The Transforming Moment





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The Transforming Moment

Dr Alex Tang

Ever wonder how spiritual formation takes place? We spend our energies reading and studying the Word of God, praying, practicing the spiritual disciplines and serving the church and the world. Yet, we feel there is no difference in our spiritual life. Then something happens, and 'aha', suddenly everything makes sense, everything comes together, and it is easy to give up what we have been struggling for so long. What happened?


Some scholars believe that spiritual formation is a continuous hidden process, like a gradual incline of a standard curve on a graph. I believe that too. Spiritual formation is the the process of sowing the seeds of spiritual growth.


However, I also believe that there is something called spiritual transformation. Spiritual transformation occurs at the moment when the Holy Spirit takes what has been sowed, and transformed us. In that transforming moment we make a leap of spiritual growth into another level.


James Loder is the Mary D. Synnot Professor of the Philosophy of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. His book, The Transforming Moment, documents his thoughts about what I have just articulated. Shucks. Did you ever have this experience that you think you have come up with a brilliant idea and later found that someone else had already came out with it and published it first? His book is so well written that I forgive him. Loder interweaves psychology (developmental and psychoanalytic) and theology to examine and describe the transforming moment.


He described it as a five part structure: conflict-in-context, interlude for scanning, insight felt with intuitive force, release and openness, and interpretation and verification. In simple English, 'aha'. This transforming moment is "the pattern of God's action as Spiritus Creator, who transforms the human spirit, freeing it to indwell the Holy Spirit in conformation with Christ."


This transforming moment occurs in a crisis situation. In other words, spiritual transformation occurs only in, during, or after a crisis situation in our lives.


|posted 8 May 2007|



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