The Spiritual Formation Movement
Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.
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Those who are teaching "spiritual formation" believe we cannot be "deep" Christians without it.
Willard Comments on Spiritual Formation
"[F]rom the viewpoint of those responsible to lead in Christ's program of making students from all ethnic groupings, immersing them in the reality of the triune name, and teaching them to do all things he has commanded us (Matt. 28:19-28), Christian spiritual formation is simply indispensable."from Idaho Springs Inquiries Concerning Spiritual Formation
"Sometimes we think of spiritual formation as formation by the Holy Spirit. Once again. That's essential. We can't evade it--formation by the Holy Spirit. But now I have to say something that may be challenging for you to think about: Spiritual formation is not all by the Holy Spirit. None without the Holy Spirit. But there's always more involved. And here again we run into the problems of passivity over against activity. Here lies the deepest challenge to the very idea obedience to Christ in our times. We have to recognize that spiritual formation in us is something that is also done to us by those around us, by ourselves, and by activities which we voluntarily undertake ...There has to be method." from Spiritual Formation, What is it and How is it Done? by Dallas Willard
Haley Barton on Spiritual Formation
"A few years ago, I began to recognize an inner chaos in my soul . . . No matter how much I prayed, read the Bible, and listened to good teaching, I could not calm the internal roar created by questions with no answers." "Beyond Words: Experience God's presence in silence and solitude "
"I sought out a spiritual director, someone well versed in the ways of the soul ... eventually this wise woman said to me, ... "What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.' ... I decided to accept this invitation to move beyond my addiction to words."
Specialties on Spiritual Formation
"By now enough water has gone under the Christian Spiritual Formation bridge that we can give some assessment of where we have come and what yet needs to be done. When I first began writing in the field in the late 70s and early 80s the term "Spiritual Formation" was hardly known, except for highly specialized references in relation to the Catholic orders. Today it is a rare person who has not heard the term. Seminary courses in Spiritual Formation proliferate like baby rabbits. Huge numbers are seeking to become certified as Spiritual Directors to answer the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction. And more." Spiritual Formation, A Pastoral Letter by Richard Foster
"The next reformation is due. It will focus on what it means to know God with a power that changes who we are and how we relate. I predict the Spiritual Formation Forum will play a vital role in the Spirit's next great movement." Larry Crabb, The Association of Christian Counselors