Recent research conducted by the Barna Group found that religious leaders struggle when asked to describe what it means to be spiritually mature. How can one facilitate the spiritual growth of those within one’s sphere of influence if one cannot even describe the goal towards which we aspire?
Understanding spiritual maturity really isn’t that difficult. In Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney describes the object of our struggle as godliness – and the Biblical injunction to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness as leading to naturally expressing Christ’s character through our own personality. Simple, and clear.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life was written by Donald Whitney while he was serving as a local church pastor. He served twenty-four years in local church ministry before becoming a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His work displays the heart of a pastor and the head of a professor. His concern for those in his care and his desire for the spiritual growth of the readers of this book is evident on every page.
Whitney leads his readers in examining the following disciplines; Scripture reading, Scripture meditation, Scripture application, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning. The loving presentation, practical orientation, and solid Biblical foundation make this a book worth reading. In fact, J.I. Packer recommended that the book be read three times by each of its readers.
There are a few times along the way where I think Whitney extrapolates beyond the text of Scripture in ways with which I am not comfortable. Nevertheless, I add my voice to Packer’s in suggesting that this is a book that will benefit those who would discipline themselves for the purpose of godliness.
* There is also a Study Guide available for this book for use in small group and individual study.