when Bishop Etienne Tempier condemned the Aristotelian belief that there could not be other worlds, because such a teaching could be construed to say that God wasn’t truly omnipotent. Because of this, theologians could now more openly converse about the possibility of extraterrestrials.
But as is often the case, the church moves slowly—as evidenced by the possibility that this book could be perceived as controversial in 2017. A serious conversation about the possibility of extraterrestrials has been going on for at least 2,000 years. If we ever actually discover life on other planets and we find that we don’t know what to do with that revelation from a theological standpoint, that’s more or less on us.
For detailed information on the progression of this debate throughout the early centuries, see: Crowe, Michael J. “Introduction: Before 1750.” The Extraterrestrial Life Debate: 1750-1900, Dover Publications, Inc., 1999.
Hey friends! In light of the nonstop writing I’ve done this year, I’m migrating over to a new page. While I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent here on this blog, I started it in college and it’s chockfull of posts in every which way. A new blog will help me focus and stop any future readers from taking too seriously my younger, more immature thinking ^_^
At the same time, perhaps some day I will return here, seeing as how this blog has lasted for so many years. But for now, track along with me if you desire at www.jaminbradley.com
Much of our politics don’t look like Jesus or Heaven at all. It’s for reasons like this that I stopped saying the pledge of allegiance some time ago. All of those years in elementary school I stood up every day and rambled off those words with my hand over my heart to a red, white and blue idol in the corner of the room. It was as visible as patriotic worship could be. I was being indoctrinated ever since kindergarten to always agree with my country and treat them with reverence and respect, whether they looked anything like Jesus or not—and I was told to do it, because somehow when I pledged allegiance to a flag, I was pledging allegiance to Jesus, simply because the word “God” was name-dropped.
I remember going to a monster truck rally in town once. I was excited to see some trucks hit some ramps, but then I felt that awkwardness set in. Before the show got started, all gentlemen were to remove their caps and sing the worship songs of the country and gaze upon the flag. I’m not sure what any of this has to do with a monster truck show. Or baseball. Or football. Or any sport for that matter.
And that’s why I felt the pain of football player, Colin Kaepernick, when the world took note of how he sat through the national anthem as a sign of protest. I can feel every eye on me when I don’t say the pledge or sing the song. I’ll often stand or take my hat off without saying the words, but even that I do because I don’t want to have attention called to me.
My allegiance is with America in the places where they align with Heaven, but my full allegiance is to Jesus and my life is always to be crucified with him and for him.
I had a dream many years ago in which I was approached by an adult who pointed at the stars and said, “That’s you.” I laughed, having no idea as to what the person was talking about, but then later in the dream I found myself in a field, looking at the stars with some kid. The kid pointed at a star and said, “That’s you.”
“Why do people keep saying that?” I asked the kid.
“Because you’re from another land,” he answered.
Do you live in that reality?
Adapted Excerpt from my book, A Taste of Jesus.
Pine needles fall as the wind sets foot
On the evergreen towers.
The sound of her silence fills the air
Though she’s not as quiet as I often think.
For her breath reverberates off what it touches:
Branches, streams and eardrums;
I am audibly and visibly aware of her presence.
For even a faint breeze is filled
With peace and serenity—
Joy to those who labor,
But pain to those who bury themselves
Under the apathy of snow-filled wastelands.
Wind. Breath. Spirit. Pneuma.
She boldly eviscerates landscapes
In the mildest ways,
Whether in the torrent of a hurricane
Or in the slow waves that hardly touch shore,
Though they edge closer and closer each day.
That’s what she is.
Incomparable to a forest fire
Though she burns ever-hotter.
A fire caught up in our bones.
Fuel for the quivering prophets
But a furnace for the shy.
Thanks for all your support over the last month with the release of, A Taste of Jesus! Now for those of you who really enjoy audiobooks (like myself), you can listen to me read the whole thing to you for over 13 hours ^_^ Grab it on Audible here!
A Taste of Jesus is an in-depth look at the characteristics that are meant to make up the Christian’s life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Bradley explains just how radical and counter-cultural these fruits are when they are grown in fullness. These are the characteristics of the upside-down, backwards Kingdom of Heaven and when we live like we’re residents there, we begin to give people a real taste of Jesus, who is living inside of us via the Holy Spirit. This is by no means meant to be an easy audiobook to absorb, for the fruit of the spirit constantly butts heads with our flesh – but if you feel uncomfortable, maybe that’s okay. Embrace it and see what God does.
In some ways, the original book was built to be an audiobook. Background sounds illuminate the opening allegorical story. Intermissions break up the chapters fluidly. You can actually hear the original music at the end of the audiobook rather than just read the lyrics.
Many of us who are white grew up with a blindfold over our eyes. We were taught that slavery was done away with years ago and that equality was eventually found sometime later.
Yet here we are today with Charlottesville and race riots unlike anything our generation has seen. The Black Lives Matter movement has made it clear that those with darker skin are still being treated unjustly today and if we have the eyes to see, we will agree—for those of us who are white know nothing of what it’s like to prepare ahead of time for a cop to approach our car by putting our wallet on the dashboard and by keeping both our hands on the steering wheel so that we don’t raise any suspicion.
We have seen the tension at play over the years and have witnessed the death of many of our black brothers and sisters to trigger-happy and irrationally scared policemen who were on edge because the person they were dealing with had a different skin color than them. The events are no longer isolated, the stories are no longer on the down-low, and the injustice is visible. I shouldn’t feel like I keep seeing black people pulled over on the highway for a drug search outside of a primarily white country town—especially when the white kids of that town seemed to talk more about smoking weed than any mixed school I ever attended.
By this point in history, we have to understand that God loves everyone and that we are called to love who he loves, serve who he serves, and go to the ends of the earth with his name. He loves no person more than the other and he views no race as greater or lesser. We are all the same in God’s eyes and so we shouldn’t be seeing racial issues like these.
This, of course, isn’t to say that all cops are bad or anything—that would be reverse stereotyping and another kind of injustice—but we have to face the facts that racism is happening. It’s seen in police cases, the evil white supremacy nazi movement of Charlottesville and the Flint water crisis (you can’t disconnect the fact that one of the worst American drinking water stories happened to a town primarily full of poor black kids).
It’s time we be honest and admit to the racism that we find inside ourselves so that we may expose it for what it is and begin to turn away from it, for that exposure has power. For example, when a good friend of mine was trying to tell me that there was no inherent racism in many of the violent police cases that came to light over the years, they abruptly stopped talking when I pointed to the racism in myself. “Why is it that I am more apt to want to lock my doors when a black man walks down the road than when a white man does?” I asked. “If I can begin to recognize the racist tendencies in myself, I can begin to see the stories in the light that black people do.”
This confession flew out of my mouth so quick that I was unable to stop it and I might have been more affected by it than the person I was talking to. I had just admitted to the great crime of the 21st century, but in doing so I had set myself free. I had put myself in a place where I would now have to recognize those thoughts when they came up. If I could recognize them in me, I could recognize them in others—and if I could recognize them in others, I could begin to more truly sympathize with those that racial injustice affected. I find that I can’t always necessarily stop a racist thought from happening, but I can “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). I can grab it, interrogate it, and stop it from materializing in my actions.