Spiritual Theology Essay

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For many, Christianity is often associated as a form of religion and not as a form of “spirituality.” This is apparent in that when one walks into a book store, writings that have a Christian theme is often categorized under the religion section. With such, Christianity has often been misunderstood as a belief that has to do with obeying a set of rules as a way to please God. However, there are many “Christians” today that would differ on this position. Spirituality is argued by writers such as Richard J. Foster and Dallas Willard as an integral part of the Christian faith. This is evident in the branch of theology known as “Spiritual Theology.” Singaporean theologian Simon Chan, describes spiritual theology as “arises from personal experience of God in Jesus Christ and reflecting on that experience leads to a deeper experiential knowledge of God.” The focus of spiritual theology is on the practical implications of how the understanding of God affects our understanding of the nature and goal of Christian life. Meyer further discusses spiritual theology in two components: “Spiritual theology has been the academic study of Christian formation. It has been divided into two fields: ascetic theology and mystical theology. Ascetic theology focuses upon much of what we term “discipleship” today. It looks at our training (askēsis), especially in terms of practicing various spiritual disciplines, as practical steps in putting to death our old nature of sin so that we can walk in the freedom of the Spirit…mystical theology looks upon our intimate encounter with God. What we call “experiencing God’s presence in prayer” or “feeling God in worship,” is what Christian mysticism is about.” Therefore, spiritual theology is the study of spiritual formation which is described as the process of being “conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” How this discipline
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