Name of Student:
Class: PLED 520
Instructor Name: Dr. Bishop
Date Submitted: 2/08/2013
Donald Whitney calls on his experience as a Pastor, Theologian, Professor, published author and Christian to present the reader with a one-volume compilation of those disciplines that help shape and direct the Christian Life. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life meets the reader on the road to seeking God, as both a new believer searching for understanding or a seasoned Christian yearning for a deeper relationship. J.I. Packer, in the forward, admonishes the reader when he writes: “if, then, as a Christian you want to be really real with your God, moving beyond the stage of playing games with yourself and Him, this book provide practical help” Given Packers comments the reader should ready himself for a journey into those nuances of spiritual life that have life changing implications. Packer concludes his thoughts will advise to the reader “” Now friend, prepare for the workout, and you will find health for your soul” Summary
Whitney in, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, presents the reader with ten distinct disciplines designed to develop and deepen their Christian experience. The disciplines are grouped independently, but a quick review of chapters notes the dependent relationship each discipline has to each other. The consistent theme throughout the book, focuses on mans search for Godliness through adapting these disciplines as a staple for daily life. Whitney upholds this thesis when he writes, “ Godliness is the goal of the Disciplines, and when we remember this, the Disciplines become a delight instead of drudgery” Whitney goes on to opine in the chapter that the overarching purpose of practicing disciplines is seeking godliness. He writes “ The Spiritual Disciplines are the God given means we are to use in the Spirit filled pursuit of meaning” Whitney states God uses 3 catalysts to change a person, Circumstances, People and Disciplines. Since we have little control over the first two, we need to utilize the third, Spiritual Discipline, to affect change in life. He writes” God has given us Spiritual Discipline as a means of receiving His grace and growing in Godliness” The discipline of Bible intake is of such significant importance to Whitney he devoted two chapters to signify its position as the solid foundation the other can spring from. He writes, “ No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of Gods Word. Nothing can substitute for it” Whitney provides sound overview and application for hearing, reading, studying memorizing, meditating on, and applying Gods Word. Over the next eight chapters Whitney focus the reader on specific Disciplines from prayer and worship, which joined with Bible intake, completes the vertical relationship with God. Evangelism, Serving and Stewardship point to our responsibilities to fulfill the Great Commission outlined in Matthew 28. The final chapters of Fasting, Silence and Solitude, Journaling and Learning work to deepen the reader’s relationship with God. Each chapter gives relevant and thought provoking tools the reader can add to their spiritual toolbox. Whitney utilizes Biblical and Historic sources and other theologians to build and support his thesis in terms that assist with application in the readers personal life. The More application section presents the reader with questions that directly challenge their understanding of the material and how it can be applied to a Spiritual Growth Plan. In the final chapter on perseverance in the Disciplines, Whitney points out that Godly people are sometimes too busy with ministry and serving others to focus on their own Christian walk. Whitney writes: Spiritual Disciplines have always been what makes a Godly person out of a busy person” He goes on to opine that these Disciplines are given to us by God to...