In the “not NOT emergent church” we formerly attended, transformation was a BIG word and still is. Transformation is tied to spiritual formation which is tied to work. You must train yourself like an athelete would…to run the race and pass the baton and the whole thing. You must be in community to transform. Preferably, this means you are in a little clump type thing (called a life group/small group). At any rate, you need others in order to transform. Yes, no one changes on their own, no way. You are to take all thoughts captive and work to become cleaner and cleaner. Now, they don’t tie this to salvation really, it’s the process after salvation. Studying the Bible, and memorizing scripture helps with this from what I recall. Also, the idea was that story changed you. Not sure how story transformed since Jesus used this all the time and many, many did NOT change. Just listen to someone try to describe how story tranforms us and you’ll feel like you’re on the set of Oprah.
Today, in our newly found church…the pastor mentioned the word “transformation” and I gave myself a minute to listen because I wanted to hear him right. He was speaking about the “new birth” and the discussion with Nicodemus that became a discourse. The pastor put transformation in it’s proper context. We are transformed when born again, by the water and the spirit (meaning we receive a new heart that is softened and not a stone AND we are cleansed spiritually internally). The transformation comes but it is nothing of our doing. In fact, we must believe to be saved but faith is a gift from God so even that is not our own. So different than the concept of transformation we ever learned in our former congregation.