Often as we dialogue about spiritual formation issues-growth, suffering, disciplines, prayer, etc. we neglect to return to Scripture to ask what imperatives we find within the text that can inform how we articulate and conceive of the Christian life. There are several new videos at metamorpha.com featuring Darrell Bock in which he does just that. Check out Bock's thoughts on New Testament imperatives for spiritual formation.
As you listen to Bock's thoughts what comes up for you. What imperatives do you think has the spiritual formation movement embraced and championed, and what ones has it perhaps neglected?
"The courage to face unpleasant aspects of our inner self comes from feeling deeply loved. It also comes from the assurance that we are safe. Our gaze needs to go back and forth between divine love and our fears. We gain courage to face our fears as we soak in love."-Benner
We have posted a new article by Bruce Demarest at Metamorpha.com entitiled Mysticism: Peril or Promise? For many this term in and of itself raises red flags, and often for very good reasons. For this reason and others Demarest's article is a much needed exploration of a topic that has lacked thoughtful Christian theological inquiry. As Demarest notes, "Some remain skeptical of the mystical because of associations with Eastern religions and occult movements such as theosophy, nature mysticism, and New Age enlightenment. Mysticism, we are told, is something that begins in mist and ends in schism."
Demarest goes on to state, "The word mysticism derives from the Greek, mu, meaning “to conceal.” The related English word, mystery, denotes what is obscure or unknown. To understand mysticism I find it helpful to distinguish between hard, occult, and soft forms of mysticism." It is this latter form, "soft mysticism" which Demarest wishes to explore and believes to be at home within orthodox Christianity. As he states, "Both hard and occult forms of mysticism are fundamentally opposed to orthodox Christianity...What I call soft mysticism, on the other hand, seeks deepening relational union with God, not emptiness, fusion, or an ontological union. An important feature of soft mysticism is the believer’s experience of intimate, relational union with Jesus Christ, which involves no loss of individuality or selfhood."
At the heart of what we want to do at Metamorpha is to help provide thoughtful, biblical and evangelical resources to the church. So, from time to time, we will update you on any new content that we might post. For now, I would like to highlight some of our newest material as well as the best places to go to find our other articles, videos, audio, and journals. First, our "Voices" page is a great place to start. For another search method, you can go to our contributor page and look for content by person.
Hello, and welcome to the Metamorpha Blog. We are very excited about the launch of this new blog, and truly hope it can bless you wherever you are at on this journey with Christ that we find ourselves on as believers. We will be tweaking and updating this site for the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to launch the site and get started now before Summer is in full swing.
In Journey with Jesus, spiritual director Larry Warner guides us through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius similarly to the way he's been leading people through them in person.