Monday, August 11, 2014

More Caught Than Taught

From a review by Trevin Wax of Victor A. Copan’s Saint Paul as Spiritual Director: An Analysis of the Concept of the Imitation of Paul with Implications and Applications to the Practice of Spiritual Direction  entitled Recovering the Role of “Imitation” in Discipleship Today 
...One cannot read Copan’s work and come away with the impression that spiritual direction can be mass-produced or accomplished through programs. Evangelicals have a tendency to see disciple-making as primarily a knowledge exercise. Teach people truth and doctrine, make them aware of the biblical exhortations to holiness and obedience, and then encourage them in their “personal walk.”
Copan’s work does not deny any of these aspects, but his vision of spiritual direction is more holistic because it includes a healthy emphasis on modeling the Christian life. Modeling takes us beyond the transfer of information; it includes the practice of spiritual disciplines and the intentional copying of one’s thought processes that lead to certain decisions. Wisdom is not obedience in the simplest sense, but is instead a robust understanding of how to live, an understanding modeled by the example of the person who is giving direction.
A holistic view of discipleship means that spiritual direction is not merely delivered; it is displayed. Copan’s research is valuable for evangelicals who are seeking to grow in their faithfulness and Christ-likeness, as well as evangelicals who sense the need to reach out and mentor younger people in the faith.
Look like a book worth a read.