J.I. Packer once wryly characterized American piety as "three thousand miles wide and three inches deep." In other words, we too often settle for a veneer of Christian culture instead of heeding Christ's commission to become disciples—people who are deeply and truly like Him (Matthew 28:16). Salvation is too often preached as a means of escaping hell instead of as divine interventions that foster the character of Christ in us and draw us into deep, abundant living with Him.
Disciples observe their master to become like Him. And that's what this site is about—learning practical habits of Jesus, like prayer and meditation, that you can form as you follow Him. Notice I didn't say habits that you can form "to become like Him." That's because you cannot, by any self-discipline, transform your own heart to be like His. If you could, you'd be in charge, and you-in-charge is not the goal. Christ-in-charge is the goal. But these heart habits can clear space through the clutter of life for the Holy Spirit to enter and guide you into the life of God.
What's in this site, and how do I use it?
Use this site for a challenging, but decidedly unstuffy initiation into some of these habits: becoming who God says you are, prayer, study, meditation, simplicity, community, worship and service. Don't try to work through them all in a week. They're designed to work on you throughout your lifetime. Bookmark the site and come back often, paying particular attention to the topics that don't come easily to you and finding new ways to integrate what you hear. For each habit, there's a short introduction, a presentation by Dr. Corné Bekker, and suggestions for reflection and application. You'll also find space for your responses. Please share what you think and discover as you pursue these habits on your way to transformation.
Dr. Corné Bekker is an associate professor for the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship at Regent University, having formerly served as the associate dean for academics of Rhema Bible College in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also the editor of the Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership and the co-editor of the popular press journal, Inner Resources for Leaders, as well as an ordained pastor and a consultant. He is currently completing a second doctorate (D.Th.) in Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa.
Dr. Bekker speaks with passion, wit and scholarship on the subject of spiritual formation. His facility with the works of seminal devotional writers from across the centuries brings renewed clarity to a topic much blurred in modern times.
Neal Foster graduated with a Master's of Divinity in December 2008. Originally from Oklahoma, he came to Regent via Africa, where he spent almost two years as a missionary. Neal led Doing the Stuff sessions for two years on campus because one of his passion is to see followers of Christ authentically connect with God and others. Neal looks forward to sharing Jesus' love with West African Muslims and plans to move to New York City, home to over 150,000 West Africans. In this era of globalization, it seems the most strategic place to reach West Africa is in New York City!
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
Growing in Virtue by Mario Bergner (cassette series)
The Life You Always Wanted by John Ortberg
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Creighton University's online retreat