This week I signed up for a year-long Bible study class sponsored by my church. It will be a deep dive into the Book of Exodus with weekly lectures, small group discussions, prayer and meditation, and homework exercises. Every few weeks there will be a pause for prayer, reflection on what we are learning, and reflection how the Holy Spirit is using this study of Exodus in each of our own sanctification journeys.
I was so excited about this, I signed right up! I love studying the Bible, especially with other Christ followers who are eager to dive deeply into God’s Word. Our Pastor of Spiritual Formation is shepherding this effort.
Then I started doing some research on Spiritual Formation. Like, what exactly is that? What a surprise it was to discover that Spiritual Formation is controversial! Who would have thought?
I’m absolutely not backing away from my enthusiasm about diving into this year-long study of Exodus. In fact I think I’m more eager about it than I was before. But I do think it’s good to know that controversy exists, and what some of the concerns are.
And some of the concerns may have merit. Basically, a lot of the concerns I’ve seen boil down to concerns about teaching things that aren’t Biblical: meditation exercises that may be more “new-age” than Biblical, infusing pop psychology into Bible interpretation, etc. (you can Google it and readily find the concerns and criticisms).
But I don’t think these are reasons to avoid it. I mean, reading the Bible is always a good thing. It’s God’s Word. Praying about reading the Bible is similarly always a good thing. How can you go wrong asking God about His Word or telling Him how it affects you?
And honestly? We do need to be able to tell the difference between Christianity and pop culture. The Holy Spirit is with us to help.
I’m looking forward to taking a deep dive into Exodus this coming year.