“Spiritual theology seeks to understand spiritual growth form beginning to end, making use of biblical and experiential data. Thus many ancient spiritual writers trace the development of the spiritual life as stages of growth. Perhaps the best known is the “three ways” of purgation, illumination and union, a scheme that crops up repeatedly in spiritual writings throughout history. Thomas has three classes of Christians: beginners, proficients and perfect. Bernard sees growth as four degrees of love and as twelve steps of humility. Teresa of Avila speaks of seven grades of prayer. In traditional Protestant theology, the Christian life is understood as progressing according to a certain “order of salvation” (ordo salutis): justification, sanctification and glorification.”
Simon Chan- Spiritual Theology
I will be spending the next three days working a conference called the Spiritual Formation Forum in Long Beach. This conference features many of the biggest names when it comes to spiritual formation; Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Larry Crabb and many others. At this Forum there are all kinds of workshops on meditations, Ignatius prayers, and all kinds of spiritual disciplines. I personally am not too sure about all of this. I have no doubt that these are great Christian people who desire to be closer to the Lord, but some of this stuff seems a bit misguided.
What are your thoughts on Spiritual Formation?