Spirit-Inspired innovative insights

Hi! My name is Putty Putman, and I'm a physicist-turned-pastor-turned-entrepeneur-turned-author. I'm on a wonderful adventure of Jesus, and I'd love to share the treasures I've found along the way with you!

Thriving During COVID Launches!

I'm very excited to share that my first ever e-course has just launched! This is a series of ten all-new lessons, each specifically created to give spiritual perspective and insight for how to thrive this is exact moment. I believe this season will be a once-in-a-lifetime change to accelerate and grow, and I want to share how that works!


What I'm passionate about:

The Holy Spirit

When I met the Holy Spirit, he changed everything for me. I had no idea what my faith journey could become until he came crashing into my life. Now I love to teach others to do the same.


Preaching and writing are deep passions of mine. I love to share what I'm thinking, whether it's a blog, article, sermon, conference or book.

The Future

The answer to the problems of the present is the future, and the future has never been more critical than right now! I love to connect and think about strategy, leadership, and the future of the Church.

latest articles & teachings

What I've been working on lately...

Kingdom of God
Holy Spirit
Future Church
Current Events
Future Church
Kingdom of God
Holy Spirit
Kingdom of God
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A regular dose of hope and insight

If you want to track with what I'm creating, the most sure-fire way to do that is to join illuminate, my resourcing email list. (Don't worry: I hate spam as much as you and won't send you junk.)

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upcoming events

Where I'll be coming up...

I'm on a bit of a travel break!

I've cleared my schedule for the next number of months to focus specifically on my Phoenix church planting adventure. Don't worry though, I'll be picking travel back up when it's sensible to do so!

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Want to put an event together?

I'd love to explore what that would look like! Let me know what you're thinking using this page:

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i love books!

Reading Log

What Saint Paul Really Said
NT Wright

I picked up this book because I've been feeling for a while that I need to catch up on the New Perspective on Paul and it's findings. It seems like theological due diligence to be aware of what's happening there, and in general I really enjoy NT Wright's books.

Honestly, I found this book less than thrilling. It's well written: Wright does a good job of walking us through the work to understand Paul's historical backdrop and work to get inside him as a person as well as we're able to 20 centuries later. He then works his way through the new perspective of gospel that Paul preached (the message that Jesus is Lord, rather than the message of justification by faith). After that, Wright takes us through revising our understanding of what Paul meant by words like "justification" and "righteousness" and frames these important doctrines in the kingdom story (which is too complicated to summarize succinctly here). Through and through, it's well written and clear, as Wright usually is.

What was lacking with the book for me was something that I found myself excited about. Paul's message is recast as something more Jesus-centric (this part is exciting), but the unique Pauline contributions (a focus on justification and righteousness) wind up feeling effectively a little empty to me. They become statements about who is welcome in the family of faith (everyone, not just the Jews) and a nuanced clarification that it is God who saves us, not our faith itself. I agree with those two points, but it's hard for me to feel enthused about them. Maybe that's just me, but it didn't do a lot for me. That being said, that has less to do with Wright and more to do with the content of the scholarship itself, which Wright is just summarizing for us here.

If you are looking for a more compelling book to understand the latest thinking on Paul, I found Wrights, Paul: A Biography to be fantastic.

Adam Grant

I picked up this book because I have a lot of respect for the author as a public intellectual, and because the subtitle caught me: "How non-conformists move the world". Maybe this is me being a bit aspirational, but I resonate with the non-conformist part, and desire to do the change the world part.

Originals reminds me a fair bit of Malcolm Gladwell's books in that it blends together an interesting combination of academic research with anecdotal illustrations and case studies while exploring an overall theme. I found a lot of what Grant said to be interesting, though I'm not sure I felt anything in particular felt revolutionary to me. He discusses a cluster of topics that are relevant to being original: how to generate/recognize original ideas, voicing & championing original ideas, managing emotions in the uncertainty of the new, building cultures of originality, and even how to parent in such a way that your kids are encouraged to think originally. There were lots of helpful contrarian stances along the way: principles like question the default, procrastinate strategically, balance the risk portfolio, ask for problems–not solutions, hire not on cultural fit but on cultural contribution, emphasize values over rules, and so forth.

On the whole I enjoyed it, but I did feel the chapters were too long. I like to read a chapter in one sitting and I found myself somewhat annoyed it was hard to do that with this book. Also, maybe it's because I lean towards the contrarian, but I found this book mostly saying things that felt a bit self-evident. Of course we should question the default, how else will we make progress? Isn't that obvious? Maybe that's just me though, I'm not sure. In any case, Originals presents a helpful set of ideas to chew over, and a resounding affirmation for the nonconformists that are trying to change the world. (Cue Apple's infamous "Here's to the Crazy Ones" commercial)

Every Bush Afire
Kyle Peters

I first came across this book as Kyle asked me questions about writing and publishing during the process of creating the book. When he eventually gave me a complete copy, I loved reading it! Every Bush Afire is a beautiful and powerful book in that it is an authentic and unblemished record of the full story of the adventure with God. Kyle takes us to the highest mountain peaks, sharing with us stories that will bring tears to your eyes as we see the heart and the power of God made concrete in his beautiful works. With just as much clarity, Kyle will march us into the valleys, moments of intense grief, pain, or loss, in which God proves himself one that sticks closer than a brother and the source of wholeness where the brokenness of life has left it’s fingerprints on our story. Not content to leave it there, Kyle will continue to press us forwards, taking us along as he navigates the all-too-normal circumstances of a life lived with the tensions and highlights of treasured relationships, job frustrations, and an uncertain future–all journeyed with the constant companionship of the Spirit of God.

