chemicals in a leaky bag…spirituality?

Almost through the paper out…but one phrase stopped me: “The body: a bunch of chemicals in a leaky bag.” I am reading a book on the spiritual life and the contrast struck me. It is true that we are chemicals but we are also spiritual. We are an amazing collection of chemicals at that,

“It is riddled with holes, yet contains 15 gallons of water and a pint of hydrochloric acid. It has more protein than 70 pounds of peanuts. It has enough carbon to fill a thousand pencils, and enough phosphorous for 3,000 match heads. What sounds like a collection of chemicals in a leaky bag is the most complex structure on our planet, and 400,000 of them are born every day.” (From Movies, Series, Doc, etc)

We are also amazing spiritually. One man has come up with 12 facets of Christian spirituality. He, Ken Boa, says,

“The diversity and complexity of the spiritual paths that have been taken by godly pilgrims of previous centuries is rich and impressive. Some of these paths were blazed through courage and suffering and through reciprocity with complex historical, social, and cultural rhythms, ….” (Boa 20)

Ken lists twelve facets of the spiritual life: Relational, Paradigm, Disciplined, Exchanged life, Motivated, Devotional, Holistic, Process, Spirit-filled, Warfare, Nurturing, and Corporate. Each is represented or was represented in some form or denomination in Christianity. I am impressed with the depth of this book.

You might be put off by the way Boa accepts the various expressions of spirituality but then you read what he says in the introduction and it stops you. He says, ” Anyone who studies the four Gospels should be suspicious of an approach that reduces the nuances of the spiritual life into a single formula or method.” He goes on to say that the diversity of the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John illustrate to us that there is also a diversity of Christian spiritual expression while each expression also honors the one single Jesus. Interesting.

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