Spirituality – work in progress

I guess the 2nd Year Christian Spirituality course in seminary made a significant impact in me (thanks to Dr. Voon for her spiritual direction as well). It was here that I was introduced more systematically to this whole idea clearer. This is also when I started reading Henri Nouwen and Richard J. Foster more seriously. I also grew more appreciative of the best from the roman catholic and eastern orthodox traditions. So, a whole journey of integration – and renovation began! Still on the journey …

Lately, I have found Dallas Willard to be a wonderful guide of course I need to be patient slowly chewing his thoughts (cf. The Renovation of the Heart is great! I’m still working through the Divine Conspiracy – got a study guide to help yesterday). The whole process I believe helped me to progress beyond a busy-bee ministry, and I felt especially liberated from legalism or guilt-shame based discipleship. One major progress is seeing that God works in the ordinary of my life, and the “body” dimension musn’t be neglected. Any form of “super-spirituality” got a severe beating from then onwards (cf. I was very exposed to and involved in the charismatic-pentecostal world – the best & the worst) . I’ve been enjoying the humble, quite work of the Spirit ever since (with some “dark nights of the soul here and there.)

It was also in seminary where we used to get these free World Vision Australia newsletters “GRID” and the name Rowland Croucher stuck with me, here’s his article on “Individual and Corporate Spirituality” His writings has added a nice Aussie touch to my life(no wonder we have one Aussie family in BLC!) Here’s a very useful intro:

Spirituality (from its 17th century French usage) is mainly about how I relate to God. ‘Spirit’ in the Bible equals breath, life. The opposite of spirit is not matter, but death. ‘Spiritual’ worship is the offering of all we are to God (Romans 12:1). It’s about my ‘desire’, how I pray (the very best index of who I really am). So Spirituality is about the work of God’s Spirit, enlivening, enlightening and empowering us to become holy, or ‘saints’, so that our desire is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love others as ourselves. The Eastern Orthodox prefer to call it ‘mystical theology’ which they define as ‘loving knowledge’ or ‘wisdom or knowledge that is found through love’ (William Johnston). (emphasis mine)

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