“Too much focus on knowledge about God, with not enough emphasis on knowledge of God – that is our problem”. Not the most likely words to hear from someone who makes a living teaching students about God, but I heard this comment from a theology professor in the Cape. He was suggesting that too often in the church when we want to help our people grow in their faith, we reach for a course that will fill their heads with knowledge.
The problem with trying to grow purely by studying, reading, listening to talks is that it is not a balanced strategy. We run the risk of turning into tadpoles – all head and no body!
This week, we started our Lent course and we talked about the transformation process that God wants to take us through, which, while it includes head knowledge, is holistic – head (cognitive) and heart (affective) and hands (skills). So, in our course over the coming weeks we are going to be consciously focusing on knowing God, rather than knowing about God. We aim to do this by working through a series of practical exercises and then reflecting in small groups on what we discover as we try them out.
On Wednesday, we experienced the prayer of Examen together (a simple prayer form designed to help us recognise where God has been active in our lives over the last day). The Examen is an incredible gift which enables us to see that God really is at work in us (all of us!) and which gives us language to describe our experience of God.
During this week, we’re trying out the ancient practice of lectio divina – a way of reading Scripture that helps us to listen to God. We have handouts in the office covering both practices if you’re curious :) - and you’re all still welcome to join us on Wednesday (9:30am and 7pm) for the next part of our course.
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