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Tag: Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Growth and Our Bodies

Have you ever noticed that how a thing grows depends on what type of thing it is? The flowers in my backyard flourish if they are planted one foot deep and watered daily. But if I did that to my dog–well, he would not flourish! His nature as a dog requires a different environment and practices, such as exercise and a diet including protein.

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How Not to be a Chronological Snob (Post #17)

Amusement parks. Vacation. Time to decompress. We all need and crave recreation and refreshment, but somehow, we often find ourselves not as refreshed as we hoped to be. I think this problem has to do with the fourteenth shift in thinking since the Enlightenment–replacing the former idea of leisure with the very different idea of amusement.

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How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 12)

How we think about what we are has far-reaching implications, including how we understand growth in Christ and our role in the world. Last week I discussed the dominant view prior to the Enlightenment, which I think got it right. This all changed beginning in the sixteenth century. A seismic shift occurred–out with Aristotle’s view and in again with Plato’s view. We see the results of this shift in many ways to this day.

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How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 11)

The eleventh shift brought to us by the Enlightenment concerns how we think about growth in Christ. Our answers to these questions follow from a more fundamental question.

The more fundamental issue begins with the biblical idea that we have both a soul and a body. That is, we are a duality (this is known as “anthropological dualism” or “substance dualism”). How we think about growing as Christians depend on how we understand the nature of our souls, including how they are related to our bodies. From these beliefs, other conclusions are also drawn, including how we are to worship and serve Christ in the world.

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How Not To Be a Chronological Snob (Post 9)

With the Enlightenment’s shift in thinking, we became much more individualistic. This shift has had some positive consequences but quite a few negative results, at both work and church. Last week I discussed one way the church attempts to respond to the loneliness and lack of community experienced by many in local congregations, and some ways we can do better. This week I’ll outline a second problem many small groups face, and the following week I will suggest some solutions.

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Predestination or Free Will? (Post 15)

Last week I suggested our common experience of character formation is incompatible with the soft determinist view of freedom. Since Calvinism depends on soft determinism being true, this is another external conceptual problem for Calvinism. Yet the Calvinist may object on theological grounds. I’ll explore this response today.

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Three Lessons I Learned During My Sabbatical

After 34 years in ministry, I had the opportunity to take a sabbatical these past three months in order to be renewed, refreshed, and retooled for the next season of ministry. Little did I know a global pandemic would play a defining role in what God wanted me to learn. My sabbatical ended April 30, and as I look back over the past three months I find three lessons the Lord taught (or retaught) me during this time.

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Saying “Goodbye” Well (Post 3)

In addition to a healthy theology of grief (last week), a healthy theology of death is also essential to being able to say “goodbye” well when the time comes. Having a “theology of death” may seem odd, morbid, and even wrong. Ours is such a life-affirming and life-focused culture that we rarely think of death. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us don’t have a theology of death, much less a well-developed one. But this is exactly what we need in order to be able to say goodbye well.

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Saying “Goodbye” Well (Post 2)

As I shared last week, in January I said “goodbye” to my father, as he passed “from the land of the dying to the land of the living.” Since then I’ve reflected on four principles that can help us say “goodbye” well. I hope you find these principles helpful as you join me in transitioning from the season of saying “hello” to the season of saying “goodbye.”

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