John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Defining "Spiritual Life"

I've recently been invited to join a discussion group where we will explore various ideas of spiritual formation. I'm all for that. In fact, I love talking about spiritual formation. But these guys are from...well, I'm not sure where they're all from. Varying backgrounds, I suppose. At least one of them is even from Mississippi! I ask you: Can anything good come from Mississippi? (That's for you, JD! Hopefully, that'll teach you to scoff at my man-crush on Bono!)

Several of them are from the non-instrumental wing of the American Restoration Movement known as the Churches of Christ. That's the fellowship in which I grew up, came to faith and still associate with.

So, I was afraid that this could quickly become some kind of theological minefield. But thus far, everyone has been nice.

Anyway, I figured it might be important for us to define our terms before going too far. So, I've posed a couple of questions that I'd like to pose here. Perhaps we can collectively come up with something significant.

  1. What is a good working definition of "spiritual life"?
  2. What is a good working definition of "spiritual formation"?

I have a few thoughts of my own, but first I'd like to get your feedback.