Victory doesn't come without struggle. Disciplines featured include prayer, fasting, journaling, worship, and more. Great quotes from Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield, David Brainerd, and others. We must begin any effort at spiritual discipline with the only source of power, the Word of God. Sometimes we just overcomplicate things, and spiritual disciplines can keep us from making our spiritual lives more difficult.
There are certainly chapters that are weaker than others, though that is possibly because I have already read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline and it covers much of the same material. It never hurts to review though, and it helped challenge me to renew my efforts and not become slothful. More recently I got the audiobook and have listened to that instead. It's always hard for me to read the same book twice. There are helpful reminders, like the idea that the flesh loathes serving.
Much of what was written was basic Christianity 101 - read your bible. But even when God blesses us, or when life is going fine, we can so easily forget to thank God for our blessings. In fact, almost nothing of any significance in our lives is ever accomplished without it. Each of the disciplines is drawn from and examined in the light of Scripture. This book does several things well: First, it functions as a good reference tool. Our prayers are a spiritual communion with God through means of thanksgiving, adoration, supplication, petition, and confession.
I am glad to see there is now an updated version of this book. These three overlapping circles really represent the realm in which believers live in this world while living an other-worldly life. I get the idea that Whitney understands--grasps--the concept of grace. Along with this, I really am not sure to whom this book is written. What he says is very good, the way he says it can make it hard work.
I like food and it gives me strength. But I never tried to sound as approvingly of him when I quoted him as I did with most other writers. As a fresh convert, I was clueless as to what to do next. Especially since the first 3-4 chapters are so long and big and important. I do believe in having a disciplined life. So one of the spiritual disciplines for the Christian life is to thank God every day.
If you try to do it all at once its overwhelming and not helpful. Learning is a lifelong Discipline, a Spiritual Discipline that characterizes the wise person. Don Whitney makes the point clear that the reason such people will not see the Lord is because they do not know the Lord. Whitney is probably more exhaustive than Mathis, though. But if you're feeling overwhelmed and like you need encouragement, the guilt-tripping is incredibly unhelpful. The title of the book is Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and is published by NavPress of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Despite my criticism, as I persevered the book grew on me. That we should attempt to follow some flow I agree, but to Whitney's defense, he also asserts that it would be difficult to do everything listed out. The wonderful thing about prayer is that God meets us where we are. God slowly and graciously reveals Himself to us while we pray, and it is during those moments that we can more deeply understand and experience His love. It would be better for you to read the Bible five minutes per day or several days a week than to read it once a month for an hour. The book closes with encouragment in persevering in the disciplines, even in the inevitable times of spiritual dryness. He draws on lots of contemporary and historical examples of people who uses the disciplines, it's clear he's well read, and then gives realistic, attainable application.
Those unteachable or prideful about their learning only reveal how shallow they really are. With that in mind, memorization is vital. The above book review was posted on this Web site November 7, 1999. Fifth, this book is simply too long, and unnecessarily so. Some read and look up every reference.
I appreciate that it is mentioned in the book, but I wish it could've been stressed more because someone can read this book and feel that God doesn't love them because, they haven't done the disciplines enough. He does make all the necessary theological qualifications, that sanctification comes from God and that our salvation is entirely by grace. As we look back at biblical times, we see the Psalmist engaged in Bible intake Psalm 119. Many Christians remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because they do not avail themselves of the Discipline of study. The are relational, not transactional. Whitney recommends, it would easily take hours every day to do the disciplines he suggests.