The way of the word leads to life changing “ah hah!” moments. This involves building an intellectual framework that is meaningful and engaging in dialogue that is influential and life changing.
Why practice this spirituality
To become “enlightened” and to live from a meaningful and coherent belief framework that influences and changes lives for good. The way of the word offers:
- •• Enlightenment and deep conviction
- •• Understanding of God’s love
- •• Life giving dialogue and persuasion
- •• Transformation through knowledge
- •• A clear pathway via study and learning
- •• Enables courageous actions
- •• Enables a civilisation to rise to new heights
- •• Defines meaning and hope
•• Oppressive, manipulative propaganda if wrongly used
•• Has justified all manner of evil actions
•• Right beliefs alone often seen as the main “action” of true piety.
A person who practices the Way of Transformation will probably do some of the following things:
•• Commit to the hard work of study
•• Give time for deep reflection
•• Seek to put into practice what they are learning.
•• Put themselves in new and challenging environments, always being open to a new experience or different perspective.
•• Be more attracted to understanding different perspectives rather than debate or defend or impose their own position.
Jesus serves as a good model in this spirituality. Recognised as a “good teacher” he employed an apprentice model of passing on learning - that is, modeling the life transformation that he invited people into. In the Gospels we see times of Jesus explaining things through story, reflecting on everyday aspects of life, and listening to questions. Jesus himself was a learner - first in the carpentry trade and then in the Jewish religious schools. He is an example of someone who continually sought to pass on his learning with the aim of deep personal and communal transformation.
- •• The bible itself
- •• The bible on this topic:
- •o “Revelation” such as covenant and gospel
- •o Prophetic words
- •o Wisdom/Sophia
- •o The incarnate word
- •o The Acts of the Apostles
- •o Transformation via the renewing of the mind
Other places to begin exploring the Way of the word:
•• Ambrose of Milan (337-397)
•• Martin Luther (1483-1546)
•• C.S Lewis (1898-1963)
•• “Streams of Living Water”, R. Foster
•• The works of Brian McLaren, N.T Wright and other theologians
•• Theological Colleges such as Tabor College, Whitely & United Theological College etc
•• Wikipedia articles
•• listening to inspiring teaching, preaching and sharing
•• Developing your own words that are truthful about your experience of God
•• Study - bible, theology, doctrines
•• Academia -formal and informal
•• Meditating on ideas
•• Building a belief system
•• Lectio divina
•• Conversion and submission
•• Persuasion, rhetoric and debate
•• Story telling
•• Podcasts/Blog reading