Interview: Dr. Geordie Ziegler on Relational Formation

Jeremiah interviews Dr. Geordie Ziegler about spirituality, devotional activities, and the importance of a relationship with God. Dr. Ziegler is a Presbyterian minister and Christian academic who specializes in spiritual formation. 

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This is a gracious exchange between two honorable and honest men who know and love God’s word. It is healthy to talk about what we believe, and our personal relationship with God. It is so good to hear how another understands the walk, and the growth, in our life with God.
    Several high points for me:
    1) the value of mentors, and the realization that they aren’t perfect, but can be a key to your maturation,
    2) the discussion about a person’s spirit not being alive without the reception, the connection to the Holy Spirit,
    3) living with the Trinity in your daily relating to God, rather than assigning the different persons of God to different phases of your life,
    4) the value and habits of staying aware of God and talking with him through the day,
    5) recognizing we are pulled into the relationship Jesus has with the Heavenly Father.

  2. Yes, indeed a wonderful exchange between two brothers in Christ.

    But for Ziegler to say that man does not have a spirit separate for the Spirit of God is a contradiction of the divine revelation in the New Testament Scriptures (see… Rom 8:16, 1 Cor. 2:11, 6:17; Heb. 4:12). In addition, his claim denies the promises made in the Old Testament through Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. Ziegler believes that instead of a human spirit man has a vacuum where somehow God’s spirit joins or fills the man. I find that posture very troubling since it reveals a faulty biblical anthropology.

    1. You make a very good point regarding the Scripture’s clarity on the existence of the human spirit. The issue of biblical anthropology is a fascinating one, partially because it seems the biblical authors use some of the anthropological terms in different ways.

      For example, it is a difficult tension to resolve that Jesus Himself does not use the term “spirit” in his discussion of the greatest commandment, which is particularly where I would expect Him to do so! “With all your heart, mind, soul, strength….” In none of the Gospel versions does He use the term “spirit.” Since Jesus is saying to love the Father with the entirety of the human person, it is odd that the term “spirit” does not show up in these lists.

      I am not giving this example in order to disagree with you, but rather to show how I’m still personally studying exactly how to resolve the variance in the usage of anthropological terms in the Bible. For sure the original language and context of Heb. 4:12 supports the existence of a human spirit that is not synonymous with the soul, which I believe is an error in current fashion in some U.S. theological circles. So I’m completely in agreement with you regarding the existence of a human spirit, but I don’t think the Scriptures are perfectly clear on how exactly the human spirit functions as the connection point with God.

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