Bryan and Trav were jazzed to be in attendance today for the lecture by Richard Foster. I have to admit that I was excited too. Foster's classic, Celebration of Discipline, has meant a lot to me over the years. Even Jason and Jack were ready to settle down for a good lecture.The main part of Foster's message consisted of his "10 Counsels in Spiritual Formation." They were as follows:
- Do not define spiritual formation in terms of various practices. This one was my favorite, it's too easy to decide that what connects with me spiritually will work for others. That's not the case. It's okay if some "spiritual" practices just don't work for you or for me. The practice of the discipline isn't the point, "the practices are the way to get you into life."
- Do not focus on curriculum based solutions. "The evangelical church is in love with curriculum."
- Do not aim at outward action. Under this heading Foster simply called upon the church to balance the "six streams" of the church: contemplation, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and sacramental.
- Do base spiritual formation in the Great Commission. The Great Commission includes life in the kingdom of God and is available now. "Life" in the kingdom of God is unpacked in the Sermon on the Mount.
- Do think internationally.
- Do think in terms of the church universal.
- Do give sustained attention to a balanced vision of the Christian life.
- Do draw from the great tradition of the church.
- Do take a long view of discipleship and maturation.
- Do develop the highest possible Christology.
McKenna Chapel was pretty full for this session. It was nice to get the chance to hear Foster speak, another perk that comes along with being here this year. The day ended on a bittersweet note. When I got home there was a message on my phone from Buddy Swain letting me know that Howard from Grandview died today. I will blog about him tomorrow. We will miss Howard very much, but he wanted to go. God Bless Howard!