Series 3

Volume 7, Issue 2

Fall 2010, Spiritual Formation and Christian Education

Special focus issues also contain articles of general interest to the field of Christian education.

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Articles in this Issue

  1. Editorial: Recent Research and Future Foci

    By Dr. Kevin E Lawson — Pages 263-266

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  2. The Family of Faith: The Place of Natural Mentoring in the Church's Christian Formation of Adolescents

    By Dr. Jason Lanker — Pages 267-280

    Previous research has shown that an important resource in adolescent development is the presence of natural mentors. Yet what is the impact of natural mentoring on adolescents' spiritual development? This article looks primarily at an exegesis of Titus 2:1-??8 in order to gain biblical insights regarding the use of natural mentoring in the church's Christian education of adolescents.

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  3. Allelon: Reciprocal Commands and Christian Development

    By Dr. Mary E Lowe and Dr. Stephen D Lowe — Pages 281-298

    The "one another" (alle¯lo¯n) imperatives found in the New Testament provide a way for Christians to more accurately explain and understand how "the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Eph 4:16). The reciprocal nature and outcome of the interactions between and among members of the body of Christ parallels the way in which developmentalists describe the reciprocal development that occurs when developing persons interact with one another across a variety of social encounters. The article will explore how developmental interactionists describe developmental reciprocity, how the New Testament "one another" imperatives mirror this reciprocity in the body of Christ, and how knowledge of such reciprocal interactions helps us better understand the ingredients necessary to facilitate our own and one another's spiritual development.

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  4. Viewing Biblical Narratives Through a Literary Lens: Practicing Narrative Analysis on Matthew 16:16-20

    By Dr. Henry Andrew Corcoran — Pages 299-318

    In this essay, following a brief look at the history of narrative theology, the theological context of narrative analysis, I intend to teach Christian educators, including lay persons, how to use several of the major concepts of narrative analysis in their study of the Bible. In this article I apply those concepts to a disputed text,Matthew 16:16-??20. I then assess the principles of narrative analysis by comparing how Matthew and Mark use the same narrative sources in the writing of their gospels. Finally, I offer an opportunity to practice narrative analysis with a passage from the Gospel of John.

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  5. Nurturing Spiritual Identity Formation in Youth Curriculum From the Theological-Psychological Approach of James Loder

    By Kevin M Gushiken — Pages 319-333

    Adolescent identity formation involves not simply preparing a young person for the future or equipping them, him or her to cope with the problems of today, but it also requires a personal integrated spiritual formation. This article examines the predominant educational philosophies undergirding youth discipleship and their deficiencies, as well as challenges educators to embrace teaching approaches that focus on identity formation. James Loder's theological-psychological approach to development, specifically his five axes of adolescent identity formation involving space/time, values, authority, love, and worth, is explored. These principles are then expanded to address issues of curriculum development and application.

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  6. Guest Editorial Introduction to the Special Focus: Spiritual Formation and Christian Education

    By Dr. Paul D.G. Bramer — Pages 334-339

    The definition proposed by Nevin Harner in 1939 for Christian education as "a reverent attempt to discover the divinely ordained process by which individuals grow toward Christ likeness and to work with that process" (Harner 1939, p. 20) applies equally well to that of spiritual formation. The general concerns of spiritual formation have always been a part of Christian education-and Christian education has always included and been a means of spiritual formation. It is not only that spiritual formation and Christian education share similar purposes but many Christian educators have been giving leadership to the spiritual formation movement, exemplified by the Christian educators who have written articles in this special theme issue.

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  7. Christian Education and Spiritual Formation: One and the Same?

    By Dr. Sophia R G Steibel — Pages 340-355

    Christian education as an academic discipline is under scrutiny due to the rising influence of spiritual formation. Churches are replacing Christian educators with pastors of spiritual formation. However, there are many ways in which these approaches overlap. This article seeks to identify how selected voices among Christian educators of the 20th century-John Westerhoff, III and James E. Loder, Jr. in particular-and contemporaries have unpacked the motif of spiritual formation. It argues that Christian education and spiritual formation are complementary but distinct disciplines and seeks to identify ways Christian educators can endorse spiritual formation with integrity.

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  8. Christian Education is More Than Formation

    By Dr. Robert W Pazmino — Pages 356-365

    This article considers Christian education as being spiritual in nature if it is faithful to its Christian roots, but encompassing more than an exclusive emphasis upon formation to include in explicit ways the crucial areas of both shared information and anticipated transformation in the lives of persons, churches, and communities. The reliance upon spiritual formation alone as an educational paradigm can squelch the place of the prophetic ministry and rigorous study. Christian education that is holistic seeks to share information, to nurture formation, and to explore the transformation God seeks to bestow upon Christian faith communities in the third millennium.

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  9. Six Themes to Guide Spiritual Formation Ministry Based on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount

    By Dr. Klaus Issler — Pages 366-388

    What key themes for spiritual formation ministry and Christlike living does Jesus identify? From a study of Jesus' central Sermon on the Mount (SM) emerged six broad formation themes. Further support for these six themes was then sought in relevant ways the Holy Spirit ministers to believers today. This six-theme model of Christlikeness may serve as an initial fundamental framework for assessing the scriptural correspondence within the varied goals for Christian formation offered by Christian leaders. As an illustration, the six themes were compared with Robert Pazmino's five-task model for the church. Finally, some suggestions for practical implications of the six themes are offered. Future studies may confirm, amplify, revise, or replace these particular six themes in order to establish a robust evaluative framework as one means to address the problem of "sanctification pluralism."

