Sunday, February 14, 2010

Six myths or false models of spiritual formation 1/6

I wonder if a danger of the quick fix approach to spirituality could be a naïve passivity that is content merely to dine out on past 'highs'.

I enjoyed reading through Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered. Wilhoit points out six false models of Spiritual formation.

False model number one he argues is the assumption that God will simply zap you. He calls this the myth of the quick fix model.

"Implicit in the stories of the spiritual heroes of the bible (Abraham, Jacob, David and Peter) is a spiritual development in growth and wholeness that takes place over a lifetime. Moses was in formation for eighty years before he led Israel out of Egypt. One of the common metaphors for the Christian life in scripture and for the spiritual writers through the centuries has been that of seeing the Christian life as a long journey."

I wonder if a danger of the quick fix approach to spirituality could be a naïve passivity that is content merely to dine out on past 'highs'. A spirituality that is focused on seeking out the next
'rising up on wings of eagles' while dismissing the daily walking as mundane, or at best spiritual dryness, would in Wilhoit's words be a false model. This may be a bit harsh and dismissive of significant moments in spiritual development, but it does help explain some comments when individuals see Spiritual Formation as a linear 101 process to complete and to tick off. What may be disillusional for Wilhoit feels more a sadness for me as the multi faceted nuance of spirituality is missed.

Wilhoit, J.C (2008:51ff) Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered. Baker

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