What is needed in our churches is not more education but more embodied practices that can shape our affections and behavior along with our attitudes. The virtues I focus on in Unclean involve the practices of welcome and hospitality, what Miroslav Volf calls “the will to embrace.”
Thinking of the last post, this might be a more concrete example of listening to the Spirit. This is one of the discussions that a member and I get into quite often about how do you instruct in the faith. Do you start with the head and push toward the heart (standard Lutheran methodology) or do you start with the heart and push to the head (standard pentecostal). And that is probably the polarity – extreme head Lutheran to extreme heart pentecostal – with other tribes falling in along that spectrum. Presbyterians real close to Lutherans. Methodists closer to the pentecostals. Catholics blow this up because you have both – Franciscans and Dominicans. An embodied practice, a taking action on a virtue, is a combination of both. Listening to the Spirit today might mean less outright upfront doctrine and more lets do a VBS in the city (hope and charity), or the protestant equivalent of adoration of the host – a lenten prayer vigil (faith, fortitude and patience). Could one congregation maintain a prayer vigil for 40 days around the clock? What might be heard by the congregation in prayer?