Friday, October 27, 2006

Spiritual Formation?



This fourth interview is with Paul Fromont of Prodigal Kiwis.

Nxt: What is spiritual formation to you?

Paul: Christian Spiritual formation, in many ways hinges on how we understand the word “spiritual,” i.e. what does it mean for us to be spiritually formed?

Spirituality, it seems to me, has a lot to do with what David Bosch describes as being in tune with what God is doing in the world and participating in God’s work (missio Dei). It also has to do with being in tune with what God is doing inwardly in us – for this too is part of the missio Dei.

At the end of the day, however, Christian spirituality has simply to do with our responding to the increasing vitality and sway of God’s Spirit within and without us.

A friend, Mike Riddell talks about a “vibrant spirituality… [one] that needs to be earthed, conversant with human suffering, attainable within the complexities of life, holistic, creative, communal, and contextual.” Christian spirituality nourishes ways of being vulnerably and openly human in the face of such complexities. It’s concerned with the heights and depths of life. (more…)

Monday, October 23, 2006

. . Downtime restores . . souls

Here is a link to a well written article on an ultimately important issue in the lives of those who tend the souls of people world-wide. It's about taking intentional periods of 'true' rest. The principle holds true for not just for those who are employed in Christian circles, but for the rest of the Body of Christ and, dare I say, for all of humanity. If it's true as Dallas Willard says that ". . hurry is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life", then many who are not in the family of God may be more inclined to receive and respond to His love and grace if only they took the time to be still and silent in solitude. If this is true of the still 'estranged' family of God, what does it imply for those of us who are now a part of the Vine? Take a moment to reflect on what life could be like . . .

Friday, October 20, 2006

Anois is back!

Our annual Republic of Ireland youth weekend is happening a week from today. We're really excited about what this year holds. If you're the praying type, please pray that all goes smoothly and that God will surprise us all with Himself. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Working the Angles

“I don’t know of any other profession in which it is quite as easy to fake it as in ours. By adopting a reverential demeanor, cultivating a stained-glass voice, slipping occasional words like “eschatology” into conversation….not often enough actually to confuse people but enough to keep them aware that our habitual train of thought is a cut above the pew level–we are trusted, without any questions asked, as stewards of the mysteries. Most people…know that we are in fact surrounded by enormous mysteries: birth and death, good and evil, suffering and joy, grace, mercy, forgiveness. It takes only a hint here and a gesture there, an empathetic sigh, or a compassionate touch to convey that we are at home and expert in these deep matters.

“Even when in occasional fits of humility and honesty we disclaim sanctity, we are not believed. People have a need to be reassured that someone is in touch with the ultimate things. Their own interior lives are a muddle of shopping lists and good intentions, guilty adulteries (whether fantasized or actual) and episodes of heroic virtue, desires for holiness mixed with greed for self-satisfaction. They hope to do better someday beginning maybe tomorrow or at the latest next week. Meanwhile, they need someone around who can stand in for them, on whom they can project their wishes for a life pleasing to God. If we provide a bare bones outline of pretense, they take it as the real thing and run with it, imputing to us clean hands and pure hearts.”

From the introduction of “Working the Angles” by Eugene Peterson.


Something's Coming . . .

One of the most engaging narratives in the recent past is coming to your idiot box very soon. So be like everyone else . . and watch it!