The Weather in Our Neck of the Woods

Sunday, August 30, 2009


There is no standard list of spiritual disciplines.

Richard J. Foster divides them into inward disciplines- meditation, prayer, fasting, and study, outward disciplines- simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, and corporate disciplines- confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.

Dallas Willard divides them into two classes: disciplines of abstinence- solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, and sacrifice, and disciplines of engagement- study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, and submission.

Some writers add other activities as disciplines, such as journaling, dialogue, witness, stewardship, listening, and memorization.

Kenneth Boa writes in Conformed to His Image, Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation;
"It would be a mistake to claim that every follower of Christ should practice all of these disciplines in a consistent or rigorous way. Some will be more essential for you at one time, and some will serve you better at other times. You will find that some of the disciplines are nonnegotiable while others can be pursued intermittently. Depending on your temperament and circumstances, you will be drawn to some and indifferent to others. Still, it is wise to engage occasionally in the ones you would normally dismiss, so that you can experience their unique benefits."

I’m just up to page 96 of Boa’s 500+ page book so there will probably be more to come. If you can’t read the whole book, try to get your hands on chapter 7.

1 comment:

NitWit1 said...

I am enjoying reading about some of your studies.

I have wondered about trying to practice so many types of discipline and agree some are non-negotiable.

However looking at the lists, as a practical matter I could stand, and should practice some, that I do not.