Last October, we hosted the first annual Symposia: An Intersection of Conversation & Innovation, a forum in which alumni of The Seattle School presented the ongoing work they are pursuing at the intersection of text, soul, and culture. Integrative education does not end at graduation, and our alumni are proof of that. Symposia highlighted the ways that Seattle School alumni are continuing to wrestle with big questions and big dreams in theology, psychology, and culture.

This week, we’re featuring a presentation by Seth Taylor (MA in Theology & Culture, ‘14), “Ordo Salutis: What It Means To Be Saved in the Here and Now.” Seth, a Christian mystic and author of Feels Like Redemption (which grew out of Seth’s Integrative Project at The Seattle School), talks about how the structures we set up in our vocations, relationships, and churches—like the theological notion of ordo salutis—seek to protect us from brokenness and, in doing so, prevent us from finding true healing and freedom.

“A lot of the belief systems that we create are to keep us from feeling this brokenness. […] Our God tends to be created in the image of the ordo salutis that we need to resolve our tension.”

Seth argues that holistic healing and freedom require that we step into places of embodied brokenness, eventually learning to trust God with our whole bodies. “What I’m trying to teach people,” he says, “is how do we go into the body, in a therapeutic way and a meditative way, to allow that brokenness to come out?”

In his work and his writing, Seth specifically wrestles with these concepts in the realm of pornography and sex addiction, which Christian churches and organizations primarily engage in terms of control mechanisms like software, books, and accountability. Instead, Seth suggests that healing and freedom only come when we are willing to surrender our systems of control and listen to the tension and brokenness that is often repressed deep in our bodies.

“When we talk about the functionality of spiritual freedom, or spiritual power, it is something that is felt in the body. It is not something that is thought in the head.”