Item description for Christian Spiritual Formation in the Church and Classroom by Susanne Johnson...
Overview In this thought-provoking volume, Johnson counters what she sees as "wrong-thinking" in much contemporary Christian education by offeirng forceful ideas about spiritual formation and faith development. The author challenges the way the entire discipline of Christian education is currently approached.
In this thought-provoking new volume, Susanne Johnson counters what she sees as "wrong-thinking" in much contemporary Christian education by offering forceful ideas about spiritual formation and faith development.
First, she shows the "flabbiness" of much recent talk of spiritual formation in the church. She demonstrates the importance of learning about and achieving Christian formation instead. Second, she shows how the present theories of stages in faith development must be replaced by a perceptive understanding of the way persons actually learn and believe. Third, she replaces the popular focus on individual psychology with one that emphasizes the corporate nature of the church and the grace of God.
This volume brings innovative ideas into the practical arena, where they can be applied by Christian educators in local churches. Christian Spiritual Formation in the Church and Classroom challenges the way the entire discipline is currently approached.
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.44" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.45" Weight: 0.53 lbs.
Release Date Nov 19, 1989
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687075904 ISBN13 9780687075904
Availability 58 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 27, 2016 08:59.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Susanne Johnson
Johnson is associate dean for community life and assistant professor of Christian education at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Christian Spiritual Formation in the Church and Classroom?
Telling Our Own Stories May 7, 2006
This is a thoughtful and insightful book about spiritual formation as practiced by the cultural-linguistic methodology. The concept of spiritual formation as linking with the meta-narrative Christian Story is an innovative approach to spiritual formation and Christian education. The Christian Story approach was first popularized in New Testament studies especially in the story of St.Paul. This may be the first time it is applied to Christian education and spiritual formation. This book was written by Susanne Johnson, who was then associate dean for community life and assistant professor of Christian education at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Johnson developed a concise description of a model of spiritual formation based on the Christian Story. Spiritual growth was when we recognize that we each have our own stories and that we need to link our stories to that of the Christian Story. The Christian Story forms the content of spiritual formation while the local congregation forms the context of our formation. The key to this formation is participation in worship, praxis and instruction, using the means of grace.
For this model to work, the congregation must be a spiritually vital and spiritually growing one. Much of what Johnson has written depends on the congregation providing the context, the teaching and the modelling. What happens if the congregation is weak? What if most if not all of the members are worldly, attaching their stories to other cultural stories rather than the Christian story? Would spiritual formation take place in that congregation? One must take into account that the congregation also teaches the explicit, hidden and null curriculum.
This model also depends on strong Christian leadership who is aware of the Christian story and who can lead and design programs that involve participation, give group or individual guidance, teach the spiritual disciplines and live a life of worship.
It is interesting that Johnson took issue with modern psychology which she likens to a religion in itself and in faith developmental theories which she is afraid will be used legalistically by some Christian leaders. While there is some truth in her fears, one must also be reminded that these are wonderful tools which can help us to understand ourselves and our faith/moral development. As all tools, it should be used to produce results and not as an end for itself.
In summary, Johnson has produced an excellent seminal work on spiritual formation in the congregation based on the meta-narrative of the Christian Story.