Tag Archives: Spiritual formation

The Mystery, the Way and the Journey

The writing bug has hit me hard this week… so I took yesterday off work and spent the morning at a local coffee shop writing.

The project I’m working on is centered around three concepts: the mystery, the way and the journey.  Split into three parts with three chapters each, it will explore some of my thoughts on how to live between the here and not yet. The project builds upon the Kingdom Theology of my first book (The Here and Not Yet) while pulling in elements of spiritual formation, post-modernism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Below is a quick snippet from the first chapter about the three parts of the book:

So how do we set aside our fears and fully embrace Jesus? How do we move beyond a two-dimensional Jesus to a fully body Jesus who is active around us? I would suggest that the way forward centers on embracing three underlying concepts that will shift the way in which we see Jesus and the world around us. The first concept is that of the Mystery. That is to say, that we must embrace the tension of knowing and not-knowing. It is a worldview that understands and is comfortable with never fully knowing or understanding Jesus while still passionately seeking him.

The second concept is that of the Way. For years modern Christianity has taught us that following Jesus is centered on a single salvation prayer that saves the soul from eternal separation from God. While there is truth in this view, I propose that following Jesus is more than just a single prayer. Rather it is a way of life that transforms our spirit, body and soul along with our relationships, desires, passions and, quite frankly, our life. Couple with this transformation process is the invitation to join Jesus on a life long Journey. This journey with Jesus is the third concept we are to embrace as it opens new doors into the future that are as wonderful as they dangerous.

The mystery, the way and the journey. Three underlying concepts that will helps us cast aside our fears and fully embrace the living Jesus. It is dangerous so read on with caution.

Spirituality is NOT a Substitute for Psychology!

“We need to realize that not only is psychology not a substitute from spirituality, but spirituality is not a substitute for psychology. While most Christians would not tend to make the first assertion, many would and do tend to make the second…

Psychological brokenness needs treatment in the same way that a broken bone needs to be set and healed. While
physical therapy is an integral and essential aspect of healing for a broken leg, the therapy alone, without setting of the bone, will never enable the bone to heal properly. Likewise, spiritual formation is an integral and essential part of recovery of human wholeness from psychological brokenness, but spiritual formation alone will never bring full and complete wholeness of being.”

I read the above quote today and just had to share it. It was penned by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr. and released in his book Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation.

While the quote may sound self-evident to some of you, I have heard Christian leaders tell people that psychology is of the devil and is to be avoided. Yeah. Much sadness….

There is a time and a place for psychology and professional counseling.  While a pastor or other Christian leader can cry and pray with you, they aren’t there to fix you or solve all your problems. They are there to remind you that the Creator King entered into our broken world to walk with us through the dark valleys of life.

Let us all run fearlessly into the dark places of our souls this year with Jesus. Let us pursue spiritual disciplines, professional counseling, or whatever else is needed to move us forward in life. Let us break free of the fear that holds us in bondage.

Peace and strength to you all.