What does a life lived with God look like? These pages carry a picture of the real thing. This is the texture you can expect. The details will be different in your adventure: the circumstances unique to you, but the essence of it–what it feels like to take that adventure–that is captured beautifully here. May this book inspire you to press forward into your own God-led-adventure, may it authenticate the road the Lord has you on. May you, like Kyle has, discover that with our God, every bush is afire with his glorious presence.

Beyond Order
Jordan B. Peterson

I picked up this book as a part of my continued push to familiarize myself with the man the New York Times has called "The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now". I recently read and reviewed is famous 12 Rules for Life, and Beyond Order is his follow-up book with 12 more rules for us.

This book is also strongly written in which I suppose could be called the "Jordan B. Peterson style"–it is full of an interesting blend of anecdotal counseling practice stories, careful philosophical analysis, and rich references to famous works of literature (the Bible included, but far from exclusive to just the Bible). In that unique voice, Peterson brings us through rules that have to do with personal growth and change (Imagine who you could be, and then aim single-mindedly at that, Do not hide unwanted things in the fog, Do not do what you hate), how to relate to society (Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement, Abandon ideology), as well as home and relational life (Try and make one room in your home as beautiful as possible, Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship). As I suspect is the case in all of his writings, what Peterson has to say is often brilliant and frequently quite practical and accessible. He has mastered the "take dense philosophy, and make it as accessible as a therapist should" task, and he brings it to this book as well as the last.

One thing that I noticed which was interesting with this book compared with his last: because I had already read one of his books, I found myself less struck by his approach and style as I was in 12 Rules for Life. It's still executed as brilliantly, it just doesn't feel as new-and-different anymore. It made me realize how much of the experience of both of these books is just being exposed to who Peterson is and how his mind works. It's clear that he's a polymath, and a fair bit of what I find so interesting about him is how well he can span such a wide set of fields of study and link them together as if they are obviously connected and no one has bothered to see it until now.

Living the Re:FORM Adventure
Tri Robinson

I came across this book a few months ago when a ministry associate brought this book up in a conversation about the future of the church and what a church native to the Millennial generation would look like. Intrigued, I picked up a copy and was excited to hear from this ministry veteran about what he sees coming up next. On the whole, I enjoyed the book, but I would be hard pressed to say that it felt revolutionary to me. Robinson writes this book in three parts: the first is largely a biography of his experiences in the Jesus People movement and what the last major revival looked like. Next he unpacks how church as it presently operates is in a dissolution process. Last, he offers his reflections on what a church that appealed to Millennials more deeply may look like.

There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed–actually some of my favorite elements were the biographical components which offered an "insider window" into the Jesus People movement. When it came to the second and third parts, I found myself less engaged. The section about Church unraveling probably stood out as a prophetic call before the last three years, but in the post-COVID reality, it didn't come across like a prophetic summons to change so much as making a case for what is obviously true. This speaks to Robinson's credit: his prophetic call was accurate! Unfortunately, that accuracy makes the book come across a little dated now.

The sections about the future shape of the Church were less than gripping for me as well. I was really glad that Robinson comes across clearly as a boomer that believes in the next generations (a refreshing change from what feels more like a consistent critique) What it was lacking, in my opinion, was that Robinson doesn't seem to suggest anything of deep change. The solution offered is a kind of "rewrapping" the Church with a more Millennial-friendly set of values (a higher dose of social justice and environmental work), rather than the deeper & more fundamental overhaul that I believe is needed (see for example my recent article, From Organization to Ecosystem). I think Robinson is headed the right direction, I'm not sure he's imagining a change fundamental enough to capture the hearts of the next generation. I suppose time will tell as we watch whatever God is doing next!

See all the Reviews

Input from others:

Putty Putman challenges Christians to live supernatural lives- something I believe true biblical discipleship requires. I know Putty personally and can vouch for his commitment to Christ. He is a brilliant, yet humble man.

Dr. Randy Clark
Founder, Global Awakening

Putty awakens readers to this overlooked truth: The Kingdom, empowered by the Spirit, is a collective force guided intelligently by God's unseen hand.

Dr. Michael Heiser
Author of The Unseen Realm

It is an honor for me to have a friend like Putty Putman who is living and loving from the heart of Jesus.

Leif Hetland
President of Global Mission Awareness

Throughout my ministerial career, there are a few teachings I have heard that stand out over the rest. One of them is Putty's teaching on the reformation at hand and the role of interdependence in the middle of what the Father is doing.

Chad Norris
Lead Pastor of Bridgeway Church

Putty unearths the real meaning of the normal Christian life and teaches us how to walk in our divine mandate as world-changers.

Kris Vallotton
Pastor, Bethel Church

If you want everyone who encounters you to encounter Jesus, you’ve got to first encounter His full Gospel. Let my brilliant friend Putty show you how to live like Jesus.

Laura Harris Smith
Author of Seeing the Voice of God
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