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  10. Moses and the Monk: Two Desert Voices on the Centrality of Thought Life in Spiritual Formation

    By Dr. Daryl Frederick Busby — Pages 389-400

    A disciplined mind provides the foundation for many approaches to spiritual formation. Whether Catholic, broadly Protestant, evangelical, or of another religious heritage, many writers address the role of thought life in spiritual disciplines. This essay provides an evangelical assessment of one Desert Father, Evagrius de Pontus, who wrote often about the mind and sets his insights alongside those in Deuteronomy.While the essay may introduce the reader to one more ancient writer, the essay can also assist students of spiritual formation in the vital task of reading sources with theological discernment.

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  11. Spiritual Formation Goes to College: Class-Related "Soul Projects" in Christian Higher Education

    By Dr. David P Setran and Dr. James C Wilhoit and Dr. Donald Ratcliff and Daniel T Haase and Linda M. Rozema — Pages 401-422

    Spiritual formation is both an opportunity and a challenge for educators in Christian colleges and seminaries. How can students be nurtured and guided in developing spiritually within the curriculum? Drawing on a number of educators, studies, and arguments, this article develops a rationale for engaging in spiritual formation and for the use of practical assignments or "soul projects." A selection of such projects is grouped into genres, followed by a brief exploration of best practices and an evaluation of such assignments.

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  12. Spiritual Formation in Online Higher Education Communities: Nurturing Spirituality in Christian Higher Education Online Degree Programs

    By Dr. Mark A Maddix and Dr. James R. Estep, Jr — Pages 423-434

    Spiritual formation is one of the recognized benchmarks of higher education that is Christian. A communal commitment to spiritual formation is indeed part of the Christian higher education community's DNA, and is in fact reflected in the criteria for accreditation in both the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). However, as many Christian institutions of higher education begin to engage in online instruction, even offering entire degree programs online, how can they affirm their campus's commitment to the spiritual formation of students? This article addresses the question of providing intentional Christian nurture toward spiritual formation in online degree programs. The aim of the article is to inform participants of the challenges and opportunities for student spiritual formation in online degree programs so as to better equip participants to develop Christian nurture initiatives for online students from an informed perspective. To do so the article includes two parts: (a) the development of a theoretical matrix for online spiritual formation, based principally on precedent literature and the experience of the two authors; and (b) a survey of actual Christian nurture and spiritual formation models specifically designed for online programs.

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  13. Book Symposium--Helping Our Children Grow in Faith

    By Dr. James W Mohler — Pages 428-439

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  14. Book Reviews

    By Dr. Jane Carr — Pages 437-485

    Childfaith: Experiencing God and spiritual growth with your children. By Donald and Brenda Ratcliff. Eugene, OR. Cascade Books. 2010.
    Review by Thomas Sanders, Director, Master of Arts in Christian Education: Childhood Ministry, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX.

    Student ministry and the supremacy of Christ. By Richard Ross. Bloomington, IL. Cross Books. 2009.
    Review by Margaret Lawson, Associate Professor of Foundations of Education, Terry School of Church and Family Ministries, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary: Fort Worth, TX

    Ethnography as a pastoral practice: An introduction. By Mary Clark Moschella. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrims Press. 2008.
    Review by James Riley Estep, Jr., Professor of Christian Education, Lincoln Christian University, Lincoln, IL.

    Handbook of psychology of religion and spirituality: Edited by Raymond F. Paloutzian and Crystal L. Park. New York: The Guilford Press.
    Review by Thomas Sanders, Director, Master of Arts in Christian Education: Childhood Ministry, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX.

    KidLead: Growing great leaders. By Alan E. Nelson, Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing. 2009.
    Review by Sam Baker, Associate Professor of Student & Family Ministries, Corban University; Salem, OR.

    The longview: Lasting strategies for rising leaders. By Roger Parrott. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook. 2009.
    Review by Robert Drovdahl, Professor of Christian Ministries and Education, School of Theology, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.

    Life with God: Reading the Bible for spiritual transformation. By Richard J. Foster and Kathryn A. Helmers. New York. USA: HarperCollins Publishers. 2008.
    Reviewed by Faustin Ntamushobora, Executive Director, TLAfrica, Inc. (www.tlafrica.org), La Mirada, CA.

    Befriending death: Henri Nouwen and a spirituality of dying. By Michelle O'Rourke. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. 2009.
    Review by Michael Brian Thompson, Associate Professor, Practical Theology, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, OH.

    Souls in transition: The religious and spiritual lives of emerging adults. By Christian Smith with Patricia Snell. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Reviewed by Steve Huerd, Student Venture Twin Cities Director and doctoral student, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, CA.

    Spiritual intelligence: Discover your SQ. Deepen your faith. By Alan E. Nelson, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2010.
    Reviewed by Beverly Johnson-Miller, Associate Professor of Christian Discipleship, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY.

    Transforming worldviews: An anthropological understanding of how people change. By Paul G. Hiebert, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.
    Review by Linden D. McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Christian Education Department, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas. TX.

    Leadership and the sexes: Using gender science to create success in business. By Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis. San Francisco, CA. Jossey Bass. 2008.
    Review by Halle Gray Scott, Adjunct Faculty, Haggard Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA.

    Leadership and the liberal arts: Achieving the promise of a liberal education. Edited by J. Thomas Wren, Ronald E. Riggio, and Micahel A. Genovese, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 2009.
    Review by Stanley J. Ward, Bible Department Chair, The Brook Hill School, Bullard, TX.

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