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I continually have to monitor my spiritual life. How much of it is form without substance?

I continually have to monitor my spiritual life. How much of it is form without substance?

We stood by the casket and looked at what remained-the seemingly premature death of a good and notable theologian.

After weeks and hours attending his brother-in-law, helping him die, Tom's emotional wounds were obvious. "This is terribly wrong," he groaned. He strained for words to express his grief. "It's … it's form without substance."

Those words, form without substance, worked their way into my mind. That is what makes death so awesome. This man should be substance, but we saw only form. The implications seemed outrageous. Form without substance is the essence of sin and its terror.

In the days that followed I was haunted by that phrase-form without substance. I thought of it as we counseled a couple, married some ten years, who had never connected in ways that bring genuine intimacy. The husband's hierarchical definition of marriage demanded that his wife meet his needs. In the beginning ...

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