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Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2016
Not your typical spiritual disciplines book
Most books on the spiritual disciplines follow the same pattern: introduce the discipline, prove it from Scripture, and give tips for how to do it.
Habits for our Holiness does more than that: It connects the disciplines to all of life. By showing how the disciplines have their greatest power when practiced in community and on mission, Philip Nation gives Christians a bigger reasonand greater desireto pursue spiritual disciplines. He also warns us of what happens when we neglect them.
With plenty of examples, stories, and illustrations, Habits for our Holiness will inspire you to nourish your life with discipline, enjoy the fruit of godliness, and have a hand in building the church.
"Really enjoyed this fresh look at spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines. Useful research for me: read it just before teaching a class on Spiritual Formation for Leaders."
Reviewed by Rose Smith on NetGalley, Feb 23, 2016
"I found Philip Nation's Habits for Our Holiness to be a thought-provoking, remarkable read. I knew it was a book about the spiritual disciplines. So I thought I knew the kind of book it would be: read your Bible daily, pray daily, praise God daily, go to church, give your money and time to the church, if you've got kids, raise them well, be kind to your neighbors and coworkers, be active in your community, etc.
I did not expect it to be both inspiring--encouraging--and challenging--penetrating. For example, here's a question from the introduction: 'What are we doing to participate in God's process of teaching others how to love Him?'
Other 'wow' sentences for me:
'The king of the universe has a deeper desire to redeem people than we can begin to imagine. Amazingly, He invites us into the work. When we love Him deeply, He will form us to mirror his heart; and He has a missionary heart.'
'When the truth lays hold of our souls, we should feel the compulsion to share it....The world should benefit from our spiritual growth.'
'You've never accidentally met anyone. Instead, God--being God--organizes your life so that you can have an effect on every person you meet.'
The approach to this 'spiritual disciplines' book is different and refreshing. It ties all the spiritual disciplines together. This is evident from the start by how he defines the term 'spiritual discipline': 'A spiritual discipline is a mental and physical act and a habit that expresses our love for God and fosters a greater display of His glory in our lives and a deeper understanding of His character and agenda.'
As you might expect, however, it does talk a lot about the Bible, about worship, about prayer, about service, about HOW to live life in a way that pursues holiness, our sanctification. He ties each chapter, each discipline, back to the world: how does that discipline impact our mission--the great commission. Every chapter it seems is about evangelism, about sharing the gospel with a world that desperately needs to hear the good news--the GREAT NEWS--that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
For example, 'Each discipline can be used for God to form you into the likeness of Christ. Through the spiritual disciplines we are seeking to serve as He served, pray as He prayed, and submit as He submitted. The disciplines can increase our intimacy with God so that we can work to extend His reign in the lives of those around us./
Quotes about 'the big three' the foundational spiritual disciplines.
Worship: 'Worship is the intimate encounter that morals have with our immortal God.'
The Bible: 'As we encounter God in the pages of the Bible, it should drive us to introduce the rest of the world to Him.'
Prayer: 'Poetically prayer is our response to the echoes of Eden where we long to walk with God in the cool of the day. To state it as simply as possible, prayer is two-way communication that is initiated by His love.'
Other disciplines discussed in the book:
servanthood (service, stewardship)
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE. It is thorough and thought-provoking. It is challenging and encouraging. It is about LOVE and GRACE and sharing that love and grace with the world. It is the first spiritual disciplines book that I've read that focuses OUTWARD, not merely inward."
Reviewed by Becky Laney on NetGalley, Mar 5, 2016
"When I read non-fiction, more often than not, I will only read one chapter a day so that I can ingest and digest the information given. For a book like Habits for Our Holiness, that was a necessary strategy. Learning how others have come before me and walked the walk of faith always aids my own walk. My first tour through the Christian disciplines is Donald Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Both of these books offer quite the same information, but both of the books are worth reading more than once.
When I was a student getting my degree in education, one of the things we learned is how we learned--we could be visual learners (I am), auditory learners, or kinetic learners, or any combination of all of the above. In fact, we all have some degree of all three learning styles in us. I could take notes in a class and bring the notes back up in my mind when I was taking a test and read until I got to the answer I needed. Making things stick in our minds is easier when we take our own notes and read them in our own handwriting, or we read them aloud in our own voices, or we act it out with our own bodies. This in and of itself is why it's good to read the same kinds of information with more than one author.
So here's what I brought away from the chapter on Bible Study: We have to question each passage of scripture--it's like asking the teacher to explain something we don't understand.
1. How does this passage reveal God's character?
2. How does this passage reveal God's redemptive plan?
3. How did the passage apply to the original hearers? 4. How does this truth affect my relationship with Christ? 5. In what ways do I rebel against the truth in the passage? 6. What is the impact of the passage on the church?
Philip Nation has brought the disciplines together in an extremely readable way, understandable by any student of the Christian life. This is a five star book worth reading, meditating on, and digesting, simply to understand God and His word better.
My thanks to Moody Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book."
Reviewed by Becky Guinn on NetGalley, Mar 27, 2016