Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spiritual Formation Corollaries

Community Spiritual Formation Corollaries

1. “All persons are formed spiritually. It may be in either a positive or negative direction. This formation may involve the cultivation of virtues that promote trust in God and foster social compassion or may leave persons wary, self-protective, and unable to promote the welfare of society.” (p.17)

2. “Christian spiritual formation; (1) is intentional; (2) is communal; (3) requires our engagement; (4) is accomplished by the Holy Spirit; (5) is for the glory of God and the service of others; and (6) has as its means and end the imitation of Christ. (p.23)

3. “The gospel is the power of God for the beginning, middle, and end of salvation. It is not merely what we need to proclaim to unbelievers; the gospel also needs to permeate our entire Christian experience.” (p.29)

4. “Christian spiritual formation seeks to foster a joyful apprenticeship in which we learn to live out the great invitations of Jesus, especially those concerning the life of prayer and love.” (p.45)

5. “The fertile field for formation is a community genuinely aware of the depth of their sin and the reality of their spiritual trust. True formation requires that the community deeply understands that they cannot cure the sickness of their souls through will power alone.” (p.63)

6. “Our soul-thirst is powerful, and it makes all of us idolaters. The Bible sees idolatry as a universal problem. Communities have a unique way of embodying a corporate pride that blinds us to the forms of idolatry. Also, faith communities can challenge idolatries practices like racism in ways an isolated Christian seldom will.” (p.76)

7. “Worship filled with prayer and praise and opportunities for confession, repentance, receiving the sacraments, hearing and giving testimonies of God’s activity, and learning/challenge is the most important context of community formation.” (p.86)

8. “‘Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ’ (Eph. 5:20). Submission, restorative disciplines, and accountable spiritual leadership are ancient formative practices that mark healthy formative churches.” (p.90)

9. “Christian spiritual formation should always be more than the teaching ministry of the church, but never less. True formational teaching is compressive, deeply orthodox, healthy, and anointed by the Spirit of God.” (p.139)

10. “True Christian spiritual formation forms Christians with a deep identity and engagement with the church worldwide.” (p.156)

11. “Evangelism is an essential part of spiritual formation. Evangelism, as people are called to faith in Christ, is the initial act of Christian formation. The act of evangelism is a powerful means of formation for the believer who reaches out of love to share the good news.” (p.167)

12. “Conflict has a unique way of forming us. In conflict, our natural patterns of defensiveness arise, and in this vulnerable place, we can experience much growth as we learn that Jesus’ teachings are so sensible.” (p.174)

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