Monday, December 3, 2007

Living Spirituality Study Guide - Chapter 11

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 11 – Justification and Sanctification

*  Do you identify more with Jason or Caroline? What has been your understanding of justification?

*  Often in the church we believe that our faith saves us. How does the relation/distinction configuration of justification nuance our understanding?

*  In speaking of sanctification in degrees, do you believe that it is possible to move backwards – to become less sanctified?

*  Have you ever struggled with what we are calling “false-option identity syndrome”? What are/were the poles you tend to gravitate towards? Does a both/and approach help resolve them? How?

*  As we continue in the process of sanctification, another relation/distinction comes to mind: We are becoming like Christ, but we are not becoming Christ. We retain our uniqueness and individuality. How does this configuration contribute to understanding ourselves not as “zeroes”, but as salt and light of the earth? How does it inform our sense of Christian mission?

*  One of the points of tension that increases as we grow in understanding the diversity of the body of Christ is seeking to understand the components of our personality which are good and contribute to our uniqueness, and which others are harmful. This is particularly true in a culture that highly prizes particular ‘types’ of people and personalities. What are some criteria that we can use as we navigate the path and seek a fuller understanding of our identity?

*  Is the understanding of the blood of Christ as both prescriptive and preventative familiar to you? What are some areas in your life that you can see this truth played out? Places in which forgiveness led to transformation? What are some areas in which the prescriptive view may have hindered transformation?


Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

--The Book of Common Prayer


Suggested Map Reading:

1 Corinthians 1-4

Hebrews 10

Romans 5

Further Reading:

True Spirituality, F. A. Schaeffer

Beyond Identity, D. Keyes