Archive for March 2, 2012

Mar 2

The Cross, Church Architecture, and Spiritual Disciplines

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 12

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted excerpts from the free books that will be given to Clarus attendees during the conference (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3). The last book, compliments of Cruciform Press, has a title that matches our conference theme nicely.

Cruciform: Living the Cross-Shaped Life, by Jimmy Davis, is rich with quotes like these:

“Here in the 21st century we need more cruciform churches. Not lavish cathedrals but living communities of disciples being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors, the nations, and the next generation. Our best hope is to cooperate with The Architect, who promised he would build his church, as we join him to form our families, small groups, and churches into “cruciform communities.” Such com­munities visibly show and verbally share the message of the cross because they are made up of people who have been vibrantly shaped by that message.”

“At one particular point in my life I realized I had been practicing ‘cross-less devotions.’ I was working hard at spending time with God while forgetting the very gospel that permits and prompts me to do so. We are not to practice Bible reading, fasting, solitude, prayer, and other disciplines to make God happy with us but to make space to hear how happy God is with us because of Jesus. When I have a quiet time in order to get God to love me, I am a legalist who “slaves away” to earn the favor of God, not a loved son who enjoys fellowship with his Father. The purpose of spiritual disciplines is to make room in my life to “repent and believe in the gospel” . . .Cross-shaped spiritual disciplines enable me to hear God the Father say that I already have his accep­tance and approval through God the Son, so that I can now work with him in the resurrection power that God the Spirit supplies . . .When my spiritual disciplines are shaped by the cross, then whatever spiritual discipline I practice, my aim is the same: to feed by faith on Jesus Christ as he is offered in the gospel.”

Visit the Cruciform Press website for more books by this fine new publisher, and read about their unique vision for publishing. Conference discounts will be available on numerous books by Cruciform Press in the Clarus Books and Resources Room.

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.