“The process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others” is how Professor Mulholland defines spiritual formation. I’ve read a number of books on “how” to do this but this one perhaps provides the best outline with quality Biblical references.
What I particular appreciate about this book is the recognition that God has made us all uniquely different so our journeys of spiritual formation are similarly uniquely different. Mulholland explores these differences and provides guidance on how each broad personality type (think Myer Briggs or at it’s most basic extrovert vs introvert) engages spiritually. I’ve never explored it like this and have tended to pigeon hole myself into a particular form of worship and service that is very individualised due to my introversion.
But what Mulholland stresses is to develop true holistic spirituality we all need to incorporate elements of the individual, corporate and social dimensions into our walks. I needed to read that as increasingly I’ve become frustrated with my “walk” but now realise that the personal dimension far outweighs the other two and hence, I have an imbalance which limits my growth.
I most appreciated the second last chapter on “Corporate Spirituality” where Mulholland provides wonderful Biblical teaching on Jacob and then Nicodemus to demonstrate how we can only truly “grow” when we relinquish control of our relationship with God to God. That was a lightning bolt moment for me – I’m the boss, not Him. Mulholland then demonstrates through silence, solitude, prayer and accountable communion with others we can gradually let go and give control over to God.
I expect I’ll be diving back into this book many times in the future.