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Have you noticed? When the title of the popular "Chicken Soup" book series changed to "Chicken Soup for the Soul," it indicated more than just a marketing strategy shift. The title change was one of the world's numerous signals that it is expressing a new openness to the spiritual.

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This spiritual openness does not mean people are rallying around Christian essentials that equate to orthodoxy and not that they are showing new interest in religious organizational involvement. However, it does indicate that matters of the soul really matter.


The grid to the left provides a map for the post-modern maze of spiritual openness in the world today. It offers suggestions for those who want to influence people for Christ in today's spiritual environment.

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There is a human drive for divine meaning and a hunger to taste and feel the transcendent. Accordingly, it should not seem unusual when secular prophets make references to spiritual satisfaction in a secular way. We should not be surprised when musicians begin their concerts with statements such as, "Here is a gospel song for secular people." You know, spirituality without the inconvenience of Jesus.


After all, we are spiritual beings. We've been created to believe, so when truth doesn't resonate with the soul, the human spirit chases after other spiritual possibilities. Theological counselors are right to signal caution. Beware of spiritual feelings without spiritual ideas. Watch out for spirituality that is soft and fluffy. Instead, filter the faith through time-tested biblical norms. Believe only what is believable. Discernment is good for the soul.


Rather than simply dissenting and critiquing people who are participating in the present openness to the spiritual milieu, the grander challenge is to engage them to express the spiritual interest-regardless of how unorthodox it may seem.


Until we listen and accept where people are in their journey, we will not be in any position to share our experiences with the God of creation and the Christ of redemption that could prompt them to consider a relationship with Jesus for themselves.