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Spirituality is…


What does it mean to be spiritual? There are many ideas about spirituality these days, but what does (or should) a Christian mean when they use the term? What does it mean for a Christian to be “spiritual”? And does being a spiritual person differ in any real and substantial way(s) from being a spiritual Christian?

Consider the following definitions of spirituality:

Definition of Spirituality

Spirituality is the mystical engagement of that which is beyond the physical. The spiritual person supposes that the physical world is not the sum total of truth and reality. He or she seeks to encounter metaphysical (beyond the physical) realities via mystical, sacred, ritualistic, pagan, religious, or even playful practices.[1]

When someone says that they are a spiritual person, they are asserting their belief that truth and reality extend beyond the physical realm. Spirituality is the active practice of engaging that which is beyond the physical world from within the here and now.

Definition of Christian Spirituality

Christian Spirituality is the mystical engagement of the supernatural (beyond the natural) and metaphysical (beyond the physical) through the person, work, and revelation of Jesus Christ. Christian Spirituality is necessarily centered in the triune Creator who existents eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



n Spirituality covers all of reality since its grounding is in the personal Creator and Sustainer of all that is.[2] It is empowered by the Holy Spirit. It is made possible through the person and work of Jesus Christ. And it is informed most thoroughly by the Holy Scriptures.

The main purpose of Christian Spirituality is not to get in touch with one’s self but to connect intimately with one’s God who is the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of mankind.

As Christians we are by definition spiritual people but as Christians we are also more than just generically spiritual. There is a particularity about our spirituality that is rooted in, empowered by, and progresses toward God Himself.

[1] Willard, Dallas. The Spirit of The Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1988 pp 67 & 77-78

[2] See Schaeffer, Francis A. A Christian Manifesto. Westchester: Crossway, 1982 p 19. Colossians 1:16

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