Putting on Christ: Spiritual Formation and the Drama of Discipleship

Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 8 (2):147-171 (2015)
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C. S. Lewis called for spiritual formation long before the term became popular: “Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else”. Lewis's call to become little Christs recalls Paul's exhortation to “put off” the old self and “put on” Christ. This paper explores what this change of costume involves from the perspective of what a “theodramatic” approach to theology that I have developed in The Drama of Doctrine and Faith Speaking Understanding. I there argue that the role of doctrine is to indicate what is in Christ and direct those in Christ to participate in Christ by playing their parts in the drama of redemption. This theatrical model raises an important issue concerning the disciple's self-understanding: Is it healthy for Christians to think in terms of “acting out” what is “in Christ” or does this encourage a false sense of self – a “put on”? I respond to this question in four steps where I present a theodramatic anthropology, describe discipleship as the project of growing into/putting on Christ, consider three objections to my previous work about the relationship between persons/roles and role-playing, and respond to the objections by offering a dogmatic description of putting on Christ in soteriological, pneumatological, and eschatological terms.



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The Wisdom of Christian Spiritual Formation.Evan B. Howard & James C. Wilhoit - 2020 - Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care 13 (1):5-21.

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