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Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life | Donald S. Whitney

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Whitney’s book is a straightforward treatment of what are commonly referred to as the spiritual disciplines, i.e., those practices which, if performed in a regular and sincere manner, will lead a Christian to spiritual growth. Whitney dedicates a chapter or two to all such practices. They are: reading and meditating on Scripture, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning. His discussion of each discipline is also clear and direct. He briefly proves that God expects us to practice the discipline, moves on to give more thorough, biblical teaching on it, and then gives much practical advice for actually living out what has been learned.

The above description may make the book sound a bit bland, but on the contrary, the book easily holds your attention as you read it. As for its simplistic nature, this is doubtless what has made it the standard text for studying the spiritual disciplines. All one has to do is read, and exhaustive biblical teaching on each discipline may be learned as effortlessly as picking pebbles off the ground. Practicing what one learns is the difficult part, but Whitney helps us there, holding out for us the knowledge that growing in grace leads to the joy and peace of God. J. I. Packer’s introduction to the book is also very helpful to read.

This is one of those books that all Christians can benefit from reading. A newer convert will, from the very beginning, know how to direct his energies so as to grow quickly and stay strong. Older Christians, who have never given much thought to these disciplines, will see their life with Christ re-energized by the deliberate attempt to excel still more. And of course, pastors and teachers will find help guiding those under their care into godliness.

Sample: Contents | Chapter 1

Freedom. The Reward of Discipline.

It’s not uncommon for an accomplished musician to be able to sit down in front of a new piece of music and play it through without a hitch. To make it seem easy, as if it required no effort. Yet, the “freedom” to play with such skill comes only after years of disciplined practice.

In the same way, the freedom to grow in godliness—to naturally express Christ’s character through your own personality—is in large part dependent on a deliberate cultivation of the spiritual disciplines.

Far from being legalistic, restrictive, or binding, as they are often perceived, the spiritual disciplines are actually the means to unparalleled spiritual liberty.

So if you’d like to embark on a lifelong quest for godliness, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will help you on your way. Drawn from the rich heritage left us by the early church fathers, the Puritan writers, and Jesus Christ Himself, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines, including: Scripture reading, prayer, worship, Scripture meditation, evangelism, serving, stewardship, Scripture application, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning.

By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them on a long-term basis, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to embrace life’s greatest pursuit—the pursuit of holiness—through a lifelong delight in the disciplines.

Other Details

Author :
Donald S. Whitney
8.38 x 5.38 x 0.75 inches