Spiritual formation is a slow process. If holiness is a relational concept and is perfected in the fear and knowledge of God, then John Calvin was right: the better I know God, the better I know myself. And the better I know myself, the better I know God. I learn who I am in terms of learning who God is. I know my sin because of his holiness. Yet, in my sin and unfaithfulness to follow the disciplines to which I commit myself, time slips away. Priorities become deadlines. Before I know it, intentional practices that make growth possible are last on the list.

This makes me nervous.

However, I am assured by John Webster’s words, “the theologian does not withdraw from the field of revelation, repentance, and discipleship; indeed, he or she cannot, because there is nowhere to which the theologian can withdraw.” According to Webster, Christian theology can only happen by the sanctifying presence of God.

Prayerful dependence on the one true God is the requisite work.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.


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