Spirituality is popular and we are becoming more spiritual, But how can we find a spirituality which connects to real life? A great conversation exploring a different path to an authentic and real spirituality.
Our guest: Dr. Matthew Jacoby is a church pastor, lecturer at Melbourne School of Theology and lead singer of the Psalms project band, Sons Of Korah.
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Bigger Questions asked in the conversation
Matt you are lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the band, Sons of Korah, but who were the Sons of Korah?
They are mentioned in the Bible. Just confirming that you’re not the same ones as recorded there are you? You don’t seem that old!
So effectively you’re a cover band is that right?
Do you think the original Sons of Korah would sound the same as you do?
So why Sons of Korah? Why did you start a band with that?
So Matt, I thought I’d test you on “how spiritual are you’, using some online quiz I found at somewhere on the Internet. Are you a fan of on-line quizzes for profound life advice?
There are three questions each with multiple options and these questions will give an idea of how spiritual you are.
To determine how spiritual you are.
1. Do you like to look at the stars?
A. Yes I feel very connected to them
B. Who doesn’t?
C. When I remember?
D. Only if there’s a meteor shower or something
2. Do you own crystals?
A. Yes I have a great collection
B. I have a few
C. I might have some in jewellery.
D. What? No
3. Do you meditate?
A. Yes Consistently
B. Once in a while
The nature of spirituality
So Matt, Spirituality is often associated with astrology, meditation, crystals, yoga and meditation and so on. Why is this? What are they tapping into?
I did the quiz and I found out I wasn’t very spiritual. I got a statement
You are not spiritual. You don't spend too much time thinking about what the meaning is behind life, or looking to the world and nature for answers. Concrete science is the name of the game for you!
So is rationality and science the opposite of authentic spirituality?
But wasn’t the enlightenment meant to bring the end of spirituality? Karl Marx, the great 19th century atheist thinker claimed that the world consists only of matter without any spiritual dimensions. So with the rise of science and objective rationalism, wasn’t spirituality to have disappeared?
What is at the heart of spirituality? Is it broader than things like crystals, yoga and meditation?
Bible - authentic spirituality through relationship
Why don’t we have a look at one of these spiritual songs. We’re asking Matt Jacoby today’s big question, ‘What is authentic spirituality?’ and in Psalm 37, which isn’t a Psalm by the Sons of Korah, the Psalmist says in Psalm 37:4,
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
You have claimed that ‘delight in the Lord’ lies at the heart of authentic biblical spirituality. Why is that?
It mentions that if you delight in the Lord, he will give you the desires of heart. Now my but my eldest son currently desires a Maserati and a Steinway piano - is that what is being spoken of here?
Reflecting on the spirituality of the Psalms
In light of the observation of the wicked, the Psalmist encourages, in the first part of Verse 7, ‘be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him’. Could this be seen as a form of meditation perhaps? Being still and waiting for God?
What is distinctive between this and modern forms of meditation and spirituality?
How has singing and reflecting on the Psalms for 25 years affected you?
More people are searching for a sense of inner peace. Could the Psalms, these ancient spiritual songs offer anything?
Or maybe we need to listen to your version of the Psalm?
The Big Question
So Matt, what is authentic spirituality?