We sometimes think there are only two ways to discern God's will---the "divine blueprint" plan and the "grow in wisdom" school. Smith offers a third way! Drawing on centuries of teaching and experience, he suggests that discernment is a spiritual discipline---a deepening relationship that helps us see God's will in crisis and in daily life. 168 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.
All Christians yearn to live at the center of God's will. But how to discern his will is an art that eludes many of us. And the advice we get often conflicts. Some tell us to look for a divine "blueprint"-the one perfect plan for our lives that we need to find. We are encouraged to search the Scriptures and hunt for signs, trying to uncover the map of our lives that God has drawn. Others have rejected the blueprint school of guidance for the "wisdom school." With minds renewed by the teaching of Scripture, we are to develop the wisdom necessary to make wise choices. We are told not to expect that there is just one answer to God's will for every decision we face. Several may be possible. The difficulty with both approaches, writes Gordon Smith, is that they minimize the presence and voice of God in times of choice. Instead, he argues for a third way. He suggests that we develop discernment as a spiritual discipline. By stressing the personal aspects of growing in our relationship with God, we can understand his will, not just in times of crisis but throughout our daily lives. This book provides no magic formulas, no recipes for guaranteed success-just a lot of insight, gleaned from centuries of lived Christian experience, that will guide and encourage you in the art of discerning God's will.
Gordon T. Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He is the author of many books, including , , , , and .