Archive for year 2012
Last week we heard about author Andrea Palpant Dilley’s struggles with faith and doubt that eventually led her to leave the church in her twenties. Through God’s grace and the faithfulness of friends and family, Andrea returned to the church and recognized that doubt has a place even and perhaps especially inside the walls of the church.
Today, Andrea gives insight into how individuals and churches can help those who doubt and explains how doubt has enriched her life. Catch the first part of the interview here.
Throughout the process of your leaving and returning to the church, what role did your family and close friends play? How can those with a close friend or family member struggling with doubt be helpful?
During my own faith crisis, people gave me space to pray that “prayer of unbelief.” My dad sat on the couch and talked with me about my doubts. College professors took me out to coffee. Friends listened to my questions without giving cheap, easy answers. They modeled the church at its best – a place of stark honesty and shared pilgrimage.
For those of you who have a close friend or family member struggling with doubt, here are a few thoughts:
- Spend time listening. Take their questions seriously. Pilgrim with them. Feel free to share your opposing views, but do so in a gracious, peaceful (rather than antagonistic) spirit. (more…)
I teased you last week with some exciting new features that are making their way to The Bible Study App, but I realized that everyone might not know about all the great features already available in our app. Here are my top 5 favorite features:
1. The Resource Guide
This is hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in a Bible study app. While I’m reading the Bible, I can open the Resource Guide in the split window to see cross references, study Bible notes, maps, topics and more that are all related to my current reading. As I continue to read, the Resource Guide tracks with me and updates the material to match the Scripture I’m reading.
I’m not very good at remembering verse references and often find myself asking things like, “Where is that verse about the mustard seed?” Instead of flipping through the Bible or searching through an index, I can tap (more…)
Before coming to Olive Tree, I was an event planner. As such, I picked out flowers, spent far too long debating over menus, and had to deal with peoples’ lack of ability to RSVP. But I also acted as hostess, standing in front of large groups of people to welcome them to the event and make announcements. I spoke in front of people around 15 times a week. Occasionally people attending the event would introduce themselves to me and we’d exchange pleasantries, but for the most part I existed outside the event. However, there was one interaction with a guest that left a mark on me.
At a dinner I was hosting, I had just finished making my announcements and returned to my secluded table in the corner when a gentleman approached me. He had a serious expression on his face (more…)
The great part about living in the town where I completed my undergraduate studies is that I get e-mails from the university about cultural and academic events. When I heard about the chance to sit again in the auditorium where I once learned about Aristotle and Descartes to listen to an author read from her new book Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, I jumped at the opportunity.
Author Andrea Palpant Dilley read several passages from her book that evening and answered audience questions in the same engaging, personable style that marks her book. Andrea’s book chronicles her struggles with doubt that led her to both leave and return to the church. I had a chance to ask Andrea questions about her journey of faith and how her experience can help churches and individuals lovingly guide fellow Christians who are also struggling with doubt.
NOTE: Check back on Tuesday, October 16 for Andrea’s advice to churches and Christian individuals about dealing with doubt.
Elizabeth: For those who haven’t read your book, give a little background to the narrative. What were the main questions you were asking of God and the other Christians around you?
Andrea: In the book, I tell a story about walking into an Episcopal cathedral in San Francisco one Sunday morning while I was in the middle of my faith crisis. I didn’t know a soul. I sat at the back of the church. When communion started, I went forward, knelt at the altar, took the sacrament, and then watched the priest stretch out his hand to bless me on my head. In that moment, I felt a strong sense of longing for God at the very same time that I felt frustrated with church and ambivalent about faith. I was struggling with a number of questions:
You may have noticed a couple of slight cosmetic changes around Olive Tree, like a fresh face on OliveTree.com. Good news! These changes are just the beginning. We have big plans for Olive Tree, and we’re excited to share them with you. I won’t tease you too much, but think Reading Plan Sync, Automatic Downloads, Rich Text Notes, and more. But as those are still to come, for now let’s focus on the cosmetic changes happening now.
We recently realized that calling our app ‘BibleReader’ didn’t make much sense anymore. Yes, you can read the Bible on our app, but you can do so much more than that, too. You can take notes, compare translations, use a study Bible, and read Greek and Hebrew. With our one-of-a-kind Resource Guide all of the relevant information in your library is brought to life along side your Bible reading. The features we offer (and the ones still to come) make Olive Tree app the best app for Bible study.
The Bible Study App
With a fresh perspective and a clear trajectory, we’ve come to the conclusion that no longer are we going to be ‘BibleReader’ but instead, we are ‘The Bible Study App.’ We believe that Olive Tree is about studying the Bible, digging deep into God’s Word and getting to know Him personally. We want you to keep that in mind every time you open the Olive Tree app, so with the next update, the app on your device will be called ‘Bible Study.’
We hope that you are as excited as we are about these changes. We truly hope to inspire you to get into the Bible using The Bible Study App. Let us know what kind of features you would like to see in the future. Leave us a comment here. If you love our app, I hope you would considering leaving us a review in the iTunes or Google play stores.
This year’s Desiring God National Conference proved to be another exciting and busy time at the Olive Tree booth. Many of the conference goers I introduced to Olive Tree at last year’s conference are now using Olive Tree for their own studies. They came by the booth to express their enjoyment of the software and see what we’ve been up to the last year.
Early Saturday morning Pastor John Piper (more…)