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Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment + Seeking Spiritual Direction: How to Grow the Divine Life Within + Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Upd Sub edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089870619X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706192
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

115 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Osborne on November 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was interested in this book because of the topic and the author. The topic, because of my 15 years in a charismatic community which professed to be able to discern the movements of the Holy Spirit and his counterfeits. The author because I respect him after reading Fire Within.
Thomas Dubay argues that the gift of discernment of spirits is real, but it is reserved for the mature, well-trained, obedient person. It is not a gift that should be claimed rashly for oneself. Fr. Dubay emphasizes the role of Church authority in determining the validity of private revelations. He mentions how St. John of the Cross warned readers to beware of private locutions, even legitimate ones. We are not to run after extraordinary phenomena for their own sake, but should be content with an ordinary life of prayer and sacrament. Even when St. John believed he had personally heard from God, he consulted a priest. If the priest disagreed with John's revelation, John would always obey the confessor.
Thomas Dubay systematically discusses the pitfalls in discernment. For example, he discusses how even a valid "word" from God may be misinterpreted by even the sincere, mature Christian.
He uses the scriptures and the Spanish mystics to describe the qualities of a prophet. He describes the importance of conversion to Christ in being able to discern his will. Other elements are important too: obedience to authority in the larger Church. Unity of a community is an essential sign that it is being guided by the Holy Spirit. An appreciation for sound doctrine. The living of a moral life.
The author's musings on the selectivity of our minds in rationalizing our positions, particularly in dissent against the magisterium, made me examine my conscience. There was a passage that jived perfectly with The Seven Storey Mountain, which I had just finished.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "Bobby Wickham" on September 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
The information and advice Fr. Dubay gives mirror the teachings of St. John of the Cross. Not surprising, given Fr. Dubay's knowledge of Carmelite spirituality. Fr. Dubay is easier to read than St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila. However, the serious pray-er will eventually want the source materials written by St John and St. Teresa. Starting with Fr. Dubay will make them much easier to understand and absorb.

Fr. Dubay gives practical guidance for the Christian who wants to know God more deeply. Discerning the real from the imagined is hard enough; when the word is really from God, seeing past our own inclinations and avoiding mistaken interpretations is even harder. Fr. Dubay is a sure guide, especially needed in these days when it is so hard to find a holy and knowledgeable spiritual director.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucille Smith on July 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the information in this book to be very easily understood and helpful. As an untrained person who does help others find direction I felt affirmed in my approach.
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Format: Kindle Edition
There is a longing, deep in the heart of all Christians. We desperately desire to hear God speak to us. I would say that this desire goes beyond merely experiencing God – though this in itself is just as cherished and sought after. Rather, to hear God speak means to receive personal and practical guidance for our lives. To know that our daily walk is not only seen by God, but actually directed by His Holy Spirit. To hear God in a way that we can discern, understand, and obey.

Sadly very few of us can authentically claim to hear from God. That is why Fr. Dubay’s book comes to us as a stream of life in a dry and desert land. This giant of the spiritual life dispels many myths concerning the hearing of God’s voice. First and foremost he stresses that nobody walking in the way of sin can claim to hear God. Holiness is the surest sign of God’s speaking in the heart of a person. Other signs include: Faithfulness to the Sacred Scriptures and obedient submission to Christ’s Body, The Church.

Amongst a number of warnings that lead away from true discernment Fr. Dubay highlights the dangers of illuminism, a seeking after an experience of God’s presence without wanting to live according to His Word or Authority.

If you desire to discern the Lord’s voice amidst the noise and clutter of modern life then Fr. Dubay’s book will help you move from being “hard of hearing” to “having ears to hear”. I really think this book should be distributed as far and wide as possible.
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By KB on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book on the recommendation of an academic dean whom I trust. It was worth the time. It is a solid and learned work of orthodox theology. It does have a certain purpose though, in my opinion. He is trying to correct certain false ideas about discernment that were popular and very damaging in the last few decades. So it's not really a book about discernment for the ages, but for our time. When I took the time to look up each scripture reference, I learned a lot and often saw passages in a different light. So I would say the book will reward anyone who puts in serious time on it.
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