Book Reviews: Godly Character and Spiritual Maturity

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

Dallas Willard (© 1988); Rating: 5

This is a very helpful and insightful investigation of how spiritual disciplines are the key to our becoming Christlike. Especially insightful is the chapter on some main disciplines for spiritual life. The author defines spiritual disciplines as activities that enable us to receive more of God’s life and power without harming ourselves or others. He maintains there isn’t a standard, fixed list of disciplines that are best for everyone, so we should practice those that address the sins and problems that most often entice or threaten us. He then discusses the main disciplines of abstinence and disciplines of engagement.

I See a New Prophetic Generation

Jeremiah Johnson (©2014); Rating: 5

Jeremiah Johnson is right to emphasize the importance of prophets focusing on God’s character and nature, and this applies to all Christians. We should all focus on who God is and what he’s like; not so much on his actions. This is especially important for those whose responsibility it is to speak in his behalf, such as prophets, pastors and teachers. As we discover more about who God is, we learn more about who we’re to become. What Johnson writes also applies to those of us who have prophetic motivation but don’t consider ourselves prophets; there’s a difference. We must realize the power of what such a person says in God’s behalf derives from their relationship with him, their spiritual maturity and the degree to which their words reveal God’s heart. The only way to know God’s heart is to spend lots of quality time with him. This book is an excellent guide for all prophetically-inclined people.

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