Category: The Spiritual Life

Distinctions

I was with Mark at his son’s college graduation—with James receiving his bachelor’s degree in computer science. At some point in the pleasant tedium of giving and receiving diplomas I started counting asterisks to see if they reached ten percent of the whole. These markers in the program noted special honors. Some asterisks indicated Cum …

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Nobility

Nobility is too often an orphan: an uncommon quality in local, national, or international news. And figures we have admired like Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, or Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger are now figures of the past. Even though nobility is available to all of us. I’m reading Isaiah right now and in the early chapters of …

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A Problem

Let’s think about Genesis 12-16—of God’s promise of a son to Abram and Sarai. This son extended God’s blessing promise made to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15. And, as we now know, the birth anticipated a son born of Abram’s lineage centuries later: Jesus, the Son of God. The plan started badly. As the …

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Affective Spirituality

“What do you mean by ‘affective theology?’ I’ve never heard of it before I met you.” It’s a fair question. I first found the label in Heiko Oberman’s The Dawn of the Reformation where he wrote of fourteenth-century Christians whose “suspicion of speculation” led them away from prior theological streams. They preferred “an affective theology …

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Loving the Truth

Jesus aligned himself with the truth as the personified pathway to life in John 14:6—“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” He elevated his invincible life even in the face of crucifixion. Jesus clearly meant to reassure disciples both then and now. Yet there are different approaches to truth—even among believers. One …

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Spirituality in the Word

I’m reading and rereading books on Christian spirituality these days. It comes with my prepping to teach on the subject. With that as context I’ll offer a brief reflection on two widely appreciated works that promote spiritual transformation. One, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, lists disciplines under the headings of Inward, Outward, and Corporate. The …

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Focus

Each morning we move from our sleep into a more focused wakefulness. It comes in stages. We may have morning birds, family nudges, or an alarm to stir us. Then we’re on to the standard start-up stuff of every morning. A shower. Toast and coffee along with some family coordinating. We all have our own …

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