Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Spotlight - A Christian Guide to Spirituality: Foundations for Disciples by Stephen Hiemstra

Spirituality is lived belief. When we pray, worship, or reach out to our neighbors, we live out our beliefs. Our beliefs structure our spirituality like skin stretched over the bones of our bodies.

These beliefs start with faith in God the Father through Jesus Christ as revealed through the Holy Spirit in scripture, in the church, and in daily life. Our Trinitarian theology orders our beliefs. Without a coherent theology, we lose our identity in space and time having no map or compass to guide us on our way. In the end, we focus on ourselves, not God.

Christian spirituality starts with God, not with us.

A Christian Guide to Spirituality takes the form of 50 daily devotions. Each topic is treated with a scriptural reference, reflection, prayer, and questions for discussion. Occasionally, references are provided for further study. The first four chapters (Introduction, Apostle’s Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and Ten Commandments) cover 40 days making them suitable as a Lenten study. Ten additional days focus on the spiritual disciplines and a short conclusion. Fifty days of study allow an Easter study running through Pentecost.

Reading A Christian Guide to Spirituality will help readers understand Christian spirituality better and nurture their faith. There is no such thing as quality time with the Lord; there is only time. The living God speaks to us in many ways, but especially through scripture. These three sources cited (Apostle’s Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and Ten Commandments) are commonly called the “rule of faith” (regula fidei) and were utilized for nearly two millennia as a means to apprentice the faith. These sources are the heart of the confessions of most Christian faith communities and denominations.

Author Stephen W. Hiemstra (MDiv, PhD) is a slave of Christ, husband, father, tentmaker, economist, and writer. He lives with Maryam, his wife of thirty years, in Centreville, VA and they have three grown children.

Forward written by Neal D. Presa, past Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

This book might be classified appropriately in spirituality, Christian living, devotion, faith, religion, and theology.

What people are saying...

You have my blessing. It's book that needed to be written. It will do a lot of good. - Peter John Kreeft, Boston College

Stephen provides a helpful, accessible guide using the classic catechetical structure of the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. - David A. Currie, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

This is a book for those who want to understand how best to have a living faith and an ever deepening devotional and experiential knowledge of God. - Stephen Macchia, Pierce Center for Disciple-Building


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