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Devotional Classics: Revised Edition: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups Paperback – June 28, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A New, Expanded Edition of Renovaré's Classic Companion to the Devotional Life

Updated to incorporate all six traditions, or "streams," that comprise a healthy and holistic life of faith, these fifty–two selections have been organized to introduce the reader to the great devotional writers over the course of one year. Edited by James Bryan Smith, each reading is accompanied by an introduction and meditation by Richard J. Foster. In addition, each entry includes a related biblical passage, discussion questions, and individual and group exercises.

With devotional readings in

1. The Prayer–Filled Life

2. The Virtuous Life

3. The Spirit–Empowered Life

4. The Compassionate Life

5. The Word–Centered Life

6. The Sacramental Life

Foster and Smith sift through works from the great spiritual writers of the past as well as readings from contemporary spiritual leaders to create a guide that is indispensable for those looking for a deeper and more balanced spiritual life.

About the Author

Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, Life with God, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of Renovaré, an organization and a movement committed to the renewal of the church of Jesus Christ in all its multifaceted expressions, and the editor of The Life with God Bible.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Revised edition (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060777508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060777500
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Not sure what to read - read this. My wife and I were given this book as a wedding gift, and I think it's the best gift we got! Devotional Classics is broken into six sections: Preparing for Spiritual Life, The Prayer-Filled Life, The Virtuous Life, The Spirit-Empowered Life, The Compassionate Life, and The Word-Centered Life. Each section has excerpts from outstanding authors and their works - from recent authors like Dallas Willard and Watchman Nee to the great saints of the faith including Jonathan Edwards, Francis de Sales, St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas a Kempis, William Law, John Bunyan, John Wesley, and Francis of Assisi to name a few!

While the entire book is 350 pages, each selection is only about 5 - 7 pages long...so the book is broken down into manageable reading segments - but the great treat is that this book exposes the reader to over 50 of the greatest Christian writers of all time - and gives you a brief excerpt from one of their works. If you like what you read, you can always get more by ordering and reading the entire book on your own. This is a great gift for a high school or college aged student and beyond (hey, makes a great wedding gift). On the difficulty scale from 1 - 10, Devotional Classics is about a 7 - not overwhelming, but some of these authors take a little more time to read and understand. The book is about $10.00 - but for that price, you're really getting over 50 books...so, think of it as an outstanding investment into your continued spiritual development. There is a sister book entitled Spiritual Classics, which I've just ordered, and it looks outstanding as well.
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Format: Paperback
Over the years I've made a habit of reading and using a variety of Christian devotional material. Most of it is average and ordinary, but a few are truly blessings. Foster and Smith's "Devotional Classics" is a devotional book that fits into the latter category.

There's so much I could say about the book, but I'll summarize why this book could be beneficial to so many by making 5 points.

1. The devotional selections are taken from saints from all ages of the church. The saints range from Church Fathers such as Augustine and Chrysostom, to medieval and 16th-17th century writers such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Lancelot Andrewes, and John Calvin, to modern writers such as C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard.

2. The selections introduce us to a wide variety of devotional writers who we are now free to investigate further for ourselves. Foster and Smith provide a brief background for each devotional writer, before the devotional selection. 52 different writers are represented, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The selections are brief enough to read in a few minutes but long enough to give us a flavor of the person who is writing.

3. The devotionals are grouped according to 6 sections that represent different
spiritualities: "Preparing for the Spiritual Life," "The Prayer-Filled Life," "The Virtuous Life," "The Spirit-Empowered Life," "The Compassionate Life," and "The Word-Centered Life."

4. There are additional helpful materials after each devotional selection: a relevant Bible passage, questions for reflection, and suggested exercises.

5. The material can be used profitably by either individuals or groups, and the 52 readings could be read over the course of a year, one per week.
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Format: Paperback
I am re-ordering this book because my original was the only book damaged when our basement flooded a year ago. This is a book I have cherished for years and have recommended to many. If I could own only 10 Christian non-fiction books this would be one of them.
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book many times, in many settings. The first time was in a small group about 15 years ago and I'm in a small group going through it right now. Because the selections are taken from Christians who lived their faith hundreds, even thousands of years ago, the readings help you feel connected to the church of the ages and remind you that Christianity is grander than just what we say and do in modern America. (Also, if you purchase the revised edition, there is a new chapter on the sacramental stream which is an important addition.)

I only gave this book four stars because the discussion questions at the end of each selection are focused on application, which is a good place to end, but not necessarily to begin. Better questions would also provoke people to ask in what ways the selections describe their own convictions and experiences, and in what ways their ideas and experiences differ. We need to wrestle with what these ancient believers actually say, challenge them and be challenged by them, so we don't make the mistake of just using them to reinforce our own point of view. But you don't need a set of discussion questions to delve into that if you want to.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book that is a permanent part of my library. I read a variety of books and this is one of my favorites. I pull it out each year to read the different devotional classics and review the notes I have written to answer the great questions at the end of each writer's passage. It is not an easy read though. I did recommend to a person who had to look up lots of the words, bulwark or contrition, for example. Not many people know some of the writers from the 1400's thru 1700's. Hope this helps.
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