By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them on a long-term basis, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to embrace life’s greatest pursuit—the pursuit of holiness—through a lifelong delight in the disciplines.(Taken from the back cover of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life)
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is “a rare jewel for its spiritual wisdom and practical insight; it simultaneously avoids the legalism and methods-orientation that blights so much material on these subjects. . . . I ordered it for the entirety of my Edwards Seminar as Christmas presents; I know of no better book to give to budding pastors.”
—Dr. John D. Hannah, Chair of the Department of Historical Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary
It's not uncommon for an accomplished musician to be able to sit down in front of a new piece of music and play it through without a hitch. To make it seem easy, as if it required no effort. Yet the "freedom" to play with such skill comes only after years of disciplined practice.
In the same way, the freedom to grow in godliness---to naturally express Christ's character through your own personality---is in large part dependent on a deliberate cultivation of the spiritual disciplines.
Far from being legalistic, restrictive, or binding, as they are often perceived, the spiritual disciplines are actually the means to unparalleled spiritual liberty. So if you'd like to embark on a lifelong quest for godliness, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will help you on your way. Based on the rich heritage left us by the early church fathers, the Puritan writers, and Jesus Christ Himself, Whitney takes you through a carefully selected array of disciplines that includes Scripture reading, prayer, worship, Scripture meditation, evangelism, serving, stewardship, Scripture application, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning.
By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them on a long-term basis, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to embrace life's greatest pursuit---the pursuit of holiness---through a lifelong delight in the disciplines.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is “the richest, the most well-rounded, and the most usable piece yet. I highly recommend this for our own lives and for helping our people as well. Very, very choice.”
Of a more positive nature I am happy to mention that when Whitney defines and describes the spiritual disciplines he gives them a biblical treatment in contrast to Foster. In my study of Foster he provides none of his twelve disciplines a biblical description, but manages to distort them by forcing them through a mystical grid (see my book This Little Church Stayed Home). By contrast most of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life is simply good old fashioned teaching on the time-honored and biblical means of spiritual growth. Whitney offers fine chapters on the study of Scripture, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving and more. With the exception of the chapter on fasting, in which I do not believe Whitney proves his case biblically, each chapter is full of sound advice.