Doing Spirituality

Alexander Venter


Barcode: 9781797639352

Release date: 19/03/2019

£15.30 (was £17.00)
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Doing Spirituality is a comprehensive textbook (14 chapters, 444 pages) on the journey of character formation toward Christlikeness.

The passion to progressively become like Jesus in life, character and power, is the heart of this book.

Christian spirituality is essentially apprenticeship to Jesus - as in biblical discipleship. The distinctive feature of the book is that the understanding and practice of spirituality and discipleship is framed in the biblical theology of the Kingdom of God - that which the historical Jesus embodied and taught. This is turn is set against the infinite horizon of the Trinity - called the "new Trinitarianism" in theology.

PART ONE, INTRODUCTION, begins with Alexander Venter's autobiographical life journey in spirituality - his relationship with God. Then he gives an overview of ten different understandings of spirituality (spiritualities) in general use today, followed by a definition and discussion on Christian spirituality in particular. This followed up by an overview of the four main spiritual traditions in the history of the Christian Church.

PART TWO, THEOLOGY, is a biblical theology of spirituality as in following Jesus in his earthly spirituality as a human person (not in his divinity), 2000 years ago under Roman occupation, in the crisis in which Israel found herself. Christian spirituality is being Jesus' apprentice in his Kingdom Way of life, contextualised to our life today. The Jesus way, or Kingdom spirituality - to be emulated by every Christ-follower - is examined from the Synoptic Gospels, then John's Gospel, then from Paul's understanding in his letters to the early Churches.

PART THREE, PRAXIS, is the practice of Christian spirituality. Alexander lays out the classic threefold spiritual path of purgation, illumination and union. Then explains step by step how God transforms us, in terms of our spiritual, moral, character formation.

This is followed by a discussion on each of the classic spiritual exercises: the eight disciplines of engagement, and the eight disciplines of abstinence. A further eight tools or aids for spiritual formation and growth are also introduced.

The final chapter is the 'how to' live a balanced and integrated spiritual life to the full - to grow to maturity - and what that looks like in daily life. "Doing Spirituality is a widely informed, highly readable, textbook on Christian spirituality. It is grounded in the biblical theology of Jesus and the Kingdom of God, and set against the backdrop of the Trinity.

Alexander Venter's sweep of the history of spiritual traditions in the Christian Church further enriches the theology and practice of spirituality - that is: faithful discipleship to Jesus in progressive character formation to become like him. Doing Spirituality will be valuable for all Christ-followers.

Spiritual leaders, pastors and students will especially benefit from this insightful textbook." Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary.


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