Pressing On: the Spiritual Maturity Project blog

Epistemic Healing: Identifying the Disease

The previous post introduced the term "epistemic healing."  I began to try to distinguish good, even necessary, questions that feel like doubt but often are steps on the way to confidence in knowing, from others that breed mental immobility and harden the heart into perpetual hesitance.  Epistemic sickness lies there.  

As a pastor I have had any number of conversations with people who, because of a class they took or a book they read, now doubt the orthodox teachings of the Christian faith.  (There seems to be no end of self-identified Christian scholars bent on debunking the church's central claims, such as about Jesus' resurrection from the dead.)  Some people embrace the new knowledge enthusiastically, while others find themselves locked down, not knowing what to think any more.  They now doubt what they thought they knew.  Some very influential faith-development theory bears some of the culpability for this sad state of affairs. ...

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Overcoming Gaps in Christian Experience

The Spiritual Maturity Project aims at overcoming two gaps in the experience of many Christians.  These gaps stunt growth and steal joy because they blind us to God's actions.  

The first gap lies between Christian scholarship and so-called practical books, books on "Christian living." Scholarly writings in the Christian tradition are generally thought of as "theoretical," as virtually the opposite of practical, written in abstract, highly technical language that normal Christians can't understand, anyway, so why bother? Most Christians interested in growing spiritually therefore turn to books written at a popular level, found in the "Christian living" category. 

In spite of any number of good, edifying books written in non-technical language, the popular Christian book market is flooded with stuff that stays on the surface.  Sometimes such books become bestsellers and being a bestseller is the signal that they are meeting a need and helping...

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