Last Sunday we began a new series titled “Sacred Rhythms,” inspired by Ruth Haley Barton’s book of the same title and my own personal experience with the spiritual formation program at the Transforming Center. This week we will share brief reflections from Ruth and the Transforming Center on the biblical and theological foundations of spiritual transformation. These reflections are available at www.transformingcenter.org. For a deeper look into this topic, I recommend the Transforming Center’s short study guide titled, “Spiritual Transformation: A Biblical and Theological Perspective.” I hope you enjoy these reflections! – Alex
“Do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…” – Romans 12:2
It is God’s will and delight that we actively resist being conformed to this world and seek instead to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Greek word nous (translated mind in Romans 12:2) includes but goes far beyond intellectual or cognitive knowing. It denotes the seat of reflective consciousness and encompasses a person’s faculties of perception and understanding as well as the patterns of feeling, judging and determining that shape our actions and responses in the world. Thus, any approach to transformation that seeks to bring about real change must go beyond merely grasping information at the cognitive level to full knowledge that impacts our deepest inner orientations and trust structures, false-self patterns, and any obstacles that prevent us from fully surrendering to God. This kind of change involves clear teaching about the nature of the Christian life, concrete practices that help us internalize truth in ways that change how we respond in the world, and community that supports and catalyzes the process.