The Spirit, Ethics, and Service

Last weekend I had the privilege of spending a few days at Regent University’s Center for Renewal Studies Annual Conference. This year’s theme was “The Holy Spirit and Christian Formation.” Over the next couple of days I’m going to share some of my big “takeaways” from the presentations.

Jacqueline H.G. Clark on The Holy Spirit and Christian Ethics:

  • Christian ethics is not just about being “good enough.”
  • If we want the “right” and the “good”, then we have to seek the One who is right and good. Jesus never came to reveal to us a new ethic. His work was to reveal the Father and redeem us to the Father.
  • We cannot just look at ethics from the perspective of ecclesiology, leadership, moralism etc. We must start with pneumatology. The Spirit reveals to us Jesus (All that is right).
  • We participate in God’s goodness via grace.

Dr. Stephen G. Post on the healing power of service:

  • Research shows that volunteerism increases happiness, physical health,and resilience (voulunteermatch.org , 2009)
  • Planning a donation activates the neurological pathways associated with happiness and increased levels of dopamine. Simply put, giving is addictive! (Moll, et al, 2006; Rilling et al., 2002).
  • When we help others we cannot maintain a vengeful attitude (McCullough, 2008)
    Helping others literally turns off the neurological processes associated with hate, vengeance, and hurt.
  • The happiest people are those who overflow with love and generosity for others.
    Helping behaviors predict accelerated recovery from depressive symptoms among those with a heightened stress response (Brown, 2008).

More tomorrow!

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