How can Christians grow to maturity unless their conversion experience takes them past sin's consequences to true spiritual transformation? The key, says Gordon Smith, is Beginning Well. His challenging and provocative survey of Scripture, spiritual autobiographies, and a range of conversion theologies (Protestant, Catholic, Reformed, Wesleyan) takes you beyond "minimalist" views to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for authentic transformation. A must-read for pastors, evangelists, and spiritual directors. 240 pages, softcover, InterVarsity.
"Saints are made by good conversions." In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin--the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well. In this age of false starts and stunted growth, maturing Christians need help reflecting on and interpreting their own religious experience. Christian leaders need to rethink the way that conversions happen. Beginning Well is a catalyst toward this end. Surveying Scripture, spiritual autobiographies and a broad range of theologies of conversion (Protestant and Catholic, Reformed and Wesleyan), the author seeks to foster in the Christian community a dynamic language of conversion that leads to spiritual transformation and mature Christian living. In the process he moves us from a short-sighted "minimalist" view to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for good conversions. This book--a stirring call to rethink the relationship between conversion and transformation--is a must read for pastors, evangelists, spiritual directors, seminary professors and others who are concerned about the nurture and development of Christian converts, and the nature of authentic religious experience.
Gordon T. Smith is president and professor of systematic and spiritual theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of many books, including (Baker Academic, 2010) and
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