Monday, November 5, 2007

Living Spirituality Study Guide - Chapter 7

Christian spirituality is both overwhelmingly communal and intensely personal. As you read slowly and carefully through this book, we encourage you to think deeply about the questions and ideas presented. Following are some questions for discussion in a group, personal reflection, or both.

Chapter 7 – Living Spirituality in Brokenness

*  When Adam and Eve ‘eat the forbidden fruit’, so to speak, it instigates “death with God.” How does this notion of sin and its consequences gel with the cultural narrative? How can we deal with true evil in a relativistic culture?

*  As we discuss some of the patterns of covenant making (and breaking) in the Old Testament, we discover that God is a promise-making God. What are some other attributes that can be seen in these narratives?

*  The shockingly realistic portrayal of life in the Psalms encompasses the whole range of human emotion and experience, even the negative ones. Is this kind of a messy, difficult spirituality the one that is commonly ‘advertised’ by the church? Do you think that the reality of living Christian spirituality as portrayed in the Psalms would be more or less appealing to the culture both within and outside of the church? Why?

*  It is observed on page 60 that the prophets “intensely mourn the loss of community with God and offer a severe critique of the life of God’s people. They attempt to shake these people from their complacency and radical sinfulness in order to make them aware of their covenant responsibilities so that they might return to God and live.” Why is mourning part of this? What can the prophets teach us about some of our functions within the church? About the purpose of critique and the manner in which we make it?


Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

--Psalm 139:23-24


Suggested Map Reading:

Genesis 12; 15; 17

Job 38-42

Psalm 42; 44; 60; 71

For Further Study:

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, C. Plantinga