Dallas Willard often made the statement that there are no “Curriculums of Christlikeness” in the Church. That is, he was unaware of a working systemic training program to produce individuals who were fully transformed into the image of Christ.
Obviously, there have been commendable curriculums through the centuries that did produce radically changed lives. Jesus conducted such a program with 12 apprentices. In many parts of the early Church efforts at Catechesis were remarkably successful. We honor (as did Dallas) the efforts of Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises he developed and offered.
Today, there have been many excellent efforts by numerous individuals who have been inspired by Dallas’s Words. Jim Smith’s Good and Beautiful series comes to mind as does an ongoing two-year spiritual formation program, The Renovaré Institute. Willard’s words have inspired the creation of scores of books on spiritual formation.
With this newsletter we are introducing a new focus for Conversatio Divina through our website, conversatio.org.
We want to share ideas for systematically offering programs for spiritual formation which have been introduced by a variety of individuals.
We will begin by asking a few questions of Jim Wright, who with a team he will reference, have offered a program called “The Foundry.”