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In response to James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith”, I have to agree with a majority of these stages. With assumption that there are no social, physical or mental deficiencies, his stages are appropriate with life development. As I read his stages of life, I found myself giving him credit for a “rule of thumb” or “generally speaking” type of tone. Stage 0 is a predictable stage of life. “Primal or Undifferentiated” their faith is characterized by an early learning of the safety of their environment consisting of warmth, safety and secure vs. hurt, neglect and abuse. In all cultures and communities this is very common. As I read onto stage 1, this is where I started to not disagree, however extend the stages beyond his age interpretations. Stage 1 is a stage that does not just symbolize ages three to seven. Rather, their whole life in some say. Stage 1, “Intuitive-Projective”, can be developed into late adulthood until an image is created. Stage 2 seems to be the most fun we come across as parents.
The name should really be called the “Imagination” stage. They imagine wild stories of consequences, illogical reality and really a misinterpreted way of life. However, their faith is fun and completely interesting to listen to how they filter messages. Stage 3 of “Synthetic-Conventional” I could not agree with more. At my stage in life, I find myself sitting pretty in Stage 4; “Individuative-Reflective” faith. This stage of faith is based off of experiences in life and how to best adapt and relate to each item. Unfortunately this stage is also distracted with the responsibilities of life. In stage 4 we are raising kids, starting careers, buying houses, and finding a harsh reality of life. While it very fun and exciting, faith can take a back seat and not a priority. Stage 5, the mid-life crisis is occurring more and more often. My father in law, after 33 years packed up and left this past thanksgiving for selfish reasons he admits to. There comes a point in life that after stage 4 is complete and your job, whether raising kids, paying off houses, cars or raising kids comes to an end, you can become confused on the controllables and uncontrollables life. This takes us to the final stages of life. Stage 6, or the