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I have just recently encountered what is known as “Spiritual Formation”. Now I have primarily read Christian books that deal with theology and Bible so this is somewhat new to me. I have really had some majors issue with the mystical teaching as well as elevating the disciplines and experience on par with Scripture (as the Spirit is suppose to be directing). I find that my Authority is the Scripture and not impressions and the like. Do you have any research on Dallas Willard and Richard Foster and this movement? I have many people that are slowly but surely buying into this movement. Well intentioned folks but easily led I am afraid.
The best response I know of to the mainline “spiritual formation” movement is Grounded in the Gospel (by JI Packer and Gary Parrett: http://amzn.to/ZQEkpR). WHI aired an interview with the authors a while ago, which only scratched the surface of what’s in the book. Their presentation of catechesis is, IMO, everything the spiritual formation crowd is looking for, even if they don’t know it.
Don’t be put off by the word itself. I know ‘catechesis’ is right up there with ‘Lent’ on the list of words that trigger a “but isn’t that a Catholic thing?” response in my church. Call it ‘discipleship’ if it goes down easier.
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