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Luther Rice Journal of Christian Studies Vol. 2, Spring 2017

A Dichotomist View of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Growth by Michael Parrott* In his landmark book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr notes the role of cartography, i.e., mapmaking, in the maturation process.

1

Simply put, the process of maturation moves

increasingly towards more detailed and complex mapmaking. In terms of the process of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Growth there should be more advanced mapping of this process as it proceeds towards a mature, thorough, and detailed explanation. For years research has shown that our current culture is learning more through visual images than words alone.2 Therefore, by mapmaking, creating charts and visual depictions of the process, the current culture will more easily understand Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Growth. Additionally, the process of mapmaking will highlight transformational relationships within the dichotomist design, which, in turn, will help to clarify the biblical data while reducing or eliminating inaccurate connections. This article seeks to demonstrate that a dichotomist view of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Growth based upon the biblical data can be visually mapped. Such a map will distinguish between the two substances of man’s design, integrate man’s functional characteristics, indicate the impact of sin nature and then new nature upon man, visualize the Spiritual Growth process, and show the impact of the glorified state upon man. The goal

* Assistant Professor of Bible, Cedarville University 1

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows (New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 2011), 40.

2

Ibid., 144-148. By comparing SAT scores that were dropping in reading and math skills while IQ scores were increasing, it became clear that there is a “transformation in the way people think about intelligence” (147). Carr notes as evidence the research of Patricia Greenfield, a UCLA psychologist. As Carr summarizes Greenfield’s findings, “the rise in IQ scores ‘is concentrated in nonverbal IQ performance,’ which is ‘mainly tested through visual tests.’” (147)

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Luther Rice Journal of Christian Studies 2017  
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