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Augustine as Mentor: A Model for Preparing Spiritual Leaders Paperback – January 1, 2009
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Also, the author spends 124 pages laying a framework, or in his words, a "matrix" for the mentoring of Augustine. Then, in the last 136 pages, he shows how Augustine's process was similar in many respects to those that came before him. So, the title is a little misleading. I expected more about Augustine. I really view the first part of the book more as filler and did not find it very engaging either.
As for the remaining portion, which is roughly half, the book more than makes up for the rather dry first part. I was able to learn much about the different communities which Augustine founded and how he molded others' thinking and lives. The book shows him to be very concerned about good Christian doctrine and it reveals his care for those who have wandered from the faith. It also shows how Augustine worked to resolve differences in the church when the Donatists wanted to be judgmental toward other Christians. In fact, the book relates several accounts that were insightful and even amusing.
This is a good book to read and it stands out because it brings Augustine to life. It does deal with theology and philosophy and church politics; after all, those realities were the context of his life. But the book is remarkable in that it focuses on his character and what we can learn from such a man.
The man known to many as Saint Augustine represents one of the great puzzles of history. Why did this one-time man of the world forsake everything to become a monk? Even the casual student of history knows that he had a spiritual conversion and that he was a great scholar whose writings endure. But these things do little to explain his humble return to Africa, his decision to start a monastery, or the longevity and effectiveness of his ministry. Dr. Smither points--as an explanation of this enigma--to Augustine's desire to impact the lives of others while garnering for himself a sort of incubator of Christian maturity. His church leadership, cultural and historical impact, and his great contribution to theology can be better understood when we view Augustine as Mentor.
Dr. Smither does put in quite a bit of useful detail, that will be useful if you are putting together a mentoring group, or just looking for some examples. But there are a lot of examples, so its not a quick read.
If there is a downside, the epilogue is very short. In my opinion this could have been a chapter unto itself. Genuine mentoring in the church is greatly needed today, so this is a great resource.
Whether the words which we use to describe the process of making disciples become cliche, the reality to which they point is still very much alive and well. Models and ideas abound. Sometimes the best practice is to look into the past to the wisdom and practice of early Christians. Edward Smither has done that for us. As Assistant Professor of Church History and Intercultural Studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary he has written Augustine as Mentor in order to display an ancient model of mentoring practiced by one of the church's foremost pastors and theologians: Augustine of Hippo.
This book examines Augustine's pastoral theology. He demonstrates the importance Augustine placed on mentoring and discipleship for church leaders. However, as Smither's demonstrates, his practice of mentoring was not unique to him. Augustine learned from those who mentored him.
Smither's begins with Christ and his disciples. Surveying the Scriptures he finds patterns and practices of Jesus and the apostles. Moving into the early church Smithers shows that the bishops and pastors followed these same patterns of Jesus in their context. Augustine's practice of mentoring was a heritage of faith passed down from Jesus and the apostles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome, Awesome book for reminding church leaders the importance of leading by example, and following the leadership of Jesus Christ when seeking to mentor others(up coming... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sweetsalvation
Smither provides a larger picture than Augustine, although his work in Augustine is the pinnacle of his work. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jason Leininger
I got this book for a class that just started. It only gets four stars because I have not read it yet. Everything else has been great!Published 19 months ago by g_mini18
Book in places was redundant, but enjoyed the book and read it all the way through in a couple daysPublished 19 months ago by Art
I was disappointed in this book because it was apparently a paper which got bloated into a book. It takes 4 chapters to get to Augustine. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by arieliondotcom
THe insight in this book is just wonderful! My cousin referred it to me I was not disappointed!! Anyone who is attempting to be a Mentor this is a must read!!!Published on June 10, 2013 by Duane Davis
Timeless and accurate. This book addresses the necessity for authentic Christian fellowship. I recommend this book to any Christian with a hunger for God's Word and a thirst for... Read morePublished on February 19, 2013 by George W Goddard
Product was well protected to avoid damage and was shipped very fast. I was very pleased with this supplier and would use them again.Published on January 21, 2013 by Eddie Lee Payne