Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spiritual formation, discipleship, Christian education (2)

I wonder if it will help the discussion if I could give a few models. I am trying to understand the relationship between the three. I thank those who have already shared their thoughts but I hope to hear from more of you.

or any other suggestions?


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with B...

I think it's also important to recognise that the terms are just 'terms' whose meaning may vary from time to time, from community to community. There is no 'absolute/real' meaning behind the words, except what we ascribe to them.

And I think so far we've been using what the 'general public' (and a few scholars) mean when they use the words.

Why is this important? Because the reality is likely bigger than the word itself which, in turn, requires new words or turns of phrases, etc.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi alwyn,

Yes, I agree that we are dealing with sematics. However, this is important to me as I research the relationship between spiritual formation, discipleship and Christian education.

We need to define the terms and understand what they mean. What are we doing in church? Spiritual formation? Discipleship? Christian education?

You choose B, making spiritual formation and Christian education a subset of discipleship. When does discipleship starts? At conversion? If at conversion, what do you call the spiritual formative influences one receives before conversion? spiritual formation? Does discipleship takes place in children? Do Christian education in churches teaches discipleship or doctrinal contents?

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have posed an stimulating puzzle.

For me, definitely C.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...


You choose C. Interesting choice. Christian education encompasses spiritual formation and discipleship.

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see CE not just as Sunday School or Bible studies but the whole community of God in all its being and doing enculturating everyone in the ways of Christ. Discipleship and spiritual formation are subsets of this all encompassing concept.Comments?

8:12 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Hi blogpastor,

Thanks for your comments.It highlights some interesting points:
(1) whole community of Christ (who)
(2) enculturating everyone (doing what)
(3) in the ways of Christ (why)

That's a nice definition of Christian education too. However as per your definition, is CE Christian education or Christian education?

The former means that the education process was in some way Christian that will help the participants develop a Christian worldview in the way of Christ.

The later means any educational activities done in the church which may or may not have any beneficial to the spiritual life of the participants.In this case spiritual formation and discipleship are not subsets.

1:16 AM  

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