Saturday, December 08, 2007

Transformation, my word of the year

This year I've been doing a lot of reading about and practicing different spiritual disciplines trying to practice being in the presence of God in new (for me) and ancient ways. It has been an extremely transformative year. I have found that when you put yourself in the presence of God he transforms you. For this blog I will define transformation in this way... Transformation is God continually converting the parts of your heart, body, and mind that have yet to be converted.

In my "Teaching the Good News" class with Dr. Chris Flanders we've talked about different theories of atonement. My experience in God's transforming presence has made me really start to side with the "Theosis Theory." This theory of the atonement in a nutshell says that we were formed or created by God perfectly and that over time sin has corrupted us. But because of Jesus we are able to become uncorrupted from sin and take on the Imago Dei (Image of God). In this theory it is a constant cycle of sin corrupting us and Christ molding us back into the Imago Dei. Athanasius said, "He (Jesus) became what we are, so that we might become what He is." I have this kind of idea that our final destination or goal is to be in "Complete Communion with the Divine." I am not sure if that can be accomplished on earth or not, but I'm open to it being possible (Not to say I stand a chance of getting there, but I'll try). But I believe that is what will make Heaven so awesome, "Complete Communion with the Divine."

This has radically changed my life. I am a very different person than I was a year ago. Not to toot my own horn because trust me I am light-years away from total Divine Communion! and the change has been the work of God, not me! But God has done some serious work on converting some hard areas of my heart, mind and body. I am fully convinced that this can only happen through putting yourself in space where He is present. Cane told the LORD his punishment was more than he could bear because, "I (Cane) will be hidden from your presence." It was way too much to handle being out of God's presence for Cane and I believe the same is true for us. We try to fill this void with so many other things but as Augustine wrote so beautifully in his, "Confessions," the void can only be filled with the Presence of God.

So make space for Him, and He will transform you.


Laura Sanders said...

Wow, that's so simple but something I think we all tend to forget about. What kind of spiritual disciplines have you read/been practicing, if you don't mind me asking? I agree that being obedient and disciplined when it comes to time before God is something that God really blesses! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I hope God continues to bless you!

Jordan Taylor Bunch said...

a few i've been practicing that have been especially meaningful for me are: lectio divina, silence/solitude, the Jesus prayer, the sign of the cross, using a prayer rope (chokti), Ignatian Examen, meditation, prayer postures, and Sabbath. If you wanna find out more about some of those check out either "The Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life" by Darryl Tippens or "The Sacred Way" by Tony Jones.

Or even better you can just come on upstairs for my LIFE Group. Next semester my LIFE Group that meets at my apartment is going to be studying and practicing some communal spiritual disciplines together. Feel free to join us!

Laura Sanders said...

Wow, I don't even know what half of those are! When does your LIFE group meet?

Jordan Taylor Bunch said...

we meet Sundays at 7. we had our last meeting of the semester tonight, but we will start again January 27