Reading about spiritual growth prompts me to read more about spiritual growth. As I have started my introduction to Spiritual Direction class, the required texts lead me to want to pick up other books that are related. Which also makes me want to re-read as well. I know I need to re-read many books, but books on spiritual formation are probably the books I most need to re-read because they are often very subtle critiques of our understanding of Christianity.
As part of this renewed interest, I have been listening to the Revovaré podcast, which has been playing some old talks from early conferences. In the episode with Emilie Griffin at the end of a Q and A period, Dallas Willard says that we are not in charge of our own spiritual formation. We simply need to remain present and engaged while God works on us.
Open to the Spirit very much feels like a book that has been inspired by Dallas Willard. Scot McKnight is trying to biblically point the reader to the importance of the Holy Spirit. McKnight is a New Testament scholar and mostly is oriented toward a biblical theology of the Holy Spirit. Open to the Spirit also reminds me of Amos Yong’s Who Is the Holy Spirit: A Walk With the Apostles. In Yong’s commentary on Acts, he is drawing parallels between the work of Jesus in Luke with the work of the Holy Spirit through the early Christians in Acts.
In Open to the Spirit, McKnight is showing how Jesus in his earthly life was guided by the Holy Spirit similarly to how Yong shows the early Christians being guided by the Spirit.