A Transforming Friendship With Jesus

Paul Smith Full-Length, Integral Life Practice, Spirituality, Video Leave a Comment

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Have you longed for a more realistic and meaningful spiritual path? Are you tired of traditional versions of religion that condemn most of the world to hell and try to squeeze you into the kind of person you don’t want to be? There are alternatives. Thoughtful people are more and more exploring progressive spiritual and religious perspectives that will meet you for who you are now.

Paul Smith, progressive minister and noted writer of the seminal book Integral Christianity, has made it his life’s mission to help elucidate new ways of embodying faith, helping forge a path toward a more intelligent, more inclusive, and more liberating spirituality that is better adapted to the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. In effort to share the fruits of his life’s work with the rest of us, he has developed an incredible new Integral Life Practice module to help enliven your second-person relationship with the divine.

Understanding that the mere mention of traditional Christianity can bring up old wounds, oppressive religious baggage, and narrow-minded people who want to exert control over your life, Paul suggests a Christian practice that is notably different. This way of understanding and practicing the Christian faith transcends the old, closed-minded, belief-driven versions of Christianity while including the very best of the historic tradition — learning from the riches of other traditions, while integrating those wisdoms into a spiritual path that, at the end of the day, remains uniquely Christian.

Paul offers a powerful practice that leads you to a full-spectrum realization of God — a God who is big enough to satisfy our minds, close enough to touch our hearts, and familiar enough to easily recognize how God intersects with innermost Self.

A relationship with Jesus is often neglected or dismissed in progressive spiritualty because he in only associated with traditional religion. When we liberate our relationship with Jesus Christ from the constraints of outdated and exclusionary belief systems, a real time friendship with him can emerge, flowing with life, love, and healing for the world.

In this module you will learn:

  • How to develop an expanded relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • How to move past the old mythical stories about Jesus.
  • How to begin developing a new type of relationship with Jesus.
  • Practices for connecting with Jesus that mirror how He reflected God, related to God, and rested as God.
  • Constrictions that may come up involving distractions, doubts and dry time.
About the Author
Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is an author, teacher, and recently retired after serving 49 years as minister at Broadway Church in Kansas City, Missouri. While in high school he founded a series of spiritually transforming youth camps and college retreats that were attended by thousands of young people annually over a period of ten years. After his undergraduate degree from Washington University and Master’s degree in theology and biblical studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he came to Broadway Baptist Church in midtown Kansas City, Missouri in 1963.

In his almost half a century as pastor at Broadway, the church experienced significant and on-going change, becoming nationally recognized as a pioneer in small groups, contemporary worship, team leadership, justice issues, progressive theology, church renewal, and spiritual formation. After years of attempted expulsion, the church was finally dismissed from the Southern Baptist Convention in 2007 for performing gay unions. It dropped the name Baptist, becoming Broadway Church. In 1980 he created a workshop on spiritual gifts which is used around the world and translated into Spanish, German, and Portuguese. He delivered the 1988 Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture Series at William Jewell College and was given the GLAAD Leadership Award in 1995. Smith has taught extensively on contemporary church life in many churches and schools including St. Paul Methodist School of Theology, Unity Ministerial School, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written for numerous publications including Tikkun, and had numerous reviews of his books and interviews on radio, television, and the internet. He is a regular guest writer on the Integral Life website. He contributed two chapters to the book, Enabling the Dialogue About Homosexuality, and has authored six books with two still in print, Is It Okay To Call God Mother? Considering the feminine face of God (Hendrickson) and Integral Christianity – The Spirit’s Call to Evolve (Paragon House and forthcoming Danish edition from ID Academy Media in Denmark). He currently presents workshops around the country on Integral Christianity while working on his next book.


Perspectives by Paul Smith

Paul Smith is an active contributor on Integral Life, offering his personal and professional expertise to help us illuminate a more comprehensive path to spirituality in general, and a more Integral Christianity in particular. You can find Paul’s many contributions listed on his author page.


Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve

This book presents a model of Christianity that incorporates the insights of a Jesus-centered theology of biblical interpretation, integral philosophy, and over fifty years of pastoral experience in leading evolutionary change in the local church. The perspectives of integral theory and practice, articulated by Ken Wilber, help uncover the integral approach that Jesus advocated and demonstrated in the metaphors of his time and that traditional Christianity has largely been unable to see.

Smith incorporates elements of traditional, modern, and postmodern theological viewpoints, including progressive, New Thought, and emerging/emergent ones. However, he goes beyond all of them and moves to a Christianity that is devoted to following both the historical Jesus and the Risen Christ whose Spirit beckons to us from the future. Smith says, “The oldest thing you can say about God is that God is always doing something new. Jesus pushed his own religion to newness by including the best of its past, and transcending the worst of its present. He calls us to do the same, whatever our religion is today.”