Gazing at God : some preliminary observations on contemplative Reformed spirituality

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Tom Schwanda


We live in a world of alienation, and the contemporary desire for spiritual experience is one indicator of our hunger for wholeness. Perhaps that is one reason why some people question whether there is anything which resembles a Reformed spirituality. Their interaction with Reformed Christians has been dry and devoid of joy. Unfortunately, there have been some within the Reformed household of faith who have lost the historical Christian integration of head and heart. Instead of cultivating a healthy sense of wonder and the experience of God, they have communicated a faith laden with disconnected knowledge and explanation. This experience is by no means unique to Reformed Christians; almost every denomination or faith tradition has had similar struggles. I however, since my roots are Reformed, I write from this perspective. Over the years some of these frustrated persons have migrated to explore a wide range of spiritual options ranging from charismatic to non-Christian expressions of the New Age. Sadly, rather than recognizing the valid critique their exodus offers, members of the Reformed tradition are apt to look with critical eyes on those who moved to more emotional or expressive faith practices.

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How to Cite
Schwanda, T. (2002). Gazing at God : some preliminary observations on contemplative Reformed spirituality. Reformed Review, 56(2). Retrieved from