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Beginning Well: Christian Conversion &…
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Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation (edition 2001)

by Gordon T. Smith (Author)

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1181180,095 (4.11)None
"Saints are made by good conversions."In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin--the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well.In this age of false starts and stunted growth, maturing Christians need help reflecting on and interpreting their own religious experience. Christian leaders need to rethink the way that conversions happen. Beginning Well is a catalyst toward this end. Surveying Scripture, spiritual autobiographies and a broad range of theologies of conversion (Protestant and Catholic, Reformed and Wesleyan), the author seeks to foster in the Christian community a dynamic language of conversion that leads to spiritual transformation and mature Christian living. In the process he moves us from a short-sighted "minimalist" view to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for good conversions.This book--a stirring call to rethink the relationship between conversion and transformation--is a must read for pastors, evangelists, spiritual directors, seminary professors and others who are concerned about the nurture and development of Christian converts, and the nature of authentic religious experience.… (more)
Member:KoestK
Title:Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation
Authors:Gordon T. Smith (Author)
Info:IVP Books (2001), Edition: 58720th, 239 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation by Gordon T. Smith

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Thus far the best of the Gordon Smith books I've read (I have read a few and have more on my list). Smith does a good job of challenging reductionist, and minimalistic accounts of primal religious conversion and tries his best to give an account of religious conversion which rings true to our experience, as well as the Biblical text.

There is much worth chewing on in this book, and certainly more than I want to name in this review. But one thing that I found particularly instructive is his seven elements of Christian conversion. They are: Intellectual, Penitential, Affective, Volitional, Sacramental, Charismatic, and Communal. If this seems like a lot, it is mitigated by the fact that Smith argues that generally people undergo a process of conversion rather than a punticular event (in the case of John Wesely, conversion lasted 13 years).

There are more great things in this book. I plan to read his newer volume on conversion, Transforming Conversion. As I understand he has reworked some of the material from this book, but that these books are not simply redundant. As of yet I can't tell you which one I think you should read. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
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"Saints are made by good conversions."In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin--the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well.In this age of false starts and stunted growth, maturing Christians need help reflecting on and interpreting their own religious experience. Christian leaders need to rethink the way that conversions happen. Beginning Well is a catalyst toward this end. Surveying Scripture, spiritual autobiographies and a broad range of theologies of conversion (Protestant and Catholic, Reformed and Wesleyan), the author seeks to foster in the Christian community a dynamic language of conversion that leads to spiritual transformation and mature Christian living. In the process he moves us from a short-sighted "minimalist" view to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for good conversions.This book--a stirring call to rethink the relationship between conversion and transformation--is a must read for pastors, evangelists, spiritual directors, seminary professors and others who are concerned about the nurture and development of Christian converts, and the nature of authentic religious experience.

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