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Four Views on Christian Spirituality (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) Paperback – April 28, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Bruce Demarest is professor of theology and spiritual formation at Denver Seminary.

Bradley Nassif (PhD, Fordham University) is a professor of Biblical & Theological Studies at North Park University, Chicago, IL. He is the co-editor of The Philokalia: Exploring a Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality and general editor of New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory of John Meyendorff.

Scott Hahn is Professor of Theology and Scripture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, in Steubenville, Ohio. He also holds the Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is author of The Lamb's Supper, Lord Have Mercy; Swear to God: The Promise and Power of Sacraments; and Letter and Spirit: From Written Text of Living Word in the Liturgy.

Joseph D. Driskill is professor of spirituality and dean of the Disciples Seminary Foundation at the Berkeley campus of the Pacific School of Religion. Dr. Driskill leads students in exploring Protestant spiritualities, contemplative prayer, Disciples history, and the role of spirituality in pastoral care. A minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he has pastored churches in Missouri, Kentucky, and Saskatchewan, and served for 12 years as a campus minister at the University of Western Ontario for the United Church of Canada in London, Ontario. Dr. Driskill’s publications include Protestant Spiritual Exercises: Theology, History, and PracticeSpiritually Informed Pastoral Care, and, with Emerita Karen Lebacqz, Ethics and Spiritual Care: A Guide for Pastors, Chaplains, and Spiritual Directors as well as numerous journal articles.

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (April 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310329280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310329282
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jdb VINE VOICE on August 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've purchased and read quite a few of these "multiple point of view" books over the years and I don't think I've ever read one I did not appreciate. This particular title exploring multiple perspectives of Christian spirituality is no exception. In this volume, Eastern Orthodoxy (Bradley Nassif), Roman Catholicism (Scott Hahn), Progressive Mainline Protestantism (Joseph Driskill), and Evangelicalism (Evan Howard) are explored. Bruce Damarest serves as the general editor of this installment of the Counterpoints series.

When talking about "spirituality" the definition can be taken in many different directions. The scope and direction of the essays in this book address the work and perspectives of spiritual formation in particular. Personally, I found the essays and contributing counterpoints from the other traditions fascinating. I did not find the language used too theologically obtuse for me to understand and came away from the book better educated and more appreciative of the rich history that is the stream of Judeo-Christian faith. Most important to me, I was interested to see how the differing perspectives might be presented and/or countered. I must say that it was a present and joyful relief to sense a great measure of civility and respect between the respective contributors.

It should be noted there are a number of doctrinal issues not addressed in the discussions of this book, but that is not the objective. Christian spirituality as it pertains to spiritual formation is the single focus of the various authors. If you're interested in perspectives concerning Christian formation outside of your tradition or if you're looking for a general overview of what sets apart the various streams of belief in the primary traditions of the Christian faith, this is a book worthwhile of your time. I found it highly informative, very understandable, and graciously civil in the temperament of its discussions.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Four Views on Christian Spirituality somewhat troubling on several levels. First, touted as “an invaluable resource for study and comparison of the major Christian perspectives on spiritual formation” to “aid readers seeking spiritual transformation,” it was not what I expected. In his excellent Introduction to Christian Spirituality, Evan Howard, one of the contributors to this work, defines the study of spirituality as both prescriptive—the theology of spirituality—and descriptive—the lived experiences of spiritual transformation. I expected more descriptive spirituality here but got more prescriptive spirituality instead. That’s okay, just not what I expected.

First up was Bradley Nassif representing Eastern Orthodoxy. And he did a brilliant job hitting all the major Orthodox themes from theosis (union with God) to the church, gospel, liturgy, sacraments, monasticism, prayer, and spiritual direction.

Helpful for correcting evangelical misunderstandings of Orthodoxy, Nassif explains that “the doctrine of synergy, a collaboration between free will and God’s grace…is an unequal emphasis in which God takes the initiative in saving grace; yet it also is one that requires a response by human beings.” And in a footnote he references Mark the Ascetic’s Concerning Those Who Imagine That They Are Justified by Works: prayer, fasting, vigils, and all other monastic disciplines are dangerously misguided without a prior grounding in the “unmerited, free gift” of grace as the prime motivation for all Christian living.

Roman Catholic Scott Hahn, in his response, adds: the idea “comes from St. Paul, who referred to us as God’s co-workers (synergoi, 1 Corinthians 3: 9)” and it is important to say “that our partnership is not fifty-fifty.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joel Holtz VINE VOICE on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is another resource in the COUNTERPOINTS BIBLE AND THEOLOGY series from Zondervan, and as always doesn't disappoint.

The authors are Bradley Nassif, representing Eastern Orthodoxy, Scott Hahn, from a Catholic background, Joseph Driskill, representing Progressive Mainline Protestantism, and Evan Howard from the Evangelical point of view.

Each chapter is extremely well-written and thought out, and each author's response is incredibly gracious. The most direct criticism is probably aimed at Driskill, as in Nassif's assertion that Progessive Protestantism comes close to being .."a religous movement that knowingly rejects the very heart of the historic Christian Gospel." (147)

Another outstanding academic resource from Zondervan and well worth reading in personal or group study.
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By Michael S. Hughes on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is well laid out, informative, and an extremely helpful introduction into the various streams of historic Christian spirituality. Each author is instructive as to their particular denomination's theological grounding of spiritual practices and the goal of spirituality. Their tone is respectful while pointing out the distinctive contributions of their understandings of spiritual formation as well as offering constructive critiques of the others. The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that it seems skewed toward evangelical Protestantism. Other than that, I would highly recommend this book.
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