Mike Frost

The way of nature
and the way of grace

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”
– Flannery O’Connor.

In the film, Tree of Life, one of Terrence Malick’s characters says in voiceover, “The nuns taught us there are two ways through life, the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.”

But choosing is tough. Even when walking the way of grace you do it right alongside the way of nature.

Jesus referred to that as being in the world, but not of the world. And it’s a specialized balancing act, not one we always get right. At least I don’t.

So my musings here will be about that awkward negotiation between nature and grace, knowing that, as Flannery O’Connor said, we are inclined to resist grace because it hurts to be changed. But in the long run, bottom line, Jesus is king and following the way of grace leads us deeper into the world he’s creating for us.

You probably won’t agree with everything I say, but I’m trying to stimulate a positive, generative conversation. And starting conversations is a good thing, if you ask me. Right?

So join me as I share my thoughts, excerpt my upcoming writing, launch debates and generally rabble-rouse, all in a genuine attempt to figure out what the reign of King Jesus looks like in earthy, real terms, right here, right now.

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About Mike

I’m a 20-year veteran of the academy, but I still don’t call myself an academic. On my immigration forms I write “teacher” in the occupation box.
I’ve taught at Morling College in Sydney that whole time and am currently the head of the missiology department there.
My doctorate examined a mission-shaped approach to being and doing church, and I’ve written a bunch of books in that field. Some of them have even been popular. Thank you if you bought one.
I enjoy music by guys who can’t sing that great (Dylan, Cohen, Cave), hiking the national parks of North America (15, so far), and reading Flannery O’Connor. I’ve seen every film made by the Cohen Brothers and Stanley Kubrick and I still hold out hope that Terrence Malick has one more masterpiece in him.
I helped launch the Small Boat Big Sea community in Manly. I co-founded the Forge mission training network. I have won camel races in Kazakhstan, cliff-diving competitions in Thailand, and chess tournaments at the Kremlin. And I have spoken with Elvis (not all this might be true).
And through it all I have been loved by an amazing woman who has stood by me for over 30 years and whose capacity for endurance seemingly knows no bounds, my wife, Caz (this part is definitely true!).

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So I often feel like an outsider in Christianity – because of my politics. So I often feel like an outsider in feminism – because of my theology. Yet I choose to be a feminist in the way that I believe Jesus would be a feminist. #WomensMarch
https://t.co/808c8wJtzq

We attended a beautiful @CommonGraceAus prayer service tonight, in response to Aunty Jean Phillips' invitation to gather with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers & sisters for lament and prayer as we approach Jan 26th. More venues here: https://t.co/BKREhi0GeQ

Trump's progress - "vision, chutzpah and some testosterone". Voices from outside the anti-Trump echo chamber. https://t.co/H5WwkwKEwp

Huh? THIS is what normal passengers watched on Qantas flights in 2017!?! THIS?? Meanwhile that bald 50-something weirdo in 47C was watching Final Portrait, I Am Not Your Negro, Neruda, My Cousin Rachel, The Beguiled, and A Ghost Story. #freakyweirdo

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I dreamed last night that Donald Trump was dying and I was called to the White House to provide spiritual direction to him in his final days, but I couldn't get him to pay attention to anything I was saying. He kept saying he wanted to take me out to eat Trump steaks. Seriously.

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