"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Christian Spirituality Differently Understood

Who among us is not tired of that trite and tedious phrase about being "spiritual but not religious"? Spirituality today seems to suffer from overuse, misunderstanding, and narcissism. Along comes a new book that may help correct some of those problems: Bruce Demarest, ed., Four Views on Christian Spirituality (Zondervan, 2012), 240pp.

About this book, which contains a chapter "Orthodox Spirituality: A Quest for Transfigured Humanity" by Bradley Nassif, the publisher tells us:

Amid a culture that is both fascinated by spirituality and inundated by a dizzying variety of options for pursuing it, many Christians long for a deeper, more historically rooted spiritual life. In Four Views on Christian Spirituality, general editor Bruce Demarest presents an invaluable resource for study and comparison of the major Christian perspectives on spiritual formation. Contributors' chapters on Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Evangelicalism, and Liberal Protestantism, collected side-by-side, easily allow for the beliefs and emphases of the viewpoints to be thoughtfully considered---all in pursuit of greater understanding and spiritual growth. The four viewpoints are given equal opportunity in the hands of the following capable scholars, and each proponent's chapter is followed by responses from the other three. * Brad Nassif (Eastern Orthodoxy) * Scott Hahn (Roman Catholicism) * Evan Howard (Evangelicalism) * Joe Driskill (Liberal Protestantism) In the end, an increased familiarity with each of the different schools of Christian thought will aid readers seeking spiritual transformation for themselves, their family members, and their churches.

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