The post is entitled Learning to Lament: Giving Voice to the Winter Christian Experience and summarizes some material from Chapter 6 from my book The Authenticity of Faith regarding the Summer and Winter Christian faith experience.
In the article I also share some of the work done by my ACU colleague Glenn Pemberton in his book Hurting with God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms. Glenn just published a follow-up book After Lament: Psalms for Learning to Trust Again.
From the article:
The point in drawing your attention to this comparison is that many churches are ill-equipped to give voice to the Winter Christian experience. Our worship, to make this point sharp, isn’t biblical enough. And in failing to give voice to lament, as we see with the Psalms, we’ve given our faith communities an unrealistic expectation of what it feels like to be in relationship with God.Click here to read the full article.
And from a spiritual formation perspective this is problematic for two inter-related reasons:
1. When we fail to give voice to complaint, doubt and lament these experiences become internalized and privatized. We begin to feel alone and isolated in our spiritual struggles.
2. When we fail to give voice to the Winter Christian experience we begin to pathologize doubt and lament. We send the message that lament and complaint is a spiritual failure, even a sin.
This creates a toxic mix...