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The Independence Myth

Spiritual director, soul friend, and spiritual friendship—these new buzz words in Protestant circles make us suspect someone has imported another fad from our society's "culture of novelty." Do they signal one more encroachment on evangelical faith and practice?

Some who are aware of these phrases' origins fear that "spiritual direction" is the Trojan horse of Catholicism. After all, they ask, who are the great exem-plars of spiritual direction? Julian of Norwich, Walter Hilton, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Abbé Huvelin, and Adrian Van Kaam— Catholics all! Protestant anxiety is further aggravated by the recognition that a number of recent books on spiritual direction are doctrinally eclectic, quoting from biblical, Neoplatonic, and even non-Christian traditions. . .

Click here to read the full article (READ PDF).


James M. Houston

James M. Houston is a co-founder of the C.S. Lewis Institute.  From its beginning, Jim has served as a Senior Fellow of the Institute, lecturing at CSLI events over the past four decades. He received his Bachelor of Science and M.A. degrees from the University of Edinburgh and a D. Phil. from Oxford University.  He was a University Lecturer at Oxford from 1947 – 1971 where he taught cultural and historical geography.  While teaching at Oxford, he met C.S. Lewis and participated in a regular Bible study with him for six years. He is known as one of the “founding fathers” of Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia where he has served as the first Principal, Chancellor and Professor of Spiritual Theology.


Notice: This material is made available for limited use to participants of the C.S. Lewis Institute Fellows programs. Please do not reproduce any of the materials in the Fellows Resources other than for your personal use.

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