The Christian life involves growth. The importance of maturing spiritually and growing deeper in our relationship with God cannot be overstated. However, many believers struggle to know exactly how to do that. How does one grow to be more like Christ? What exactly is involved in spiritual development? Gary Thomas’ Mobile Ed course PD201 Introducing Spiritual Formation will help you answer questions like these.
Gary Thomas is an expert on the topic of spiritual formation and is an engaging speaker. He’s authored several books on growth and the Christian life, including The Glorious Pursuit: Embracing the Virtues of Christ and the award-winning Authentic Faith: The Power of a Fire-Tested Life.
Thomas begins this course by highlighting the fact that God desires relationship with his people, and from that foundation, he examines what a relationship with God looks like.
Thomas surveys approaches to Christian spirituality taken by different historical groups—monastics, Eastern Orthodox, Puritans, charismatics, and more—looking at how their practices reflected their specific spiritual emphases. Drawing on that survey, he reviews a variety of “spiritual pathways,” or ways that individuals can best relate to God based on their personal, God-given natures.
He makes the point that we often seek spiritual formation in a selfish way, looking for what we can get out of our relationship with God. He advocates instead the pursuit of an authentic faith—one that is based in sacrifice rather than selfishness—and holiness. Thomas explores how holiness relates to several key areas, including our bodies, marriage, family, pleasure, and death. In order to show how holiness develops and is expressed in these spheres of our lives, he looks into the spiritual virtues of humility, gentleness, and thankfulness.
Introducing Spiritual Formation provides a thorough overview of spiritual formation with detailed examples and engaging personal stories to illustrate the content. The course will help you stay focused on the goal of spiritual formation: a deeper relationship with the Lord.
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