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"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"

 

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Previous: 28.1 The need for spiritual growth Up: 28. Spiritual Growth Next: 28.3 What spiritual growth is not

28.2 Permanent development

We want spiritual growth that has permanent effects in our lives. According to theism, permanent changes in our life depend on the actions we perform: actions for which our loves and our understanding are directly responsible, and have made their own. Let us continue the discussions from Sections 23.5 and 26.2 about how spiritual growth is not instantaneous but has to be gradually worked into our lives. The new loves and new understandings that come with spiritual changes have to be attached to us in some way. They should be strongly rooted into our lives by being appropriated to ourselves. They are appropriated as if to ourselves, since, in reflective consciousness, we should be aware that all life, love and wisdom are derived from God.

It is true that love, influx and grace from God are essential to everything we do. They are essential to our spiritual growth, but there are some actions needed from us in response. Even if we follow Calvin and regard ourselves as the stump of a tree with no life of our own, we must still at first allow, and then encourage and later nurture the new life that grows in us as the result of grace from God. God gives us whatever we are able to retain. In fact, we are given sometimes a little more for a short while, in order that we remember vividly and be encouraged to persevere.

Permanent growth, according to our theory, comes from the joint action of (good) love with (true) wisdom. This conjunction of love and wisdom must moreover have had effects through all the discrete degrees, right down to actual effects in the physical degree. Only those complete actions have all the connected ingredients to have permanent effects for our spiritual life. 28.1


Previous: 28.1 The need for spiritual growth Up: 28. Spiritual Growth Next: 28.3 What spiritual growth is not

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