Listenings: Underdeveloped Souls

Evelyn Underhill identifies an ongoing deficiency in contemporary living: “Most people work so hard developing their correspondence with the visible world, that their correspondence with the invisible is left in a rudimentary state.” (p. 48)

We would be hard pressed to find a more damaging comment than to hear a parent say, “We just leave it up to our children whether or not to be religious.  We want them to make up their own mind.”  The irony is that we don’t take that approach in general life development, e.g. education, sleep, exercise, nutrition, etc.  In almost every other area of life we recognize the need for guidance. Underhill is correct that this failure leads to underdeveloped souls.  Pointing others toward God is not “forcing” faith, it is “facing” faith.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Listenings: Underdeveloped Souls

  1. Douglas Swan says:

    Steve, I just discovered this blog and so delighted to see it exists. Got it through Matt Wallis on FB. What a resource. I find Evelyn Underhill’s statement that you cite to be to the point. So many are without spirutual depth, though intially exposed to Christ and the gospel, they are not “going on to perfection.” I have to be honest there are some days when I also neglect the “stirring of the gifts within.” It is imperative that we not neglect the life of the soul, or else we shall have no life at all. Blessings to you…..D. Swan, going to Belle Glade, Fla.

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