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A Balanced Approach to Christian Spirituality Houston Graduate School of Theology CS 850.

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Presentation on theme: "A Balanced Approach to Christian Spirituality Houston Graduate School of Theology CS 850."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Balanced Approach to Christian Spirituality Houston Graduate School of Theology CS 850

2 Philosophy of Christian Spirituality Becky Towne


4 Connecting Being Doing

5 Relational Transformational Vocational

6 With Us In Us Through Us

7 Relational Transformational Vocational


9 Christian Spirituality The Christian life involves living a life in balance, individually and corporately Connecting (Christ with us - relational) Contemplative – the Prayer-filled life Social Justice – the Compassionate life Becoming (Christ in us - transformational) Charismatic – the Spirit-empowered life Holiness – the Virtuous life Doing (Christ through us - vocational) Evangelical – the Word-centered life Incarnational – the Sacramental life Christ wants to live with us, dwell in us, and work through us. Christian spirituality is missional.

10 Connecting (Relational) Contemplative A life of loving attention to God A holy habit of love that leads to partnership with God in God’s creative and redeeming work Social Justice A life committed to compassion and justice for all peoples A life that receives all peoples: enemies and friends, poor and rich, illiterate and educated…

11 Community Groups – 1 question per group What are some aspects of the character of God that especially draw you Godward? What draws your community Godward? Describe a time when you have felt like you have not belonged or that you were not wanted. How is “belonging” a horizontal as well as a vertical response to God? What insights did you gain from the story of Benedict (chapter 3)? How do you understand the triune God after reading Scorgie’s description in chapter 3? How does this understanding help you verbalize the concept of community?

12 Becoming (Transformational) Charismatic A life immersed in, empowered by, and under the direction of the Spirit of God A life transformed by the empowering charisms and the nurturing fruit of the Spirit Holiness A life that is empowered to live whole, functional lives in a dysfunctional world A life of partnership with God in heart and life

13 Community Groups – 3 questions for each group What does transformation require individually? Corporately? Describe something about your own woundedness and where you are on the journey toward healing. How do you think the journey toward wholeness could benefit a congregation? Your congregation?

14 Doing (Vocational) Evangelical A life founded upon the living Word of God, the written word of God, and the proclaimed word of God A life of discipleship to Christ Incarnational A life that makes present and visible the realm of the invisible Spirit A life which becomes the habitation of the Holy—a tabernacle— where we learn through daily activity to function in cooperation with and in dependence upon God.

15 Community Groups – 3 questions for each group How are disciples to contribute to the advancing of God’s kingdom—the “doing” of the missional task? What might this mean for you and your local community? How does your vocation demonstrate your passion and intersect with the world’s compelling need?

16 Authentic Christian spirituality follows the pattern of the incarnation—it becomes flesh. Vocation is following the heart of God into the world.

17 Knowing God in the fullest sense requires a heart that beats in sync with God’s own and a willingness to follow it into the world

18 Christian spirituality finds its completion when we incorporate the element of self-denying participation in God’s purposes in the world.

19 Vocation From the Latin vocare – to call. Historically, having a vocation meant that one had been called—divinely called and appointed—to a particular line of work and way of life. We each have a calling upon our lives to participate in the purposes of God—to play a role in his grand designs To care for creation To restore people to himself through Christ To participate with Jesus in the building of his kingdom

20 The Invitation


22 The challenge is to be responsive to God wherever God places you!

23 Vocational burnout?


25 Frederick Buechner

26 Missing God’s best



29 Hoist the Sails Hilary of Poitiers (4 th century) “If I am actually to do it, I must ask for your help and mercy, ask you to fill with wind the sails I have hoisted for you and to carry me forward on my course—to breathe, that is, your Spirit into my faith... And to enable me to continue.”

30 Mission Possible Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to discover a balanced approach to Christian spirituality as you work and pray on the journey toward godliness and gladness as disciples of Jesus.

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