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Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the…

Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines (edition 2016)

by David Mathis (Author), John Piper (Foreword)

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Title:Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines
Authors:David Mathis (Author)
Other authors:John Piper (Foreword)
Info:Crossway (2016), 240 pages
Collections:The Bible, Christian Growth / Discipleship, The Church, Pastoral / Preaching

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Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis



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Brief thoughts on the various ways God has given us to bless others and ourselves in Him. Nothing in depth but a good high level survey written in a very encouraging way. Took away some good highlights. ( )
  jpoehls | Jan 28, 2018 |
David Mathis has a unique take on the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life.

First, he prefers to refer to the spiritual disciplines as "means of grace." I'm not sure I buy into this argument. He states, "I prefer 'means of grace' to 'spiritual disciplines.' In one sense, this is a book essentially concerned with what many would call the Christian 'spiritual disciplines.' However, I find that the language of 'means of grace' coheres more consistently with the theology of the Bible about such practices and helps to keep the key emphases in the proper places. 'Means of grace,' according to D. A. Carson, is 'a lovely expression less susceptible to misinterpretation that spiritual disciplines.'" I understand his argument; I just don't agree. In a technical, academic sense, Mathis is correct: means of grace is a right and good way to refer to the spiritual disciplines. On a street level, however, most believers tend to associate grace with their justification. When we refer to prayer or bible study as a means of grace, they hear "means of justification." The inadvertent message is that we are saved by spiritual disciplines. This idea is contrary to the tenets of the Reformation. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, to the glory of God alone.

Second, Mathis classifies the spiritual disciplines in three categories: Hearing God's Voice (the Word), Having God's Ear (Prayer), and Belong to God's Body (Fellowship). To my understanding, this is a unique way of classifying the spiritual disciplines. I see strength in this method. I love how he includes corporate disciplines like fellowship, corporate worship, baptism, communion, and rebuke. Many works on spiritual disciplines don't include the corporate elements. I also love the emphasis he places on the primacy of the Word and prayer. His categorization, however, is not perfect. He adds a "Coda" where he discusses the discipline of time management, economic stewardship, and following the Great Commission. I wish he had managed to include these in the other sections - a task that I think could have been easily accomplished. The feeling is that the three categories are the "real" disciplines and the ones in the coda are "honorable mentions." I don't think that was his intention.

Habits of Grace is a fantastic, short book that would be good with young believers, college students, or anyone who is beginning to walk the path of discipleship. David Mathis has made a substantial and solid contribution to this field. I don't feel like he has eclipsed Don Whitney's Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life, but he has certainly cracked the top three in my rankings! ( )
  RobSumrall | May 22, 2017 |
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