New Awakening: Introduction

“Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?” ( Isaiah 43:19, CEB)

God spoke these words through the prophet in a time of awakening. God is speaking them again today, as we live in another new awakening. I stand with those who believe a fresh Wind of the Spirit is blowing in our time, removing walls that divide and harm us, and restoring us to the sacredness, goodness, and oneness God intends for everyone and everything. [1]

Thanks to a variety of people, some in the Christian tradition [2] some from other religions [3] some who are eclectic [4], I have awakened to the reality of the Awakening. I am in their debt, and I join them in their witness.

For the past four months, I have been involved with Northwind Theological Seminary, a school that exists in relation to the new Awakening vision and has a mission to advance a new re-formation in the society and the church. [5] It is an exciting place, but being there has revived my need to think more about the new Awakening.

God’s revelation through Isaiah ends a question, “Don’t you recognize it?” It is the question that gives rise to this new, occasional series on Oboedire. It is where I must begin as a follower of Christ, for it is a question that moves me from awareness into action. It is the question God asks us as the means for inviting us to experience and express our engagement in the “new thing” God is doing. It is the question that launches this series and shapes the opening round of posts.

I invite you to join this journey into an exploration of “God’s new thing.” In Isaiah’s time, everyone was meant to see and participate in it. Again today, none need be left out

[1] I wrote some early thoughts about this in my book, ‘Fresh Wind Blowing’ (Cascade Books, 2013).
[2] Writers in the emergent Christianity have been helpful: Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Diana Butler-Bass, Lisa Sharon Harper, to name a few.
[3] The Tao The Ching and the writing of the Dalai Lama have enabled me to see how the new Awakening is a reality larger than the Judeo-Christian tradition.
[4] The writing of Ilia Delio, Thomas Berry, and Andrew Harvey have brought interdisciplinary insights into my sense of new Awakening.
[5] The seminary website is I am serving as the director of the Wesleyan Studies Program.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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