Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That's a Darn Good Question

I recently came across a blog post that raised an issue I have been thinking through for the last year or so, but never had the guts to admit to anyone. The post encouraged me to go public with the question: Is Spiritual Formation Biblical? Sounds pretty unspiritual doesn't it? Take a look at the post; it's brief, but anticipates a series upcoming on sanctification. But I've wondered the same thing for some time now. With the exception of prayer, much of what we strongly encourage regarding spiritual disciplines finds little resonance in biblical texts. Mind you, that doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong -- that's an entirely different question than whether or not it has biblical warrant. Some things are biblical, some unbiblical, but there is also the "abiblical" or extrabiblical category (and if you think this violates sola scriptura, Vanhoozer will take you over his knee and spank you with Drama). We need to be careful whenever we venture into the extrabiblical category that we don't minimize the pneumatological aspects of sanctification (about which the scriptures have a LOT to say) for the anthropological aspects that morph into 21st century keeping of Torah. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

MOsborne20 said...

Even though I did not read the article, it will come as no surprise to you that I am sympathetic to your views on this.

The Bible teaches that what makes all the difference in this discussion is faith. "Spiritual disciplines" apart from faith exercised in the present (through the Spirit), resurrected Lord is vanity. However, the incredible access granted to us by the new covenant via faith should encourage us to draw near continually to Christ and love one another fervently.

This sparked a question: what does the author of Hebrews mean when h(H)e implores us to draw near?