Project Documents

An Analytical Review of Christian Spirituality With Special Reference to the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Gorden R. Doss, Andrews University

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to make a careful study and review of the process of spirituality with special reference to Seventh-day Adventist Church. Instead of approaching spirituality from the usual "devotional" or "inspirational" perspectives, the paper deals with the actual process and "happening" of spirituality. The .justification for this, more technical, more analytical approach, lies in my conviction that the Adventist tradition can benefit from closer examination of the nature and process of the Christian’s relationship with God, as a process per se.

Chapter I examines a range of definitions of spirituality, discusses approaches to the analysis of spirituality and presents some issues.

Chapter 2 reviews spirituality in Scripture, noting the richness and centrality of the Bible for Christians.

Chapter 3 reviews historical influences of particular importance to Seventh-day Adventists.

Chapter 4 considers the spiritual environment, personal spiritual experience, and spiritual teachings of Ellen G. White.

Chapter 5 discusses two contemporary approaches to spirituality.

Chapter 6 applies Chapters 1-6 to the contemporary American Seventh-day Adventist Church and makes recommendations. The two most significant recommendations are that Adventists enter more vigorously into the study of historic Christian spirituality and that they initiate formal, spiritual direction within the Church.

Chapter 7 summarizes the paper and reached conclusions.

Chapter 8 outlines content for a seminar on the Christian spiritual disciplines.

Chapter 9 is the account of my spiritual pilgrimage.