On holy ground : spiritual formation with a reformed accent
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This project is designed as an introductory course in the roots of Reformed spirituality. The course is fashioned with theological students or serious adult students in mind. The course seeks to combine the legitimate inheritance of the past with the creative possibilities of the present in a blend that is penultimately Reformed Christian, but ultimately catholic Christian.
The first chapter, Nee Tamen Consumebatur, is an auto-biographical probing of the question: Is there spiritual life beyond Arkansas?
The second chapter, The Invitation to Holy Ground, identifies those components of spirituality that are the distinguishing characteristics of Reformed spirituality.
The third chapter, The Holy Ground Cleared, explores the positive values of our tradition and the necessity for traditioning. The three characteristics of our Tradition are examined: the catholic, evangelical, and reformed.
The fourth chapter, Holy Ground Surveyed, scans the development of a variety of Roman Catholic and Protestant spiritualities with a view to understanding the thread of unity which develops within each tradition. The varieties of spiritualities are seen as supplementing each other, not supplanting each other.
The fifth chapter, The Holy Ground Celebrated, focuses on the ancestral roots of Reformed spirituality as found within the Old and New Testaments, the early church, sixteenth century Reformation down to the Liturgy of 1968.
The sixth chapter, The Holy Ground Explored, examines in more detail the unique gifts to Reformed spirituality of our father in God, John Calvin, and other Reformed divines. These Reformed fathers and mothers are formative and instructive to a spirituality that is ever reforming.
The seventh chapter, The Holy Ground Appropriated, investigates the rich treasures we have inherited from our Reformed past, but which can be "recycled for current use" to our profit and advent age. Resources explored and appropriated are: the lectionary, the Christian year, daily office, psalter, soul-friend, community and eucharist, arts, and worldliness of Reformed spirituality.
The eighth chapter, A Barthian Postscript, visits the lecture room of Karl Barth to overhear this Reformed theologian set significant priorities for theologians in thinking the thoughts of God after him. Professor Barth stresses four themes vital for the theological task: prayer, study, service and love.
An appendix is included which reveals the results of a survey taken among the Reformed and Presbyterian seminaries of North America.