1/10/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - Wyndy Corbin Reuschling, professor of ethics and theology at Ashland Theological Seminary, has authored a new book titled “Desire for God and the Things of God: The Relationship Between Christian Spirituality and Morality.”
“For many Christians, spirituality and ethics are in separate mental and experiential compartments,” Reuschling said. “Spirituality may be understood as an inner experience, while ethics is focused on decisions or positions on issues.”
Reuschling said the book discusses the fact that both of these views reduce spirituality and morality in Christian faith and practice, and ignore the centrality of desire for God and the things of God as key focal points for spiritual and moral formation.
“These aspects of Christian formation must be located in their scriptural and theological contexts in order to understand more fully what God desires for human life,” she said. “This focus on desire provides content and context to Christian spirituality and morality. We are drawn outward to focus on God and the good of others while we learn to embody virtues, such as compassion, courage, self-control, gratitude, humility and hope.”
Reuschling said practices are crucial ways by which people learn to incarnate the ultimate desire of love for God and for what God desires in the pursuit of justice and goodness for all creation. “In so doing, practices enable us to more fully integrate spiritual and moral growth in the processes of our desire for God and the things of God,” she said.
The book, which is available online through Wipf and Stock Publishers as well as the Ashland University Bookstore and Ashland Seminary Bookstore, has received much praise by those in the theology field.
Glen G. Scorgie, professor of Theology and Ethics at Bethel University, said the book “is a welcome and overdue proposal for a moral Christian spirituality and a spiritually rooted and energized Christian social engagement. With winsome wisdom, the author illuminates the reciprocating links between authentic experience of God and its embodiment (and further development) in active moral life. Properly ordered desire, she reveals, is the glue that re-bonds these too-often-divorced dimensions back together in a Christ-like wholeness. Protestants especially need this book!”
Brad J. Kallenberg, professor of theology at the University of Dayton, noted that “In this thoroughly documented new book, Wyndy Corbin Reuschling argues that the reordering of desires, for which Christian discipleship aims, depends upon overcoming a huge gap commonly thought to separate private spirituality from social ethics. Through close reading of three pairs of historical Christian practices, Corbin Reuschling winsomely shows that in Christian thought, spirituality and morality have always been two sides of one coin. What this coin buys for the readers is a highly practical and hope-filled account of both a Christian spiritual formation that is communally incarnated and a Christian social ethics that actually deepens one’s personal relationship with God.”
Corbin Reuschling, who has been at Ashland Theological Seminary since 2002, also is the author of “Reviving Evangelical Ethics: The Promises and Pitfalls of Classic Models of Morality” in 2008 and coauthor of “Becoming Whole and Holy: An Integrative Conversation about Christian Formation” in 2010.
Ashland Theological Seminary is a graduate division of Ashland University. With campuses in Ashland, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus, Ashland Theological Seminary integrates theological education with Christ-centered transformation as it equips men and women for ministry in the church and the world. ###