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What can we learn from the different expressions of faith?

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Glenn
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How different expressions of faith help 

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(@stephenb)
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Have attached a file which is the books summary

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Another try at uploading a .doc file

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Glenn
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@stephenb

A Summary of the 6 Christian Traditions from the book by Richard Foster – Streams of Living water

  1. Contemplative Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

John the Apostle

Thomas Merton

Henri Nouwen

 

BRIEF Summary.

Is the steady gaze of the soul upon the God who loves us

Intimate sharing between friends

Characteristics:

  • Love

  • Peace

  • Delight

  • Emptiness (Longing for love)

  • Fire

  • Wisdom

  • Transformation

Strengths:

  1. Fans the flames of our first love

  2. It forces us beyond merely cerebral religion. The insufficiency of intellectual formulation alone

  3. Stress upon the centrality of Prayer

  4. Emphasis on the solitariness of our lives with God

Potential Perils:

  1. Separation from ordinary life (Yet we need to learn how to do this – paradox) - Separation from serious pressing social issues of our day

  2. Closely aligned is “in the world but not of it “ mentality. (Larry Normal song I’m just passing through). Summarised as Spiritual Gluttony

  3. Tendency to devalue intellectual efforts to articulate our faith or issues

  4. Tendency to neglect the community of faith

  1. Holiness Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

James the Apostle

John Wesley

Dietrich Bonhoffer

 

BRIEF Summary.

Book concentrates this section on Dietrich Bonhoffer

NOT rules and regulations but the ability to what needs to be done when it needs to be done

Respond appropriately to the demands of life

Characteristics:

  • Sustained attention to the heart – the source of action of behaviour. It focusses on formation and transformation of behaviour

  • Holiness is found in the middle of our daily lives. the person is free and joyfully in the world but not of it

  • Is not works-righteousness We cant muster up willpower to do good deeds therefore becoming righteous - Striving to get better is not works to get better

  • Holiness is progress sin purity & sanctity

  • Holiness is loving unity with God

Strengths:

  1. An ever deeper formation of the inner personality so as to reflect the glory and goodness of God

  2. Intentional focus upon the heart – the wellspring of action (Puritan writers called it purifying the heart)

  3. Gives hope for genuine progress in character formation

  4. Tough minded down to earth practical how we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Potential Perils:

  1. Legalism

  2. Works of righteousness. We become righteous by our own works

  3. Perfectionism

  1. Charismatic Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

Paul the Apostle

Francis of Assisi

George Fox

Charles Wesley

Aimee Semple Mc Pherson

Kathryn Kuhlman

Dennis Bennet

John Wimber

David Yonggi Cho

 

BRIEF Summary.

Holiness is Power to be – Charismatic is Power to do

1906 Spiritual Awakening Azusa St– William Seymour

Do not live our lives under our own steam but do life in and through the Spirit of God

Characteristics:

  • Charismata

  • Growing in Love

  • Gifts of the Spirit

  • Growth in community

  • Emotions are deeply involved with faith joyrney

Strengths:

  1. An ongoing correction to our impulse to domesticate God – For us to control the work of the Spirit

  2. Constant rebuke to our anaemic practice. How quickly we become satisfied with religious talk

  3. Offers a continuing challenge towards spiritual growth and development

  4. Offers a life of gifting and empowering for witness and service

Potential Perils:

  1. Are aplenty!

  2. Trivialization - the great is expected to be “normal” – lack of excitement at what God does

  3. Rejecting the rational & intellectual

  4. Divorcing gifts of the Spirit from the Fruit of the Spirit

  5. Linking our walk in the Spirit to highly speculative end time scenarios

  6. Others? (Accountability, Mans word vrs Gods word)

  1. Social Justice Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

Deacons (1st Century to present)

Mother Teresa

Martin Luther King Jn

Desmond Tutu

John Vanier

 

BRIEF Summary.

Is where the central issue in the Holiness Tradition – Love – meets the road

To live virtuously we extend into our relationships with People and with Social Structures

 

Characteristics:

  • Matt 22:37-40 You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it You shall love your neighbour as yourself

  • Parable of the good Samaritan

  • Defenders of Justice

  • Care for the poor and needy

Strengths:

  1. Calling us to a right ordering of society – right relationships and right living

  2. Enhances our ecclesiology (doctrine of the church). It helps make our faith real not just heoretical

  3. A bridge between personal ethics and social ethics (ie Read Bible but are racist)

  4. Gives relevance to language of Christian love

  5. Gives a foundation of ecological concerns

  6. Christian social witness continuously holds before us the relevance of the impossible ideal (There is a new heaven & new earth)

Potential Perils:

  1. To become an end in itself

  2. Strident legalism

  3. Become too emerged in political agendas

  1. Evangelical Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

Peter the Apostle

John Wycliffe

Martin Luther

George Whitfield

William Carey

Charles Finney

Charles Spurgeon

Dwight Moody

Billy Graham

Reinhart Bonke

 

BRIEF Summary.

Focusses on the proclamation of the Gospel

 

 

Characteristics:

  • Proclamation of the good news of redemption

  • Focus on the Scriptures

  • Interpretation of scripture – controversial – Col 1:15-20

  • Nicence Creed

Strengths:

  1. Evangelical call to conversion

  2. Christs mandate to disciple nations

  3. Evangelical commitment to biblical fidelity – The authority of the written word of God

  4. Evangelical call to sound doctrine

Potential Perils:

  1. Tendency to fixate on peripheral and nonessential matters

  2. Sectarian mentality. Minor doctrine grows out of proportion – Promotes us & them and silly arguments

  3. Presentation of too limited view of Salvation that is found in Jesus Christ (4 Spiritual laws)

  4. Bibliolatry – worship of the Bible rather than its contents

  1. Incarnational Tradition

Some Identified Proponents:

Leonardo Da Vinci

John Milton

Isaac Newton

Susanna Wesley

Johann Bach

T.S Eliot

Dag Hammarskjold

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

 

BRIEF Summary.

Focusses on making present and visible the realm of the invisible spirit

This sacramental way of living addresses the crying need to experience God as truly manifest and active in daily life

 

Characteristics:

  • Concerns itself the relationship between spirit and matter – God comes to us through material means

  • Religious dimension to us is fully expressed in corporate worship. Physical and material to express and manifest the spiritual

  • Liturgy helps us to express worship to God

  • Col 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus

  • Everyday places Marriages, Work, Community

Strengths:

  1. Reinforces that God is truly among us in our existence

  2. Roots us in everyday life

  3. Gives meaning to our work

  4. Valuable correction to Gnosticism (Spiritual things are wholly good and material things wholly bad)

  5. Constantly directs us Godward

  6. It makes our body a portable sanctuary through which we are daily experiencing the presence of God

  7. Deeps our ecological sensitivities

Potential Perils:

  1. Many!

  2. Pitfall of Idolatry (Failure to distinguish between a sacred object and the reality it signifies

  3. It can fashion the way we manage God through externals. Seeks to confine and control the work of God through ritual systems

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@glenn-ambrose

Brilliant Stephen, Thank you.
Looking forward to our discussion this afternoon 

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Glenn
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Two links that expand on these ideas:

http://spiritualpractice.ca/what_practice/six-spiritual-traditions/ is a expanded summary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78J1xZzpmMU&list=PLz4LvmZH1Yuq5xOi7KmS--fdSIA0WlrNJ is a series of videos with the author Richard Foster.

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see attached file

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(@stephenb)
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PDF version

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Glenn
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