Life In The Spirit: Spiritual Formation In Theological Perspective Edited by Jeffery Greenman and George Kalantzis

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This collection of papers originally presented at the 2009 Wheaton Theology Conference aims to set a perspective on the topic of Spiritual Formation. We may have heard of this phrase – it has become a buzz word amongst some – but what does it mean and what kind of theology does it espouse? This book answers that question. Each chapter covers an area of  Spiritual Formation or Disciplines, providing the reader a framework that is theological, historical and practical.

Too often we divorce spiritual formation from theology, and theology from the spirit. We need to merge them back together so that we have a living theology which is simultaneously forming the work of  Christ in us and in the world, through and in the experience of the Holy Spirit.

While all the chapters were excellent, Kelly Kapic’s chapter on John Owen (Evangelical Holiness) and his concept of holiness was especially good, showing how the puritan Owen’s approach to holiness was  both Christ-centered AND Spirit-enabled.

Christopher Hall gives a very helpful chapter on Lectio Divina outlining the benefits of slow and intentional reading of scripture not for analysis sake, but for receiving and bathing in the word of God.

The Church needs to get serious about our spiritual formation and growth. Too few christians today take seriously the need to spend time (significant time) in the scriptures and in prayer before the living God. We must become disciplined is spending time, daily, immersed in and soaking up the words of life found in the scriptures, and allowing that to shape a living and spirit empowered theology which translates itself into Christ centered living, individually and corporately.

This book is a wonderful resource on Spiritual Formation and should be used by Pastors and Church Leaders as a foundation for building their own theology of Spiritual Formation and then as a launch pad for teaching their congregations to do likewise.

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