Tripolar Spirituality

The Anabaptist form of tripolar spirituality is not the ordinary quest spirituality of individual discipline and discovery, but a communal spirituality of disciples (followers) following a cluster of practices, practices that are lived out in the relationships of community, where believers share in the rewarding struggles of faithful dialogue, discernment and mutual discovery. Emerging churches around the world, renewal groups in historic confessions, creative experiments in the practice of discipleship, and parachurch groups that are training persons in the practice of discipleship, service, life in community, and authentic witness very often look to the Anabaptist movement for their inspiration and guidance. Whenever there is a fresh return to the spirituality of the imitation of Christ, there is usually a recognition of these roots in the sixteenth century, of those who sought to move the Reformation toward a spirituality of following Jesus daily in life. Such spirituality, in the Anabaptist tradition, is lived out in a distinctive cluster of traits or practices expressed in daily life, in work and in play – all experienced as worship. These seven are radical attachment [to Jesus], stubborn loyalty, tenacious serenity, habitual humility, resolute non-violence, concrete service and authentic witness.

David Augsburger – Dissident Discipleship, P20

2 thoughts on “Tripolar Spirituality

  1. I am reading that book a the moment. It is a very good book. I am highly find of it. We were going to work through it at the Anabaptist Network Study at Stuart Murray’s home, but I moved up north.


  2. Yes, I borrowed Dissident Discipleship from Morling college a few weeks ago and liked it so much I bought a copy last week. It encapsulates so much, it has already made it into my most recommended list. So much Christian mysticism never makes it past bipolar Spirituality. So much Secular mysticism never makes it past monopolar Spirituality. Dissident Discipleship articulates in a very accessible way what tripolar Spirituality, what enemy-love Spirituality, is all about. It highlights why Christian spirituality is irreducably communal, why churchless Christianity is always missing an essential dimension. As much as enjoy meditation, as much as I find solitude refreshing, I cannot pursue tripolar Spirituality in isolation. I must engage with others, I must engage with my enemies. That is where authentic Christ-likeness is to be learned.


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