Ron was up for 90 minutes yesterday at the r(e)formation on the topic of From Information to Transformation: Toward a Spirituality of Seeing. This is but a small piece of the conversation.


Ron began the conversation describing trends and historical patterns that support why the church has landed where we are right now and the opportunities this offers for engaging spiritual formation in new and old ways.  


Ron compared the ways of faith development pre-Reformation and what changed after the Reformation. Prior to the Reformation, there were at least four ways of experiencing faith development and spirituality. It was only after the Reformation that a focus and assent was given to tenets of belief, doctrine, dogma, scripture.  It wasn’t a dominant developmental piece for most Christians before the Reformation: this information focus (horizontal bandwidth acquisition)  was secondary to the other formative foci. Ron detailed some of the root problems stemming from a textual addiction, a love affair with propositions, and a scientific worldview….an information obsession.

 

After providing this historical sketch, Ron challenged the group with what it would mean to reframe spiritual formation as human formation. He went on to explain how the human formation conversation embraces not only horizontal bandwidth acquisition but also VERTICAL DEVELOPMENT.  Vertical development is about how we make meaning of our lives and how we view and perceive great amounts of complexity, tension, and ambiguity.

 

This vertical development moves the modern spiritual formation as INFORMING (usually biblically and doctrinally) to an Awareness and Seeing, where we follow Jesus into a bigger world, into a larger frame, into an more encompassing envelope of reality… the kingdom of God.

 

Jesus over and over again emphasizes seeing rather than knowing. Being and awareness seem to take precedence over acquiring knowledge or a growing database of information.  So then Ron invites this idea and way forward as we think about spiritual formation and our present models.


A spirituality of seeing and awareness.


When we start with Seeing…we are starting with a different sort of knowledge.  It is awareness type knowledge. This requires a fundamental shift in the way we know.       

 

1.  New Spiritual Patterns and Practices or resurrection of old ones will be put in place to help our seeing and awareness…patterns and practices for the express purpose of seeing like Jesus sees

 

2.  Sensing and emotion are restored to the process of formation

 

3.  We will learn to handle information in new ways that moves it from cognitive acquisition to a vehicle and first step in the transforming process.

 

4.  Awareness will be key to creating compelling love for each other and those outside of faith.

 

I mentioned before that this is just a soundbite of the conversation.


Back with you tomorrow!  

 

Here is Ron in Wittenberg with Mark Batterson and Chris Seay.  I think the guy in the back wanted in on the picture but nobody seemed to be seeing or aware…come on, that was a bit funny.  Don’t worry folks… Ron will be back next week!!!

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