Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community
by James C., Wilhoit
Baker Academic (2008)
Paperback, 240 pages

Purpose: "This book is not so much about reversing a trend but about a call to intentionality about our formation and to repentance about how we have tried to engineer formation more than we have prayerfully opened our lives and our churches to God's grace" (p 14).

  • Ch1 (Formation Through the Ordinary): Spiritual formation occurs in all of life, as God works through the truth of the gospel to form his people according to his ways.
  • Ch2 (Curriculum for Christlikeness): Spiritual formation to Christlikeness requires participating with God in concrete practices that train us for regular life in the way of Jesus.
  • Ch3 (Foundations of Receiving): We have a deep thirst that drives us toward God and a deep brokenness that drives us to be satisfied with less; only openness to the fact and work of God's grace exposes our misdirected thirsts and our individual and corporate brokenness.
  • Ch4 (To Foster Receiving in Community): Individual and corporate practices of openness to God train us for receiving in community, which in turn, trains us for openness to God.
  • Ch5 (Foundations of Remembering): Our perception of God's holiness and our own sinfulness determines our perception of the cross/grace, which in turn determines the amount of transforming grace received.
  • Ch6 (To Foster Remembering in Community): Remembering occurs as individuals and communities participate in content and experiences, learning God and his ways for regular life, returning to these lessons in a circular manner.
  • Ch7 (Foundations of Responding): Spiritual formation involves teaching and training the people of God so they might naturally respond in ways that communicate grace through love and service.
  • Ch8 (To Foster Responding in Community): Spiritual formation is fostering a community climate that encourages love for and grace toward God and others as natural responses.
  • Ch9 (Foundations of Relating): Spiritual formation is the by-product of life lived in loving worship of our Lord and Head and in loving service to our siblings and neighbors.
  • Ch10 (To Foster Relating in Community): Spiritual formation happens in intentional and reflective, yet natural, relationship with God and others.
Appendix: Assessment Questions
Scripture Index
Subject Index


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