Allelon: Reciprocal Commands and Christian Development

From: Volume 7, Issue 2: Fall 2010, Spiritual Formation and Christian Education 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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