Four Stages of Faith Development… any thoughts?

Brian McLarens spin* on the four stages of faith development,

1. Simplicity

2. Complexity

3. Perplexity

4. Humility

He says… “Each stage enfolds, embraces, integrates, and revalues the gains of previous stages, and, in so doing, rises to a higher level.”

Q: Have you seen evidence of this, presumably universal human pattern, in your walk with Christ?

Q: How does an understanding of his four stages effect the way we interact with one another as a community?

Q: Do you agree with his four stages?

Q: Would you add or take away from this list?

*Fowler’s stages of faith development

4 comments on “Four Stages of Faith Development… any thoughts?

  1. I’m not exactly sure what stage I am in right now, maybe somewhere between 2 and 3. I find that there are an overwhelming number of complexities and I feel perplexed by many of them. They are good questions that you are asking.

  2. disableme says:

    How ironic is it that the way up in our walk with Christ is actually down. It is complex isn’t it?… I was enjoying his insight on the fact that we don’t loose anything from the past stages but they are “integrated” into our growth.

    He goes on to say this…

    “A child starts reading letters, then syllables, then words, then sentences, then paragraphs, then chapters and books, then authors or genres or whatever. When a reader decides to read all the works of an author, say, Wendell Berry… one uses the skills of kindergartners by recognizing letters, plus the skills of first graders by recognizing syllables and words and sentences, and so on. New levels embrace and build upon previous levels; they don’t exclude them. One doesn’t stop reading sentences to read paragraphs.”

    I’m not sure what stage I am at as well, that’s a tough one for sure.

    Maybe a question that I should have put up there was… How does an understanding of his four stages effect the way we interact with one another as a community?

  3. Brady Szabo says:

    I have seen this in my own life. I’ve seen the seasons of nature. I’ve seen people forgive and help those who make mistakes, just as God does this for us. Surely if we can help a helpless animal then God can help us. I believe I was shown that example as a way to understand how God can forgive us and still love us. We are like the bad dog who relieves himself on the carpet. God may anger but still loves us, just as we still love the dog. Reminds me of Luke 11:11. When we are young, we feel we don’t need God, we are independent and full of energy but we are also fools because we think we have wisdom or understanding. As we age and wear down we have lessons or trials, losing friends and parents, then our own physical decline. When I am weak then I am strong, It’s just like we are being shown through our own lives how people with a sin nature act when living in a body of flesh. I think God protects us until we “get it” or learn the lesson, then after that, we can die at any minute. I’m trying to learn to recognize God’s voice and put my own desires aside and listen and follow God. “Fear Not” is repeated throughout the gospel. It reminds me of the TV when our show is interupted…”This is a test. This is only a test. If it were an actual emergency..”

  4. Brady Szabo says:

    Oops, sorry kinda got off track. I think I’m in the hunility stage. I really like your questions. This is a great blog.

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