Prior to this class, I viewed spiritual formation as the process of growing closer to God and others. While this isn’t necessarily a wrong view, Dr. Crabb explains that by living with the spirit, making oneself available to whatever is going on, our interior world will become more like Jesus’ interior world.
I think I assumed that there had to be an informational aspect to any soul care conversation (teaching, sharing knowledge). But, as Dr Crabbs points out, an informational conversation has rarely caused anyone to make a bold and decisive move in the direction of the Spirit. Imparting knowledge does something to the mind but does not necessary lead to transformation at the deepest level of one’s being. Something needs to be stirred up inside the other person, and that can not be achieved through introducing a new piece of information (relevant and helpful as it may be in certain contexts).
This is the second time I’m doing this course, so the concept isn’t new. But I LOVE the concept of offering a relationship more than advice, of joining another more than giving answers. It has brought me much relief to know that answers and advice are not the goal of soul care….relationship is!
I do not have a clear definition of spiritual formation and believe it is a process that each Christian has to build upon living on earth under the Spiritual guidance.
I took a spiritual formation course in college, and I guess it was based (from my opinion and memory) upon doing specific disciplines in order to be formed in a Christian mindset. His definition is more of following the move of the Spirit to give wisdom in our interactions with others.
My own definition was kinda fuzzy. Something more vague about being more spiritually mature. Dr Crabb’s definiton focuses on the Spirit of God motivating us to become internally more lie the interior world of Christ.
According to Dr. Crabb, “The purpose in the spiritual formation conversation is to celebrate the presence of God’s Spirit. … two people, and maybe more, get together the agreed-upon purpose of spiritual formation. [This is] as a process by which the Spirit of God relieves the holy tension in the seeking, honest soul, by nourishing the passion for God that He has already placed in the soul so that the interior world of our ruling passions increasingly resembles the interior world of Jesus. Seems close to what I have thought it to be, but it was not put into these words. In addition to that, the idea that both must agree to it in words is good and makes it more effective, although I think it can happen at times without that.
Prior: Spiritual formation is often tied to spiritual disciplines. It is in practicing these disciplines that we allow the transformational work of God in our life to take place. (Disciplines, to Habit, to Delight). It is a mostly a solitary journey.
Dr Crabb’s focus is on spiritual formation conversation. The purpose is to celebrate the presence of the Spirit of God and avail ourselves to whatever He is doing at this moment. The effect is a holy tension with us (our flesh and the Spirit), and it is in this holy tension that spiritual formation takes place.
While using Renovare, Dallas Willard, Early Christian Forefathers, and other sources for inspiration to follow Spiritual Disciplines, his definition had freed me to tap into the Holy Spirit in a way which makes me feel peace and joy. I have always had a personal drive in me to know the trinity better and serve better, but now it is more of a surrender, abandonment, and release to let the Holy Spirit got to work and the God create in me a Christlike heart through acceptance of his son as savior and teacher, while at the same time being used as a vessel for His spirit to do the same for another. Through this process I have also begun to understand the relationship between the Trinity and it brings me great hope, joy, and longing to be back fully in that relationship in heaven.
I didn’t really have a definition of spiritual formation prior to this course. Dr. Larry Crabb defines spiritual formation as the process by which the Spirit of God relieves the Holy Tension in the seeking honest soul by nourishing the passion for God that he has already placed in the soul so that the interior world of our ruling passions increasingly resembles the interior world of Jesus.