Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Life of Faith

Craig Dykstra,2005 Growing in the Life of Faith 2ed.(Louisville, KN: Westminster John Knox Press)

Craig Dykstra, Vice President for Religion at Lilly Endowment, Inc describes the "life of faith" as

The “life of faith” is the way of living that is organized by faith and that flows out of faith. In the life of faith, we come more and more to participate in the new reality God is opening to us. We live it ever more fully and let it do its work in every aspect of our lives, as all our beliefs and understandings, feelings and emotions, values and meanings, commitment and actions become increasingly shaped by and conform to it. Above all, the life of faith involves rejoicing in the love and grace of God, giving thanks to God secure in the knowledge that all God’s promises are sure, and sharing that love and grace in the life of the world.

Living a “life of faith” has the following dimensions:

(1) We are loved by God, not because of what we do but because of who we are and more importantly, because of whom God is.
(2) We are free from “all powers that enslave, dominate, corrupt and corrode.”
(3) We have the freedom to choose life.
(4) We shall see reality as God intends it to be.
(5) We shall see evil that has distorted reality and deluded the world into a false reality (sin) and we also see the sinful natures in ourselves.
(6) We shall be involved “individually and corporately in lifelong struggle against communal and political powers of sin and earth, deceit and alienation, injustice and oppression-in the church and in the larger world.”
(7) We shall be taking part in Christ’s work of redemption.
(8) We shall live a life of obedience to Christ through the Holy Spirit who indwells us and empowers us to do what we ourselves will never be able to do.
(9) We shall live a life of love

Such a “life of faith” requires that we persevere. “The life of faith must, therefore, be patterned, structured, kept in place and on course over the long haul through the development of disciplines and habits, both personal and corporate.”

Soli deo gloria

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Anonymous alwyn said...

Did Dykstra include some individuals as examples? M.Teresa, H.Nouwen maybe?

Always inspiring to read about the lives of great, deeply challenged but all-loving people.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi alwyn,

No, Dykstra did not include individuals as example. Dykstra has an interesting thesis. He thinks that a life of faith can be developed by a community. However this community must be practicing what he called Christian practices (eg. prayer, fasting, hospitality etc).

His thesis fascinate me and I am trying to understand him. Most of us will think spiritual formation comes from within us. What if spiritual formation comes from without? From the faith community we are in? How much influence does our faith community has on our spiritual growth? Fascinating questions.

2:18 AM  

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