What Shapes our Spirituality?

This week my main task is to complete the lead article for the MSA Seed Sampler on What Will Shape Our Spirituality in the Coming Decade?  It is a rather daunting task to narrow this down to a couple of trends as there are so many things that will shape both our spiritual practices and our theology in the coming years.  My read is that the most impacting of these will be

  1. The growing pressures on our time created by the 24/7 work week and our increasing involvement in online activities
  2. The coming of the majority church with our need to embrace theological perspectives from other cultures
  3. The growing religious pluralism of our Western societies and the need to engage in dialogue with those outside Christian faith.

Yesterday I was sent a link by Jason Fowler to this fascinating video trailer of an upcoming PBS Frontline series Digital nation.  It looks like a must see for all of us.

The opportunity these challenges present is sobering but exciting.  And as you think about your response I suggest you also reflect on these words from Mighty Stories, Dangerous Rituals a book I am re-reading presently as I think about the implications of our changing world

… even our most treasured rites are not simply inherited and repeated; rather they are always in the process of being created.  In fact they need to be recreated.  Each succeeding generation with its new stories and fresh challenges must weave together recent tales with those of one’s ancestors.  Furthermore, believers of each age must reckon with ritual newness that is born of the intersection of the ever-changing human narrative as it encounters the divine narrative. (p129)

As we engage the challenges of the coming decade our place is not to criticize or try to deny the changes that are coming.  Our task is to enable individuals and communities to fashion narratives that weave together divine and human stories into a single fabric


13 Responses

  1. Christine, thanks for the shout out!

    I think most of all we need to stop trying to maintain an idealized past and reacting in judgment to cultural changes -while at the same time not being conformed to the ways and thinking of the world- even in the realm of our religious expressions. Our responses must be born of the Holy Spirit.

    I like the idea of GOD’s story being intertwined with ours. In kids shows over the years you can see the reality of the main characters entering into a book (this happened in Gumby years ago and more recently in Blue’s Clues where Blue ‘skidoos into a storybook)- I think that is a powerful vision of the future of the church -where we stop just reading about GOD’s story and start ‘skidooing’ into it- as He ‘skidoos’ into ours.

    Great thoughts! I’m looking forward to the process.

  2. Jason,
    Your welcome. I have very much enjoyed the discussion that you and Tom and others are having on the way media will shape our faith in the future

  3. Christine,
    I am so looking forward to what you come up with. Just as the Holy spirit is not static so will our spirituality be. Your premises about time and technology have already had impact upon how we relate to God, or not. Blessings to you for helping us to consider this further,

  4. Christine, Changes always present challenges. I think changes also present opportunities, opportunities which are sometimes hidden. For example, the presence of people of other cultures and religions challenge us to sharpen our definition of Christian discipleship and Kingdom values. It causes us to ask the question: do I believe in something because it ‘s cultural or because it’s taught in the Word of God? The presence of these people from other backgrounds have a way of doing “Iron sharpens iron”. It has a way for forcing us to ask what it really means to follow Christ.

    • Theresa,
      I could not agree more. I think that interfaith dialogue is an incredible opportunity to learn more about God and to throw off the bondages of our culture that do inhibit us from moving into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God.

  5. […] Christine Sine writes in anticipation of this series and what it will reveal about our changing world: […]

  6. “Our task is to enable individuals and communities to fashion narratives that weave together divine and human stories into a single fabric.”


  7. […] one as God intended. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)What Shapes Your Spirituality?What Shapes our Spirituality?MON MORN MOTIVATION:The Spirituality of […]

  8. […] The growing time pressures and coming of media immersion […]

  9. […] The Global economy, Busyness and the Impact of Media Immersion […]

  10. […] The Global economy, Busyness and the Impact of Media Immersion […]

  11. […] The Global economy, Busyness and the Impact of Media Immersion […]

  12. Very efficiently written information. It will likely be beneficial to anybody who usess it, together with myself. Keep up the nice work – for sure ill try more posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: