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Paul Chatfield | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Oct 13 2020 12:54 AM

Hi all - I wanted to research what different models there were for spirituality in Christendom.  As a Protestant evangelical, i'm particularly interested in these areas (and perhaps if I had read all of Dallas Willard's books, I might already have an answer!).

I was looking for something that might begin with basic disciplines let's say, Bible reading prayer, then with submission, fasting and other levels perhaps culminating with Rom 9:3, loving so deeply so as to give one's life for others.  Or any similar variant that might show people there's much more depth to spirituality than what we currently have.  I could try to develop something but people must have thought about this before me.

I tried searching in my Library search for "levels WITHIN 2 WORDS (spiritual, spirituality)" but didn't come up with anything interesting. 

Any other ideas how this theme could be explored or resources that might help?

Thank you!

Paul

P.S.  This was one useful resource I found:

Willard: “Throughout church history the practice of the full panoply of spiritual disciplines has been a key to spiritual growth. These “disciplines” are viewed from different perspectives. One way is to view them as a threefold unity: inward disciplines (meditation, prayer, fasting, study), outward disciplines (simplicity, solitude, submission, service), and corporate disciplines (confession, worship, guidance, celebration). Another way is to view them is from a twofold opposite perspective: disciplines of abstinence (solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice) and disciplines of engagement (study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, submission).”

Michael J. Wilkins, Matthew (The NIV Application Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004), 286.

Posts 1535
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 12:56 AM

Have you considered monastic works like philokalia? 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 1:43 AM

The steps of St. John Climacus Ladder of Divine Ascent is what first came to my mind. Less obvious is St. Teresa of Avila's The Way of Perfection.  I'd look through Evelyn Underhill to tease out a longer bibliography. 

Paul Chatfield:
Or any similar variant that might show people there's much more depth to spirituality than what we currently have.
but I find the way you word your question rather difficult to answer as if you know where to find them, the spiritual disciplines are very much alive both in intentional living communities and in individual homes with weekly, monthly, or occasional group support. So without knowing your specific background I don't have a clue as to what is "more depth than what we currently have". I feel a bit like new comers to a meditation group in the early 1970's who were taken aback when the first thing they were asked to read was The Little Prince, followed by The Way of the Pilgrim, . . . If you followed along you discovered it made perfect sense ... if you balked at the trivial, you were not yet ready ....

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2242
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 7:09 AM

Paul Chatfield:
I wanted to research what different models there were for spirituality in Christendom. 

As a Protestant evangelical myself who is doing doctoral work in discipleship, can I suggest you expand your frame of reference beyond "levels" to incorporate "process". I believe you will find anywhere from 5 (seeker, believer, worker, leader, multiplier) to 26 (-13 [a vague awareness of the divine] to +13 [a multiplier who makes disciples who make disciples]) "levels" in the literature. You may also want to explore "spiritual formation", "spiritual disciplines", "spiritual practices", "spiritual transformation"

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 821
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 7:29 AM

Hmmm. 

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly and accusatory, are you going to examine false-but-claims-to-be-true spirituality?  HERE, for example, is one take on that phenomenon.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 8656
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 8:48 AM

David, 

I rather like looking at that graphic, but it would be more fun without people in the way of the words.  Where did that come from?

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 4200
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 9:14 AM

TCBlack:

David, 

I rather like looking at that graphic, but it would be more fun without people in the way of the words.  Where did that come from?

https://www.goodsoil.com/blog/assessing-unbelievers-gospel-understanding/ 

Posts 8656
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 9:59 AM

Thank you.  This is a new resource to me.  I'll see what I can use of it.

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 66
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 10:11 AM

Mattillo:

TCBlack:

David, 

I rather like looking at that graphic, but it would be more fun without people in the way of the words.  Where did that come from?

https://www.goodsoil.com/blog/assessing-unbelievers-gospel-understanding/ 

Thank you for sharing the link; I am familiar with goodsoil but it has been a while since I've looked at their site . 

