Book Review of The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, Edited by Alan Andrews. NavPress 2010.
This is a wonderful, life changing book. This is not said lightly. I do a lot of reading in spiritual formation, and much of what I read is mediocre. This book is excellent, well thought out, and well edited. Each chapter comes from a leader in spiritual formation as they explore the basic elements of spiritual formation as well as the theology of spiritual formation. It starts out with a chapter by Dallas Willard, and has other authors such as Keith Meyer; Peggy Reynoso; Paula Fuller; Bruce Demarest; Richard E. Averbeck and several others.
Bill Hull talks about how, for many Christians, we have been given a false notion about our spiritual walk. He says on page 106, “A young person who also is an new Christian often has a vision of his or her religious future. But often that vision is inaccurate.” He goes on to explain how Christians often think that as they get older they will naturally draw closer to Jesus, and temptation to sin will simply go away. He later writes on the same page, “The inexperienced follower of Jesus knows that his or her spiritual formation is a lifelong experience. Life continues to surprise those who live it.”
This book gives a great breakdown of the theology behind spiritual formation. It doesn’t just make you “feel good” about spiritual formation, but demonstrates from scripture the practical aspects. It acts as a guide through the scriptures looking at various aspects of spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines.
My recommendation is you pick up a copy of this book if you are serious about understanding spiritual formation and getting a solid foundation for why you believe what you believe about being a disciple of Jesus Christ.