The Logopraxis approach seeks to reorientate our relationship to Sacred Texts, by placing the emphasis on reading for application, rather than for information.
Much of the historical approaches to doctrinal commentary however, demonstrate an imbalance of instilling information and are lite on application and practice. This is understandable, as their emphasis in how to read, is heavily weighted toward acquiring and processing information.
While both forms of understanding are needed, it is recognised that spiritual knowledge in the memory is of no benefit, until it is applied to life. Logopraxis seeks to address this imbalance, through offering a way of relating to Sacred Texts that is directly focused on supporting the practice of self-examination and repentance. It is only through the application of the truths of the Word to the life of the mind, that an experiential understanding can develop. This is an understanding of the relationship between the Word and the inner processes involved in the regeneration of the human mind. Practice is ultimately the only path to an experiential understanding of the Word.
Logopraxis offers us a way into the Word that directly supports our regeneration in the here and now. If we engage with the Word, with the intention of allowing it to speak into our life to direct our daily practice, then the Word will reach out to us with what’s required. The insights that come through the intentional practice of the Text, then become the doctrine for our life. This is a saving faith. It is something very personal, having been tailored to bringing into being the unique form of mind or use we are created to be.
A purely intellectual engagement with the Word that is limited to simply storing information in the memory however, sits as “dead” facts until it is used to examine our mental life. Without practice, it remains a merely historical faith, but with practice, it becomes a saving faith because it is through practice, that the Lord as the Word is given the opportunity to work to regenerate our mind and bring it into a heavenly form.
What Logopraxis invites us to do, is to take the principles of the Word and work with them with a view to confirming their truth in our own experience. We work from the principle of affirmative doubt. For example:
“The principles are true because we accept that they are from the Lord, and they remain true whether I can confirm them in my experience or not.”
So, in Logopraxis work, we are not taking these principles or truths to try and prove whether they are true or not.
We proceed on the basis that they are true; our work is simply a case of working to see HOW they are true.
This is an extremely important point.
Hence, Logopraxis is not just concerned with committing truths to memory; it is also about coming into an understanding of how a truth or principle is true in the light of our own direct experience of it. The question we can carry with any given truth or principle is,
“Can I see an illustration of this truth from my own experience?”
Of course, there will be many times when having worked with a principle from the Text, that its application will remain obscure. What we can do then, is to hold the question,
“How does this principle play out in me?”
… knowing that when our state is such that we can receive insight into its operation, it will come.
The Word is constantly inviting us to trust it to direct our inner work. We are encouraged to read it with a state of deep listening, so that we might hear what the Spirit is saying to the church in us. The question to be carried as we read is,
“What is the Lord asking of me so far as my spiritual work is concerned?”
One of the remarkable things we discover as we engage with the Word in this way, is that where we thought we were reading the Word, we find that the Word is in fact reading us. Its truths examine the life of our mind or spirit as we look to apply them. In Logopraxis when we use the phrase, “application to life” we mean the life of the mind. This life involves all aspects of our mental activity. In particular, it involves having the light of truths shine on the largely unconscious, habitual patterns of thinking and feeling that we identify with as our sense of self, so that they can come into awareness. To apply truths to the life of the mind means to use them for the purpose for which they are given; for self-examination and repentance. To do this we must first learn what truths teach us about what is good and true, and what is evil and false. These teachings then need to be applied in the light of our understanding of them.
So, in summary there are two approaches to reading the Text:
Intellectual Approach (Reading for Information)
- Results in an understanding of the Text that is descriptive of its content.
- Tends to place the emphasis on the structural aspects of a thing.
- What is learned is committed to the memory
- Historical faith
Experiential Approach (Reading for Application)
- Results in an understanding of the Text that is tied to its application to life.
- Will be more centered on the processes involved.
- What is learned is integrated into life with personal illustration
- Saving faith
Logopraxis asks us to move beyond mastering content for its own sake, as a purely intellectual exercise, to engaging directly with the Word, in the effort to apply its truths to the life of our mind. This enables us to experience, first hand, the operation of the Word as the Lord in its power to transform and save us.
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