Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spirituality - What's a Christian to Do?

Our Life Group has recently begun reading N.T. Wright's new classic Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense. In the first part of the book, Wright explores four of what he calls "echoes of a voice: the longing for justice, the quest for spirituality, the hunger for relationships, and the delight in beauty." Each of these universal signposts point beyond themselves towards the possibility of something more. That "something more" ultimately finds its fulfillment in the person and work of Christ.

This past week we finished chapter two, "The Hidden Spring," which deals with the resurgence of all things spiritual in Western culture, from New Age mysticism, "with Tarot cards, crystals, horoscopes, and so on" to self-help books, Kabbalah, labyrinths and Celtic Christianity. What is Christianity to make of all this spirituality? Like most cultural expressions, spirituality is something of a doubled-edged sword. On the one hand, "If anything like the Christian story is in fact true (in other words, if there is a God whom we can know most clearly in Jesus), this interest is exactly what we should expect; because in Jesus we glimpse a God who loves people and wants them to know and respond to that love." On the other hand, "part of the Christian story...is that human beings have been so seriously damaged by evil that what they need isn't simply better self-knowledge, or better social conditions, but help, and indeed rescue, from outside themselves. Thus, by itself 'spirituality' may appear to be part of the problem as well as part of the solution."

No easy answers, I suppose. If you're interested in pursing this conversation, the Life Group in question meets on Thursday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. For more information, contact either Amanda or myself (we're in the directory).

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