Tuesday, September 02, 2014

My Current Spiritual Work - Introduction

I have been reading and studying Devotional Classics edited by Richard J. and James Bryan Smith. The book is subtitled Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups and contains 52 (intended to be studied one per week for a year) selected devotional writings from great thinkers and writers from the past.  The readings include works ranging from the year 331 to 1935.

The editors of this book begin by defining "devotional writings" as "writings that aim at the transformation of the human personality...seek to touch the heart, to address the will, to mold the mind...call for radical character formation...instill holy habits."  Then they define "classics" as writings from which "many people over a sustained period of time have drawn strength from its insights and witness to its value."  So these weekly studies use of kind of writing that"has stood the test of time and that seeks to form the soul before God."

Each lesson of this book follows this format:  First an introduction to the author, then excerpts from the selected writing by that author, and next comes a related Bible selection. The next four sections of each study are: Reflection Questions, Suggested Exercises, Reflections (by the editors), and finally Going Deeper (lists of related works by the same author.)

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