The fifth path that Beebe and Foster identify in Longing for God is “The Right Ordering of Our Experiences of God.” By these experiences they are referring to the ecstatic experiences that some have of God. I’ve not had such an experience (and in the reading Beebe and Foster don’t claim such experiences either), but I’ve known people whom I trust who have had such experiences. Beebe and Foster claim that these experiences are not given to the individual alone, but to the church.

They have a purpose. “However impressive teachings about God’s love may be, if divine grace were not ever experienced, these teachings would remain a mere abstraction.” God is not an abstraction.
“All of us are promised an ultimate intimacy with God, while a few of us seem to enjoy this reality here and now. It seems that God gives this life to a few people in order to encourage the rest of us and let us know what awaits each of us in the life to come. These ecstatic or mystical experiences are a gift to encourage the church. They are not given so that an individual can elevate him or herself over any other Christian who has not had this specific experience. They are meant to lead us all to knowledge of God through Jesus Christ.”
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