The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows  -     By: James Bryan Smith
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The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows

Inter-Varsity Press / 2009 / Hardcover

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Product Description

What does being Christlike really mean? Smith believes we need a pattern for transformation. He encourages us to re-examine what we think about God (our narratives), how we practice (the spiritual disciplines), and whom we interact with (our social context) to discover the life Jesus lived and grow in the knowledge of a good God. 232 pages, hardcover from InterVarsity.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 232
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830835318
ISBN-13: 9780830835317
Availability: In Stock
Series: The Apprentice

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Publisher's Description

"God wants me to try harder." "God blesses me when I'm good and punishes me when I'm bad." "God is angry with me." We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true--but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind. At the end of each chapter you'll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Because the best way to make a complete and lasting change is to go through the material in community, small group discussion questions also accompany each chapter. Those who are leading apprentice groups will also find additional help and opportunities to interact with other leaders at the Apprentice website, www.apprenticeofjesus.com. This deep, loving and transformative book will help you discover the narratives that Jesus lived by--to know the Lord he knew and the kingdom he proclaimed--and to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.

Author Bio

James Bryan Smith (M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, D.Min., Fuller Seminary) is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, and a writer and speaker in the area of Christian spiritual formation. He also serves as the director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation at Friends University. A founding member of Richard J. Foster's spiritual renewal ministry, Renovar Smith is an ordained United Methodist Church minister and has served in various capacities in local churches. Smith is also the editor of (with Richard Foster), and .

Publisher's Weekly

James Bryan Smith. InterVarsity Press, $22 (232p) ISBN 978-0-8308-3531-7 Not every book on developing spiritual intimacy with God includes chapters on getting enough sleep and learning to slow down. But Smith (Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven), a professor at Friends University, seems very conscious that he is writing for a hectic, driven age and has tailored his recommendations for “soul-training” accordingly. “The number one spiritual sickness of our day is ‘hurry sickness,’ ” writes the author. Smith challenges those who seek to follow God to examine the stories they already know about God, engage in new spiritual practices and enter in dialogue with others under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Using sources as diverse as Anglican poet George Herbert and contemporary author Malcolm Gladwell, Smith analyzes “false narratives” (we can work our way to God) and asks the reader to replace them with new ones (God works His way to us). Although created for small groups and classes, the many exercises and questions that pepper the book reflect the influence of Smith’s mentor Richard Foster, a leading thinker on spiritual formation. These can guide individuals who seek to deepen their knowledge of God. (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

Other authors have written extensively on spiritual disciplines and the spiritual life, but few have created a curriculum that is as accessible to the common believer seeking spiritual growth. I exuberantly recommend this book to anyone interested in a practical model of spiritual growth.
"This first book in The Apprentice Series, The Good and Beautiful God, is a treasure. Dr. Smith has thought long and hard about the process of human transformation into the likeness of Jesus. I urge you to buy this book immediately! Read it and apply it. Then live it out in the context of a loving community. You will not regret doing so."
"I predict this book, and the two more in the series, will become deeply influential books in evangelical churches that want to deepen spiritual formation."
"Smith challenges those who seek to follow God to examine the stories they already know. . . . [Includes] exercises and questions . . . to deepen their knowledge of God."
"I know from our long relationship that Jim Smith is a fine and trustworthy man, who authentically knows 'the good and beautiful God.' I can think of no higher compliment than this: I would happily trust the care of my soul to Jim and the good and beautiful God he commends to us."
"The Apprentice Series is the best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation."

Product Reviews

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4.8 out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 10
Page 1 of 2 12 Next
  1. Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 26, 2013
    mario
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We are using this book in our small group Bible Study, and find it very helpful,
  2. Age: Over 65
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    March 8, 2012
    Patti
    Age: Over 65
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    My expectation was higher than the book delivered. Average Christian walk level. No new insights. I am not a scholar but it did spark group discussion.
  3. Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    this was the best book I've read in ten years
    February 22, 2012
    brettski
    Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Smith's description of a good and beautiful God was like a glass of refreshing cold water on a humid summer's day. It was wonderful to sit and read a book that described a beautiful God whose burden is light and yoke is easy. So much of our Christian worship and experience today is filled with how we fall short or what we need to do that it is absolutely exhausting and one always leaves feeling defeated. The soul training exercises that Smith gives are meaningful, relevant, accessible, and do not feel like a burden but rather give life. I have given this book away about 10 times this past six months. This book and the accompanying soul training exercises helped me move much closer to complete trust in Christ and have given me a much greater and appreciative relationship and understanding of the triune God.
  4. Visalia Ca
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    We need this curriculum for Christlikeness
    February 10, 2012
    Gary
    Visalia Ca
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In, The Good and Beautiful God, the author lays a foundation regarding how we become the kind of people who can easily learn to do "all He has commanded." The text flows easily and through the website provides a way to lead a small group if desired. James Bryan Smith has been influenced by a mentor, Dallas Willard, and has taken the message of life in the kingdom and transformation to a very doable process.
  5. Cochrane, AB
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very Profound Book
    November 29, 2011
    Jacques
    Cochrane, AB
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    If you want to know God, read this book. It perfectly describes God and how to have a personal relationship with Him. Great for a Bible study group.
Displaying items 1-5 of 10
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