What is spiritual?

You can talk about ‘spiritual’ things today, even ‘spirituality’, but what do we mean? There is a variety of views about exactly what constitutes spirituality. To cut to the chase, J.A.Wiseman (2006) observed four approaches:

a. Spirituality is about Ultimate Meanings.
b. Everyone is Spiritual
c. Spirituality is about an experience of transcendence
d. A body of interpretations can be called a particular kind of spirituality
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Contemporary Contemplatives

Alongside western romanticism, the twentieth century witnessed within Christianity a growing counter-cultural resurgence of contemplation. It encountered resistance from more activist and more rationalist forms of Christianity. However this un-orchestrated emergence is mostly motivated by a felt need to depart from that form of rationalism with which the Western worldview is saturated. It is God out of the box. Let us take a tour of these developments.

In the pre-World War 2 era, interest in contemplation followed the parallel routes of ‘mythology’ and ‘mysticism’, and was pursued by some remarkable and original persons.

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God is with you

Here’s a free sample, one of the exercises from the series, “Your Story”. Where can we see God at work in others’ lives? How can we interpret that to help them to see how BIG God is? What is happening around them that bears the fingerprints of God?

Some voices speak of a pattern or purpose emerging in their life. They have a sneaking suspicion that they are here for a reason. For many people, it is more than a suspicion. They have been met by a happening from heaven, called an “epiphany” or possibly “a wake up call”. But what is real here? Some epiphanies may be just an overheated imagination, some of it superstitious, without a shred of evidence. Can we understand these spiritual experiences?

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Four stories

This is a way of framing a lot of what we do in Makes You Wonder. The basic skill of communicating the gospel is to share four stories. All four are needed, and it doesn’t much matter where you start so long as you don’t stop there. There are exercises in each of these in the four parts of Makes You Wonder.

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