Just how real is Jesus?

Tucked in at page 144 of All Over but the Shoutin’ is a yellowing 4X6 file card. It has been there for several years so I could find the most worrisome experience about which I have read. It is there at Rick Bragg’s history of waiting to experience the saving grace of Jesus.

     “Every Sunday, I waited. I waited for the invasion, the infusion, the joy. I waited for the Holy Ghost to sdlip inside my heart and my mind and, as He done to all those around me, lift me out of the pew and up to the altar, Saving me. I waited for it like a boy waiting on a train.

     “But while I felt wonder and maybe a little fear, I never felt what I had seen, or maybe sensed, in the others. I was not refusing Him, rebuking Him. I wanted it, I wanted the strength of it, the joy of it, but mostly, I wanted the peace of it. The preacher promised it. He promised.

     “I just sat there…as the Sundays drained away.”

(Rick Bragg, All Over but the Shoutin’ Random House, 1997) page 144

I’ve been studying and writing about needing to experience Jesus as a reality as much as we experience or experienced sin or to quote another writer, .

“What determines our state of being is not just what we think is real but even more importantly what we experience as real. So, unless the Holy Spirit does His work at the fundamental level of our experienced self-identity, in all likelihood we will remain essentially as we are.” Gregory Boyd, Seeing is Believing (Baker Books, 2005) page 68.

Is experiencing Jesus as real as stubbing your toe during the night? Is experiencing Jesus as real as the first time you got drunk? Or…, well, you make up your own.  Feelings are fine, but they are not the final factor. God’s Word is–the promises for example.

With Bragg’s desperate desire for Holy Ghost’s gifts, I suspect his soul has been saved. I keep looking for some word from Rick Bragg that he has experienced what he thought he had missed.

In my search for that testimony, I ran across Bragg talking about his latest book. Don’t miss this youTube. It is so very rich. If you are a writer, this is what a Pulitzer from Alabama writes like.  DON’T MISS THIS:


Publication of my book Mining for Reality & Truth—Digging Worldviews is pending.

©2022 D. Dean Benton

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