Aug 14, 2009

Do Christians Know How To Be Spiritual?

Do Christians Know How to be Spiritual By John Drane is a wonderful book that will challenge you to re-think the world you are reaching out to and to rethink what church may look like in the future.

Chapter One alone is very thought provoking, here's a quick summary with some key questions following.

The text at hand is basically a set of lectures given at The London Lectures in Contemporary Christianity. The forward of the book explains that Drane delivered the lectures in 2004 in which he explored new expressions of spirituality and a Christian response. It is these lectures that are presented in the text. The text is divided into four main chapters or sections. In the first section Drane explores the differences between religion and spirituality and how we historically (24-40) arrived at our current thinking in the 21st century. Our current climate sees one where individuals and organisations are offering many spiritual services (8). Religion is seen as a narrow and controlling worldview that prevents people from reaching their full potential (10). Spirituality is viewed as the opposite, an agent whereby we might reach our full potential; that which promotes wholeness and healing on all levels (10). Many believe that the spiritual reality that the church once had has been lost to structure and self serving interests (13). Christians themselves are indicating a dissatisfaction with the church, feeling that what she offers is mere pre-packaged products, void of Christian values they seek (40).

Key Questions to ponder:

1) Why is it that the world views Christianity as a narrow and controlling world view? How do you minister accordingly so as not to reinforce this negative viewpoint?

2) If Christians are becoming dissatisfied with the church, what do you think it is that they are looking for?

3) Can you have spiritual reality and structure? What are the ramifications for evangelism? Explain.

NB. Would value your comments on any of these questions.

Drane, John William. Do Christians Know How to Be Spiritual? : The Rise of New Spirituality, and the Mission of the Church. London: Darton Longman & Todd, 2005.