This is entry eight, and the final entry, in a short new blog series, in which I am exploring the topic of The Six Streams of Christian Tradition. Throughout this series, I will be focusing on one of the six streams, defining it, taking an introspective look into the practice in my own life, and then exploring it’s impact on the church as a whole.
Holistic Practice of the Six Streams of Christian Spirituality
The six streams of Christian spirituality are a great summary, outline, and framework of the various styles, attributes, and approaches to the Christian life. Although certain streams come natural according to one’s personal preferences, talents, and spiritual gifts, it is important to understand, participate, and contribute in all six streams and traditions. When used and engaged together, these streams, lives, and traditions help believers generate and produce a balanced spiritual life, inwardly and outwardly.
The six spiritual streams and traditions serve as a guide, standard, and influence to benefit one’s journey towards an intimate relationship with God and pursuit of Christlikeness. A holistic understanding and use of the six streams will result in an on-going transformation of one’s life from the inside out. One of the most significant, of the many benefits of holistic practice, is a fullness of the Christian life on earth, enhancing our personal growth while leading and influencing others, inside and outside the faith, along the way.
The most prominent passage in the Bible where, in my opinion, the six streams are fully at work in the life of the church comes from Acts chapter two. “Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:43-47 NRSV).
A holistic approach to the spiritual life is just as important in the life of the church and the life of the individual today as it was then. Gaining in knowledge and understanding of the six streams and traditions will benefit our weaknesses and improve our strengths and spiritual gifts, leading us into a growing, deepening, and more Christlike relationship with Christ Jesus Himself.