More than ever we are living at a time of increasing fascination with the concept of spirituality, so much so that the “spirituality phenomenon” has come to define our era.1 Some see this as the result of the psychoanalytic movement begun by Freud, or the disappointment in the Enlightenment’s faith in progress (a failure in light of twentieth century wars); others see it as resulting from the futility of modern existence, or the teachings of Vatican II. 2 Whatever the cause, it appears that nearly everyone—whether religious or atheist—is seeking to connect with God or a higher power. 3 Spirituality centers have mushroomed across the globe, and countless books are devoted to the topic, yet are all spiritualities equal? Do all spiritualities connect us with God? What does the Bible teach? The purpose of the present study is to discover and articulate Scripture’s model for spirituality (union with God) through the sanctuary-covenant structure, aiming to thereby offer a spiritually compelling and biblically authentic alternative to other models of Christian spirituality. The study will proceed as follows: Part 1—the current article will seek to give the background for our study by offering (1) a brief historical overview of Christian spirituality, (2) a definition of spirituality and its common companion—mysticism, (3) the proper ground for understanding spirituality, namely biblical philosophy, (4) Christ’s philosophy of spirituality, and finally (5) a succinct overview of the philosophy of spirituality via Paul. Part 2 in the series will address the methodological5 first step of deconstructing6 or analyzing the macro-hermeneutical foundations of three primary models 7 of Christian spirituality—classical, Protestant and modern—through their selected representatives: Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and Teilhard de Chardin, respectively. Part 3 will explore the biblical model of spirituality through a phenomenological8 study of the OT Exodus narrative that explores the divine-human relation as articulated in the sanctuary-covenant structure. This will be developed by analyzing the seven mountain meetings through which God offers a sequential and incremental model for spiritual union with Him. And finally, part 4 will conclude the series with a summary and comparison of the four models of Christian spirituality noting their macro-hermeneutical presuppositions and highlighting the biblical model as the only one which aligns with the historical narrative and the claims of the biblical text.
Bacchiocchi, Silvia Canale
"Towards a Biblical Model of Spirituality Part 1: Historical and Theological Background,"
Journal of the Adventist Theological Society: Vol. 30:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jats/vol30/iss1/1
Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."