Let's face it - we live in a complex world. Technology improves daily, and with it, the pace increases. Surrounded by driving forces, it is no small wonder that our spiritual lives take a hit. But if the weight of the world is hindering your walk with the Lord, maybe now it's the time to step back and evaluate. Life on earth was less hectic in Jesus' time. He faced incredible challenges and suffered agonizing trials, but there was simplicity in His relationship with His Father that we can emulate. And in that simplicity, we can realize our greatest fulfillment as believers. If your Bible study seems as tedious as filing your tax return and your prayer life as wearisome as trying to understand your phone bill, stop. Take a deep breath. Let author Donald Whitney show you how rewarding the simple Christian life can be.
Jesus faced incredible challenges and suffered agonizing trials, but there was simplicity in His relationship with His Father that we can emulate. And in that simplicity, we can realize our greatest fulfillment as believers. If your Bible study seems tedious and your prayer life wearisome, stop and rediscover how rewarding the simple Christian life can be.
DONALD S. WHITNEY is the associate professor of spiritual formation at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the best-selling author of S piritual Disciplines for the Christian Life , Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health , and How Can I Be Sure Im a Christian? (all NavPress). Don holds a doctor of ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is completing a doctor of theology degree with specialization in Christian spirituality from the University of South Africa. He is founder and president of the Center for Biblical Spirituality. Don lives in Kansas City, with his wife and daughter. Don's website is www.BiblicalSpirituality.org.
Don Whitney has been Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri since 1995.
Don grew up in Osceola, Arkansas, where he came to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He was active in sports throughout high school and college, and worked in the radio station his dad managed. After graduating from Arkansas State University, Don planned to finish law school and pursue a career in sportscasting. While at the University of Arkansas School of Law, he sensed God's call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He then enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1979. In 1987 he completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Don is currently completing a Doctor of Theology degree in Christian Spirituality at the University of South Africa.
Before coming to Midwestern, Don was pastor of Glenfield Baptist Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) for almost fifteen years.
He is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (NavPress, 1991), which has a companion discussion guide. He has also written How Can I Be Sure I'm A Christian (NavPress, 1994), Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church (Moody Press, 1996), Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health (NavPress, 2001), and Simplify Your Spiritual Life (NavPress, 2003).
Don's wife, Caffy, ministers from their home in Kansas City as a women's Bible study teacher, an artist, and a freelance illustrator. The Whitneys are parents of a daughter, Laurelen Christiana.
Don's website address is www.SpiritualDisciplines.org.
No one questions whether life is complicated today. Its just a fact that the more time-saving devices we have, the more we are expected to do with our time. Enter Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald S. Whitney. He sympathizes with fellow Christians who experience a spiritual life that is cluttered, has many diversions, and seems overwhelming. His goal for readers of this book is to simplify their spiritual lives, not by doing less, but Whitney says, we simplify to remove distractions from our pursuit of Christ.
In that effort, Whitney lays out the book by disciplines of a Christian, and offers suggestions on simplifying that area. For example, in the section on Prayer he distinguishes repetitive prayer from persistent prayer
talking to God is too great a privilege to settle for vain repetitions when the Bible invites you to pour out your heart before Him (Psalm 62:8). Other topics include meditation, truth, journaling, time, and the heart. Each topic has small, 2-page chapters that present a specific thought about it, which makes for easy reading as well as absorbing the concepts bit-by-bit.
Whitney has written other books about living out the spiritual life including Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, and How Can I Be Sure Im a Christian? What struck me most was the solid doctrines he promotes, insisting that as Christians we should judge any idea or principle using the Word as our authority. His advice is sound, not fashionable, and his encouragement is palpable throughout the volume. I would recommend this to a new believer (he spends much of the first part instructing what the gospel is and isnt), and to a mature Christian who wants guidance in the daily living of our faith. Stacy Oliver, Christian Book Previews.com
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