Friday, April 18, 2008

many streams, one river...where is God for you?

We're spending some time in Home at the moment - in our prayer focus - on the different streams of spirituality that make up the river of Christian history. We're using Richard Foster's book - Streams of Living Water - as a resource.

One of the things that has intrigued me as I have been thinking about it is that each of the traditions seem to locate God differently - at least that's how it occurs to me. Of course they would all say that God is omnipresent but I think one of the things that marks the different streams out from each other is the place they conceive of God in..

To use Foster's categories it looks like this.....

The Evangelical Tradition primarily finds God in the scriptures/the bible.
The Contemplative Tradition primarily finds God within - the inner journey, Christ within you etc.
The Social-Justice tradition primarily finds God in the poor.
The Sacramental Tradition primarily finds God in the physical or in material things.
The Charismatic/Pentecostal tradition chases God who, for them, is like the wild wind - unpredicatable and hard to pin down.

Most of us would want to affirm all of these possibilities, but what's your default? When you're not theologising too hard where would you most readily expect to encounter God?

1 comment:

TreforW said...

sounds like a cool study, matt. i guess i most readily encounter god when i am talking with others (one to one) about jesus. makes me sound like some ace evangelist, which i am not, it just in those moments i am most aware of the truth and reality of God, which i interpret as his presence.