Following the example of a blogging friend, I'm going to try a monthly book giveaway. My choice for September is Don Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.
This is, in my opinion, the best book on the spiritual disciplines available today. Whitney writes on a popular level, combining rich exposition of Scripture with helpful practical application. He also draws heavily from the Puritan and Reformed traditions, sprinkling his book with some of the best insights and quotations on various disciplines from stalwarts of the faith like Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Jonathan Edwards.
I'm also delighted to recommend and give this book away, because I know Dr. Whitney and have a personal appreciation for him and his ministry. I first met him in an elevator in Minneapolis, in the first Desiring God National Conference (he spoke on Pursuing a Passion for God Through Spiritual Disciplines: Learning from Jonathan Edwards). He was very winsome and friendly and we had a nice conversation. A few years ago, Don visited Fulkerson Park to teach a weekend conference for us. You can listen to the messages on our website. You should also check out Dr. Whitney's excellent website, The Center for Biblical Spirituality, which is full of free audio and reading resources.
If you would like to sign up for a chance to win this book, just leave a comment. I will randomly select a winner at the end of the month and send the book to you. Be sure to leave your e-mail address or another way to contact you.
I'm not interested in being added to the raffle; we already own a copy. But if I could ask a question of curiosity, I would. In what ways do you think Whitney's book is superior to the many other books on this topic on the market. What makes it stand out in your opinion? Is it simply an issue of "more": more expositional, more popular level, more Puritan anecdotes, etc...?
Fair question. The number one reason is that Whitney writes from a theological orientation that I believe is more faithful to Scripture. Many books on spiritual disciplines and spiritual formation draw heavily from the Contemplative and Catholic traditions. I have strong reservations about that. For example, Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline is very well-written, but his exposition of the disciplines is not as closely tied to Scripture. I also think Whitney is more practical some writers - say, Dallas Willard. Willard is not easy to read, though he says some very helpful things.
With all that said, the other book I do like is John Ortberg's The Life You Always Wanted. Ortberg is easier to read than Whitney, is actually even funny and entertaining, and is often quite practical. Ortberg has also popularized Willard's thinking. But I still prefer Whitney's theological orientation to Ortberg's.
Perhaps I should also clarify that I've not read nearly everything out there. So, there may be other very good books on spiritual disciplines that I've not read yet.
I'd like to enter please.
littleminx at cox dot net
Sounds like a great book. I try to buy books based upon your recommendations anyway. Count me in.
I just wanted to say I'm so excited you're doing book giveaways!
You don't have to enter me, though, as we already own this book. :)
I'm another one who is excited about the book giveaway but already owns the book.
Is the next one an advance copy of your forthcoming book? ;-)
Thanks for the answer, Brian.
Sweet! Put me in.. I knew there was a reason that I didn't buy this book...God must have wanted me to win it!
I'll put my name in the hat for your generous giveaway.
I have heard so much about this book and would love to be able to read it myself. Thanks!
Congratulations Richard, you won! Send me your snail mail address - brianghedgesATgmailDOTcom.
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