I was asked to speak for a pastors conference for a denomination on spiritual formation. The denomination has always been very “pro” spiritual formation, so I thought I might be speaking to the choir a bit. In light of that, I decided to take a different angle. What came out of it was four talks that address how I think we need to start thinking about spiritual formation. It, in a sense, re-starts the conversation from the ground up. Here are the talks.
The First talk, “The Gospel of Spiritual Formation,” starts with the Gospel, and argues that we, as evangelicals, have been working with a reduced Gospel. Because of this, discussions of the Christian life and salvation are bifurcated into two discussions. If this happens, both will inevitably cease to have true life.
The second talk, “The Formative Power of Communion,” builds on this and focuses on where we currently are as evangelicals. I do some broad cultural analysis and ask questions about the language we use (such as “kingdom” and “discipleship”) and try to point us in a new direction. At the heart of this talk is a desire to nail down what is one of the great errors of our day so we can see it for what it is.
The third talk, “Beyond Spiritual Disciplines” tries to refocus the spiritual formation conversation away from spiritual disciplines as such, and onto communion with God.
The fourth talk, “Formation in Spite of Yourself,” addresses how knowledge of God and knowledge of self are intertwined.
The last two talks end with me guiding the pastors through a prayer exercise. There will be significant empty space on the audio, so if you listen I invite you to enter into those prayer exercises with us.