Spiritual Formation for the Global Church
The church is called to grow in Christ. Yet too often, it ignores the practical dimensions of the faith.
The church is one in Christ. Yet too often, it is divided by national, denominational, theological, and racial or ethnic boundaries.
The church is a global body of believers. Yet too often, it privileges a few voices and fails to recognize its own diversity.
In response, this volume offers a multi-denominational, multi-ethnic vision in which biblical scholars, theologians, and practitioners from around the world join together to pursue a cohesive yet diverse theology and praxis of spiritual formation for the global church.
Be fed in your faith by brothers and sisters from around the world.
"What a rich offering this is! The book is a beautiful tapestry woven from diverse cultural and theological threads. The weavers bring important and fresh insights from the fields of biblical studies, theology, and liturgy. What ties the contributions together is a shared focus on the essence of spiritual formation: being conformed to Christ under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend this valuable resource."
"Spiritual Formation for the Global Church is a unique and substantial contribution to spiritual formation. It covers a multidenominational and multicultural approach with a diverse group of authors that better reflects and represents the global church and not just the North American or Western church. It also emphasizes theology as involving spiritual formation at its core and the crucial ministry of the Holy Spirit. This book is essential reading for a more broad-based and biblical perspective on spiritual formation."
"Spiritual formation exists in its own right as an end in itself. But for the teacher in a theology department or seminary, it can offer an otherwise missing or hard-to-find connection between Bible and doctrine and church life and ethics. This volume attempts that in programmatic form, and the contributors get on to the topic of the spiritual life right away. For doctrine and biblical study exist to serve the latter, not vice versa. There is an urgency present even in the introduction, calling the readers to prayer as they read. The ethos is Christ centered, Spirit filled, and mission focused, where mission means hearing God in and through the praying church and cultures of the wide world. In all these contributions there is a striking openness to life transformation in Christ as informed by the biblical witness, offering their own version of a narrative theology with an emphasis on divine power and human emotion as sanctified with the correspondingly correct words and thoughts serving that spiritual life. Take and read!"
"Through an accomplished ensemble of international scholars and practitioners, this volume sounds a clarion call to the church and academy, inviting practitioners and academics to foreground spiritual formation in their respective vocations. The tendency to bifurcate academic enterprise and sanctification is addressed via integrated, multidenominational reflections from across the globe. The editors are to be commended for a resource that will certainly influence the tenor of global disciple making and theological instruction for years to come."
"The growing, indeed exploding interest in spiritual formation around the world is deeply encouraging. Readers interested in global interpretations of the dynamics of spiritual formation—Korean, African, Chinese, European, North American, Australian, and others—will find these essays of interest and significant help."
"The Spirit does not form us in isolation. It takes the family of God to help us grow up as children of God. This volume brings together scholars from a variety of perspectives and theological disciplines to illuminate a subject that is urgently needed today. Harnessing the strength of the global church, Brandt and Frederick widen the conversation and deepen our understanding of Christian spiritual formation for the life of the world."
"This edited volume presents a rich collection of scholarship that provides theological and practical resources for the global church in the field of spiritual formation. The volume assembles a globally diverse team of contributors that not only draws on the cultural resources represented in world Christianity geographically, but also elucidates vital resources across historical contexts. The contexts are also varied, as the writers contextualize formation practices for ecclesial, academic, and broader civic arenas. This book will prove to be a valuable resource to the global body for embracing and reframing Christian traditions of spiritual formation."
"This cohesive yet diverse collection of outstanding essays is important for several reasons: it concretizes the ideal of reading Scripture with and for the global and historic church, it emphasizes the trinitarian nature of spiritual formation and the inherently formative character of biblical and theological study, it highlights the potential for unique expressions of spiritual theology in diverse contexts, and it identifies avenues of authentic, communal, worshipful, and missional spiritual formation for the global church. In so doing, this thought-provoking volume furthers both the theory and praxis of spiritual formation, in multiple places moving me to prayer, reflection, and gratitude for its contribution."
"The evangelical spiritual formation movement has proven surprisingly expansive. Spiritual formation has made significant headway into the local church, the academy, and the practicalities of daily life. With this book, we find evidence that spiritual formation has gone global. Or more accurately, global work on Christian spirituality is reaching North American spiritual formation. Brandt and Frederick have gathered a culturally, ethnically, and denominationally diverse set of authors from a variety of lived contexts addressing Christian formation with crosscultural sensitivity. Given the importance of learning from underrepresented voices and points of view, this book is timely and welcome. I can think of many colleagues and students for whom these authors and their topics will be a breath of fresh air."
"For every reader there is scholarship to ponder from traditions and cultures that are not their own, which can be both challenging and refreshing. The diversity of voices alone is a desperately needed step forward in the field of Christian formation. As a missiologist, I am delighted to see the integration of Christian formation and cultural engagement. The call to both a communal and a missional approach to Christian life is joyfully unmistakable."
Introduction: Ryan A. Brandt and John Frederick
Part One: Biblical and Theological Study as Spiritual Formation
1. New Testament Theology and Spiritual Formation: Michael J. Gorman
2. Theological Education and Spiritual Formation: Sammy Alfaro
3. Biblical Faithfulness and Spiritual Formation: Alfred Olwa
4. Spiritual Theology and Spiritual Formation: An Integrative Methodology for a Global Approach: John H. Coe
Part Two: Acts and Elements of Worship as Spiritual Formation
5. Liturgy and Spiritual Formation: Engaging with Evelyn Underhill's Prayer Book: Robyn Wrigley-Carr
6. The Eucharist as Spiritual Formation: Markus Nikkanen
7. Sacrifice and Surrender as Spiritual Formation: John Frederick and Jonathan K. Sharpe
8. The Beatific Vision as Spiritual Formation: An Augustinian Ressourcement: Ryan A. Brandt
Part Three: Christ, Contemporary Culture, and Spiritual Formation
9. Old Testament Ethics and Spiritual Formation: S. Min Chun
10. Second Peter, Postmodernity, and Spiritual Formation: Le Chih Hsieh
11. The Holy Spirit, Supernatural Interventionism, and Spiritual Formation: J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu
12. Spiritual Formation through Failure and Faithful Perseverance: HaYoung Son
Epilogue: Spiritual Formation, Catholicity, and the Multicultural Communion of the Saints: John Frederick and Ryan A. Brandt