There is a scriptural path toward transformation and growth: the spiritual arts. You could call them qualities or disciplines, but Jill Briscoe shows why they are much more than that. Humility, ministry, generosity, tranquility ... these and others are arts you can practice with patience to experience God more deeply and fully.
"I like to think of the work of The Holy Spirit in the lives of men and women as art." Spiritual life is not just a gift; it is a skill we must work to develop.
Using Paul's letter to the Philippians as her guide, Bible teacher Jill Briscoe uncovers eight "spiritual arts" that Christians are called to practice regularly; contentment, intimacy, suffering, simplicity, ministry, tranquility, humility, and harmony.
Jill pulls no punches in challenging Christian readers to do their part, Spiritual Arts is a discovery study of practices we need to learn if we are to live life as God intended--full of great joy, deeper intimacy with God, and an exciting impact in the lives of others. With patience, wit, and probing questions, Jill challenges the faithful to a different ethic and a more active, focused way to follow Christ.
In this extended reflection on Paul's letter to the Philippians, Briscoe, executive editor of Just Between Us magazine, sketches out eight spiritual arts--hallmarks of dedicated Christian living, including tenacity and serenity. These arts are simultaneously aspects of faithful Christian living that the Holy Spirit pours out upon believers and practices of the faith to which people can intentionally commit themselves. (As Briscoe puts it, There is God's part in this program, and there is our part.... [W]e must cooperate.) Briscoe calls readers to practice intentional peacemaking within the body of Christ; to laugh at themselves and learn to be humble; and to cultivate intimacy with God. One of her most insightful chapters focuses on the spiritual art of maturity, in which she suggests that Christians should always seek to grow in their faith. Mature Christians care deeply about lost people and lead lives worth imitating. Briscoe concludes the book with a fruitful discussion of the art of both giving and receiving--she especially encourages readers to cultivate receptive, teachable hearts. Her clear, accessible prose and the discussion questions and prayer prompts that close every chapter enhance this small, quiet, wise book. Briscoe's uniting biblical meditation with the popular language of spiritual disciplines is sure to resonate with evangelicals. (Aug.)
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July 30, 2007
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