This is the book I have been searching for. I will read it, absorb it, and then send a copy to all of our member care people. It is not a "how to" book on spiritual disciplines, but it gets to the heart of spirituality. It will become a central text for our spiritual formation conferences.
" Simple Spirituality ambushed me through stories about Chris Heuertz's vulnerable friends--harsh vignettes that reduced me to tears. They caused me to reflect upon the consecration of my own spiritual journey and my readiness to enter into deeper relationships with those who Jesus wants to love so intensely through the church."
Huertz leaves no luxury in this brief but powerful volume - what he is proposing is nothing short of a lifestyle transformation by way of loving and serving the poor and marginalized. If Huertz is successful at anything with this book, it's the gaping hole he puts in the tendency for Christians to have a merely devotional relationship with God and an ideological relationship with the world outside our comfort zones. I recommend it to anyone who is, in the words of Shane Claiborne in his endorsement, "ready to see."
"Chris Heuertz has written a thoughtful, compelling invitation to think, trust and act more deeply in faith. He is aware of the enormous challenges we face and of the thickness of anxiety that can undermine faith. In the midst of that, he keeps his head clear, his heart focused and his words accessible. This book will be a source of strength and encouragement among those who are serious about 'following.'"
"I have had my fill of spiritual devotional books and had pretty much decided not to pick up another one. Too many clones filled with formulas and occasionally sprinkled with quotes from the Bible. Most of the authors seem to be groping for a five-minute magical escape from life in the contemporary world. But Simple Spirituality caught my attention and drew me in. Instead of prescribing answers, Chris tells us about his deepest struggles and how God gives him release and victory through the disciplines of humility, community, simplicity, submission and brokenness. His narrative is seasoned with poignant stories about his friends, and his wholehearted obedience to God authenticates his message."
"When Chris Heuertz speaks, I always listen carefully."
" Simple Spirituality brings together three critical transforming themes--simplicity, spirituality and a broken world--and captures the profoundness of them through very simple real-life narratives. The book not only meets a critical need in the mission world but raises critical questions for those working among the poor and the oppressed to grapple with. Chris and his wife, Phileena, have been a blessing--people of passion and simplicity. I am sure readers would be blessed."
"Chris Heuertz's ability to weave real-life stories with scriptural and theological reflection makes this a very engaging and refreshing book. At a time when the gap between the poor and rich continues to grow, Chris reminds us that what the gospel commands us to do is not so much to do things for the poor, but to become friends, indeed sit at the same table, with the poor. What makes such a duty possible, even delightful, are such gifts as humility, community, simplicity, submission and brokenness--simple spirituality, he calls it!"
"For those of us in the affluent West, spirituality has become muddled by materialism and complicated by our frenetic pace of life. Chris Heuertz helps to unwind the suffocating insulation that cocoons us and stunts our spiritual growth. From his amazing array of experiences among the poor, Chris has been educated in the seminary of the slums. In this deep but accessible work, he draws us alongside the prostitutes, the dying, the disabled and the beggars to help us learn what he has learned--that sitting so close to the heart of God, the poor have the proximity and perspective to teach us the art of simple spirituality."
"There's no doubt about it: Chris Heuertz has found Jesus among the poorest of the poor--a Jesus who calls us to humility, community, simplicity, submission and brokenness. Throughout Simple Spirituality, as he shares his experiences from around the globe, he challenges and inspires us all to seek Jesus and follow him with renewed passion and integrity. Read it and be transformed."
"This is a challenging and appealing book. It reveals the part of love to Jesus and of Jesus--presence to the poor, the broken and the vulnerable. Chris has a gentle and realistic way of showing that this path which can appear as austere, suffering and insecure is tempered, rendered human and Christian and even enjoyable through meetings of love and of tenderness, which heal us, liberate us, give us strength and new life."
Don't read Simple Spirituality if you don't want to be convicted. Being a Christian, according to Heuertz, is about ministry to the broken; not merely to a broken world, but to those who are hurting, vulnerable and broken in the world. Simple Spirituality will make us uncomfrotable with our materialistic Christian ways.
Heuertz is simply an amazing guy with amazing stories about his life.
Heuertz wrote a vulnerable book, one that puts his heart on display, and I couldn't help but want to let his words do work on my soul--but that takes more time. Heuertz doesn't claim to offer any secrets to spiritual success. Instead, he shares what God is teaching him through his friends, who happen to be the poorest of the poor.
Heuertz has an intimate knowledge of serving the poor and a deep hinger for spiritual asceticism, and his work provides a needed guide for the next generation of Christians who desire full service toward the work of God in both the immanent and trascendent realms.
Chris understandable resists a formulaic, step-by-step spiritual formation in his presentation. Instead, his probing questions and personal stories are more like signposts on a lifelong journey; they let us know which direction on the path to take. Chris outlines a way of following Jesus that is paradoxically self-annihilating and liberating, impossible yet within reach.
With deep gentleness, Heuertz uses the brokenness of the world as a springboard for spiritual vitality. Using what he calls the "Five Stones of Brokenness," he challenges those of us who live in plenty to seek a fuller faith by reconsidering how we might "live more simply so others may simply live." (Ghandi)
"Chris offers a compelling invitation to a spirituality centered in the life, teaching and person of Jesus--an invitation that is both threatening and liberating, challenging and invigorating; and one that, in the end, is difficult to dismiss by anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus."
"Through his personal vulnerability, tender insights and unflinching truthfulness, Chris Heuertz invites readers to see, love and live more fully. Simple Spirituality is a compelling book with an important message."