Posts 1750
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 12:42 PM

So much of any response to this will have the author's theological understanding informing it. As a Lutheran, I view this as living out the life of the Baptized. As Luther wrote in his Small Catechism:

What does such baptizing with water indicate?
It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.


Luther, M. (n.d.). Small Catechism (1986).

And so I hate the idea of various levels of "spirituality", since before God, is it just continually dying and rising with Christ. Of course, for our neighbor who needs things, we certainly may (and I hope do) advance in recognizing both their physical needs and their needs for a savior - and are doing it with listening so that what we say makes sense. There are many spiritual gifts - but one spirit. So catalogues of different spiritual disciplines are good - and indeed useful so you can see where the spirit may be working, but I have an almost allergic reaction to talk of levels. And from my knowledge of Church History, I know that one of the first fights the Church had was with Gnostics who said they were the truly spiritual ones...

Personally, I use Logos to feed me in this respect by reading various spiritual writings. I just finished re-reading Athanasius's Life of Antony. Part of me is thinking a re-read of Bo Giertz's Hammer of God or Bonhoeffer's Life Together next. Or maybe something new. Arndt has been waiting patiently for a while...

In short, I wouldn't worry about levels. Paths, sure. Diciplines? yeah. But Rom 14:1-4 always applies. Some ways will seem utterly odd and useless to you - and that is ok. As you live your life, you may see them useful to others - or even you at a different point.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Posts 19083
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 13 2020 12:57 PM

You could also try searches using the word "stages" -- since a lot of work has been done on stages of development in faith. I'm thinking of James Fowler's Stages of Faith (not in Logos but should be), and others who have built on his work. There's one book Faithlife does carry in ebook format that uses this theory: The Faith of Jesus: The Jesus of History and the Stages of Faith by Richard W. Kropf. M. Scott Peck also discusses spiritual growth in The Road Less Traveled (also not in Logos). And Richard Rohr talks about nine levels of spiritual growth or stages of consciousness. Only one of Rohr's books, The Divine Dance, is on Faithlife Ebooks, but he doesn't discuss this model in there.

Posts 52
Angela Meister | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 20 2020 10:23 AM

Now is a time to pray for discernment, for sure. God help us all. 

The narrow path is narrow for a reason. Broken Heart

Take it all and give me Jesus. 

Posts 11336
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 20 2020 10:44 AM

JRS:
At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly and accusatory, are you going to examine false-but-claims-to-be-true spirituality? 

My browser doesn't do google. But I'm just guessing your point might be unenthused with my trumpet on the corner of Main and 1st?

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 890
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 20 2020 11:17 AM

It seems to me that one danger of a chart like this is it becomes easy to reduce different denominations to the -8 category. Thankfully the FL forums have largely been free of that.

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Posts 821
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 21 2020 6:41 AM

Denise:
My browser doesn't do google.

Sorry, Denise.  AFIK, it can only be found on YouTube.  It is a video/podcast from Fighting for the Faith (Chris Rosebrough) and is entitled, "Does Todd White Glow in the Dark?". 

N.B.: If you do decide to break down and listen to Rosebrough's take on the spirituality of TW, be sure to turn down the sound for the first 5 seconds!

ps.  Main and 1st, eh?  I'll meet you there later today - I'll be the one with the tambourine, knee cymbals, kazoo, and multi-neon-colored frizzy wig.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 11336
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 21 2020 8:26 AM

JRS:
Main and 1st, eh?  I'll meet you there later today - I'll be the one with the tambourine, knee cymbals, kazoo, and multi-neon-colored frizzy wig.

Thank you for the additional.

Regarding our 'meeting', Jesus didn't authorize tambourines or cymbals for the Pharisee pat-on-the-backs. Kazoos are probably ok (modern Christianity, you know).  The wig is probably ok too, since you're a guy (careful, careful, if you're from Corinth). Smiling.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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