A Theology of Love: Open and Relational Theology and Spiritual Direction

Open and relational theology is a theological framework that emphasizes the relational nature of God and humans. Open and Relational is a label not unlike Baptist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, etc. It prioritizes the idea that God is not a heavy-handed micromanager or just a distant, aloof observer of human life but is actively and lovingly engaged in relationships with all beings. This means God both gives and receives in relation to us. Further, Open and Relational theology holds that the future is open, our choices matter, and we move with God into an undetermined future. Most Open and Relational thinkers affirm that God's essential nature is love. Love is primary in God's nature, with all of God's other attributes flowing from (shaped by) the centre of love.

Spiritual direction is the practice of accompanying individuals on their spiritual journeys and helping them to deepen their relationship with the divine. In the context of open and relational theology, spiritual direction might involve listening to the individual's unique experiences of God, helping them to identify and cultivate meaningful relationships with others and the world, and encouraging them to engage in practices that promote connection and intimacy with the divine.

Overall, open and relational theology and spiritual direction go hand in hand, as they both focus on the importance of relationships in spiritual growth and development.

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