Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Dictionary of Christian Spirituality

I recently received the Dictionary of Christianity Spirituality in the mail, published by Zondervan and edited by Glen G. Scorgie.  I must admit that most people don’t salivate or get excited when they receive a new dictionary or encyclopedia in the mail, as most preachers and scholars do.  This book is a wonderful new addition to many other dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference books I have collected over the years, but it is not just for the scholar or minister.  I believe this book has much to offer the average person sitting in the pew, who desires a deeper relationship with God.

In the preface of the book the editor acknowledges the vast amount of “vague and fluffy” material that occupies the shelves of most Christian bookstores. The Dictionary of Christian Spirituality seeks to help anyone who is interested in Christian Spirituality navigate the sometimes difficult and confusing waters of finding meaningful resources on the subject.  It can be hard when one seeks to develop a deeper relationship with God and Christ, but does not know where to look.  This book can save a person time and money.

The book is divided into two sections.  The first section is composed of 34 essays on a wide range of topics dealing with Christian Spirituality.  The beginning essays focus on Christian Spirituality within the Bible.  One of the highlights of this section is Dallas Willard’s essay on Jesus.  We are then given several essays on the history of Christian Spirituality before addressing some more specific topics, such as “Contours of Evangelical Spirituality” and “Grace and Spiritual Disciplines”.  At the end of each essay the author recommends several books for further reading.  The second section is dedicated to dictionary entries.  The entries consist of topics and persons.  I read through a few of these including the ones on G. K. Chesterton, Karl Barth, and Thomas Merton.  I found them to be concise, well written, and containing the basic meaningful facts about the individual.  They also include a list of books for further reading at the end of the entry.

If a person is interested in the topic of Christian Spirituality this new work is the place to begin.  It provides an excellent introduction to the subject and can point you in the right direction for further study.  It is also a great resource for a minister, scholar, or theology student who is doing research on any subject related to Christian Spirituality.

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