As a Spiritual Director, retreat facilitator, trainer, mentor and speaker, Christian faith is the foundation of all that I am and do. I have tried to put into words what this means to me, in order to help you get some idea of my faith perspective. This isn't to say that my learning and growing is complete - I am sure we will all continue to form and change throughout our lives - but rather to help you get a sense of where I am coming from and whether I might be the kind of person who could accompany you well on your own journey of faith.
Nature & Character of God
I believe that God is a triune exchange of love between God the Creator and Father, Jesus who is God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Out of this ever-flowing fellowship of love, humanity was conceived and this is the beginning of a meta narrative that encompasses the unified story of scripture, and locates our lives in the context of this grand drama of the purposes of God.
Nature of Humanity & Sin
I believe that God made men and women in their image, imbibing humanity with a dignity and honour that is intrinsic to our nature. I believe that there is an image-bearing quality to every dimension of our being, in ways we may hardly grasp. I believe the nature of sin is our corporate and individual tendency to choose our own wisdom over God’s. This sin-nature has resulted in us being ‘bent over’ and oriented away from the ‘true north’ of God and his ways. Disorder, distortion and scarcity are the result of humankind’s sinful choices.
Jesus the Saviour
Father, Son and Holy Spirit together purposed that the Son would become Christ, the Messiah. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin Mary, and thus incarnated he lived as a man, died a criminal’s death, and was resurrected in his body, finally to ascend to be seated again with the Father. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the hope, salvation and promise to all of humankind, that through him we may be reconciled to the Father and that by the work of the Holy Spirit we can live as the people of God in the world.
The Kingdom is Here
Through the victory of Jesus over sin and death, God is establishing his kingdom. We see the kingdom of God wherever people are living as though Jesus is Lord. The rule and reign of God always brings about the comprehensive flourishing of humankind, what Skye Jethani describes as order, beauty and abundance. It is part of our vocational calling to make our unique contribution to the lived expression of the kingdom in every area of society. This means that no matter what our job or position in society, we become God’s missional people whose very lives speak of the Good News of Jesus.
Relational Nature of Formation
The first place we see God’s kingdom coming is in our personal and community life. That is, as we grow to know and follow Christ, our lives are changed in real ways. Our lives come into order so that in our habits and patterns we are no longer ‘bent over’ but straightened out. This happens as, through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, we become obedient to scripture, as we pursue personal spiritual disciplines, and as we practice prayer, worship and shared sacraments in the context of the community of faith. All of our formation is relational, which is to say we change in the context of our relationships and we need one another in order to grow. The church, then, is called to be both a place of formation and a place of invitation.
The Kingdom is Coming
We live in this in-between era, when God’s kingdom is here and yet is not fully come. While we experience the dislocation of this current age and the suffering inherent to our broken state, we nevertheless look with hopeful anticipation towards the full coming of his kingdom - the return of King Jesus and the reordering of all things according to God’s good design. We will be co-heirs with Jesus and therefore we can now be those who speak hope and healing to our disordered world.