Saturday, March 04, 2006

brian mclaren session 1: spiritual formation

brianmcl.png Opawa Baptist has wifi. So these are notes, what I heard Brian say, [with a few editorial comments by me], as Brian spoke for a day on the topic of spiritual formation. Here is the introductory session.

Spiritual formation is caught in our history of protest and desire to be the next new thing.

Spiritual formation a substitute for things like evangelism, discipleship, teaching.

Semper reformanda — always reforming.

We have inherited a cognitive process to convey information. We place people on a conveyor belt — unsaved; saved; serving. We formalised Sunday Schools. We filled in blank booklets.

Matthew 28:18; Go and make (spiritually form) disciples (apprentices). So few of our churches see themselves as initiating life-long learners and providing life-long formation opportunities. What does wholistic transformation look like?

Pentecostal/charismatics trade on intense experiences. But you can still beat your wife.

So we need a holistic approach and a different understanding of the gospel. Our practice problems relate to our bad theology.

[Really funny slide] Gospel = how to get to heaven (self) in large bold type; attend worship (church); with smaller and smaller type, harder and harder to read, ending with social transformation (world), can hardly read.

What if; God loves the world; and so has called a group of people to work with God in loving the world; and what if you could be converted to life participate in this and thus live outside yourself.

Mark 1:16 – Kingdom of God does not equal heaven. It is a public/social and personal/spiritual. We need an interior castle and a growing Kingdom.

The most significant idea about spiritual formation is that it is not about self but about participation in what God is doing.

What would it look like if we risked everything on making disciples of Jesus formed by the gospel of the Kingdom?

Posted by steve at 11:15 AM

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