The Institute for Spritual Formation at Biola

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by habeoChristum, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. habeoChristum

    habeoChristum
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    Does anyone know about this at Biola/Talbot? Would anyone recommend it?
    http://www.biola.edu/spiritualformation/

    And does anyone know if there are similar programs at any other evangelical seminaries?

    Thanks!
     
  2. PreachTREE

    PreachTREE
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  3. paidagogos

    paidagogos
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    I have problems with the whole "spiritual formation" concept. It is rife with mysticism and leans heavily toward accomplishing the internal work of the Holy Spirit through externals. This runs in varying shades and degrees from John Piper to Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. However, I don't know the particular flavor of "spiritual formation" at Biola/Talbot but I suspect it is to the left of John Piper and less of a Reformed emphasis.
     
  4. paidagogos

    paidagogos
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    I would expect a strong Keswick flavor in "spiritual formation" at Moody. The information on the web is general and sketchy at best. Their allusion to "spiritual warfare" makes me wonder if they are influenced by the teachings of Neils Anderson.

    BTW, Anderson teaches at Biola. Also, I would not consider Biola a top-tier school (e.g. Duke, Yale, etc.).
     
    #4 paidagogos, Apr 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2008
  5. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    habeoChristum

    hC,

    If I may, I would like to know your motivation for asking, or the "why" behind the "what?"

    I am putting together a second volume on "spiritual formations" and am presently working with a publisher or two and trying to hammer out some details.

    So, to defend the "spiritual formations" issue to the others; "I resemble that remark!":laugh:

    I will understand if you cannot answer here on the BB.

    "That is all!"
     
  6. habeoChristum

    habeoChristum
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    I'm not sure I understand your comment "I resemble that remark". I'm asking because I'm looking into going to seminary, but obviously want more than just "knowledge." I know very little about this type of spiritual formation program that I see at Talbot, and Talbot wasn't a strong candidate for where I wanted to go (TEDS is my favorite so far). That's why I was asking if there are similar programs anywhere else.

    Is there a "first volume" on spiritual formations?
     
  7. paidagogos

    paidagogos
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    I will go behind your question and ask, "Why are you interested in "spiritual formation'?" So, can you define what you are seeking in "more than just 'knowledge'?" Is "spiritual formation" just a warm, fuzzy-feeling term that we use for its connotation without being able to define it? My understanding of spirituality is the fruit of the Spirit (Ephesians 5:22-25ff).

    The current infatuation with "spiritual formation" appears to be a longing for content or something more that has been emptied from our preaching and teaching in the seeker-sensitive movement. However, I will argue strenuously that the road to the future is not the road back to the Roman Catholic mystics or even the Reformed mystics. IMHO, the present rage over "spiritual formation' is a quest for experience and feelings without regard to a changed life and godly behavior. It perfectly fits with the postmodern spirit and the emptiness of postmodern man. This is not a new theme in our society but it parallels the "lostness" protrayed by Sherwood Anderson and other writers of the 1920's. Man needs something to hold onto. With the postmodern skepticism toward truth, man needs a means to find meaning and purpose in life. One cannot exist forever in limbo.

    Simply put, spiritual formation, as I understand it, is trying to accomplish spiritual goals through externals. This has always failed whether the legalism of the Pharisees or the mysticism of monks and recluses. Isn't it strange that opposite polars share the same weaknesses and failures?

    Now, I've baited the hook. Dare we discuss and critique "spiritual formation?" Perhaps this is worthy of another thread. What do you think?
     
  8. Rhetorician

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    hC Response

    hC,

    I just want to clear up some comments made:

    1. "I resemble that remark." By that I mean that I am editing a volume of reflective essays concerning "spiritual formations."

    2. "Is there a 'first volume' on spiritual formations?" No. I referred to a "second volume" as in addition to the our Broadus volume that is supposed to be released in August. So to me it is "volume two."

    Now on to other things. I would take a "wee bit" exception to my colleague Paid above. Although I personally am a personal bit skeptical of anything in theology that smacks of "touchy-feely-Oprahisms" myself.

    Spiritual Formations is defined as:

    "Spiritual formation is the growth and development of the whole person by an intentional focus on one’s (1) spiritual and interior life, (2) interactions with others in ordinary life, and (3) the spiritual practices (prayer, the study of scripture, fasting, simplicity, solitude, confession, worship, etc.). In Care of Mind, Care of Spirit, Gerald G. May has written, “Spiritual formation is a rather general term referring to all attempts, means, instruction, and disciplines intended towards deepening of faith and furtherance of spiritual growth. It includes educational endeavors as well as the more intimate and in-depth process of spiritual direction.”[1]"

    These areas are where this newest volume of "spiritual formations" will focus. Our emphasis will be the minister who suffers or grieves as "spiritual formation" as a lifelong process.

    FYI!
    "That is all!"
     

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