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Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul's Path to God Paperback – October 3, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Enlarged edition (October 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310329884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310329886
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

One reason many Christians become discouraged with their devotional lives is because they've adopted a narrow, cut-and-dried approach--one they're not wired for as individuals. Sacred Pathways explores nine time-tested ways to commune with God that honor the unique design he has given each of us. The naturalist, the ascetic, the traditionalist, the activist, the enthusiast, the intellectual . . . this engaging, insightful, and well-written book will lead the reader to a deeper understanding of his or her spiritual temperament, and new vistas of relationship with God. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Spiritual Walk."

After all, it’s his, not yours. Better to discover the path God designed you to take--a path marked by growth and fulfillment, based on your unique temperament.

In Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas strips away the frustration of a one-size-fits-all spirituality and guides you toward a path of worship that frees you to be you. If your devotional times have hit a snag, perhaps it is because you’re trying to follow someone else’s path.

This book unfolds nine distinct spiritual temperaments--their traits, strengths, and pitfalls. In one or more, you will see yourself and the ways you most naturally express your relationship with Jesus Christ. Whatever temperament or blend of temperaments best describes you, rest assured it’s not by accident. It’s by the design of a Creator who knew what he was doing when he made you according to his own unique specifications. Sacred Pathways will show you the route you were made to travel, marked by growth and filled with the riches of a close walk with God --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It is a great book, easy to read.
Kenneth H. Meyers
This book will help Christians see the unique way God has planned for each of us to grow in our own personal relationship with God.
Pamela Loyd
Thomas writes we'll and makes his points very clearly.
Amazon Fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Lyrical-Linocut on February 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Many members, one body. A delightfully refreshing look at the differences we have as individuals in the church through our communication with and worship of God. Thomas confirms our own uniqueness through nine "Sacred Pathways" to God - the naturalist, sensate, traditionalist, ascetic, activist, caregiver, enthusiast, contemplative and intellectual. He provides practical ways to test yourself at the end of each chapter to determine your own path. Just as God communicated differently for Moses, Elijah, and Paul, we too hear Him and worship Him in different ways. What a confirmation that you don't have to be a clone, but rather, can follow the direction God has put into your own heart. This book spoke to my spirit and I've recommended it to many. It is a must for pastors who wish to understand their congregation better. Thomas expands our horizons without compromising the message.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Wise on October 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Just as people have different personality temperaments, they also have different spiritual temperaments or preferred ways of approaching God for worship and discipleship. This is the primary thesis of Gary Thomas' book, "Sacred Pathways." People do not have to go to God in the same way. The best way to approach God is in accordance with the specific temperaments with which one has been created.
Thomas contends that every person has at least one spiritual temperament, and most have several. Understanding basic spiritual temperaments is helpful not only for identifying one's God-given preferences, but also for understanding how others may worship God in equally valid ways.
"Sacred Pathways" includes a chapter each on nine spiritual temperaments: naturalists, sensates, traditionalists, ascetics, activists, caregivers, enthusiasts, contemplatives and intellectuals. Each chapter describes the temperament's distinguishing characteristics, including its strengths and weaknesses. Thomas' discussions are well illustrated with many personal experiences from his own life and others. Each chapter concludes with a short assessment to help readers determine whether they have that specific temperament.
The final chapter, "Understanding Your Sacred Pathway," gives practical suggestions on how to nurture one's spiritual personality which consists of one or more temperaments and the interplay between them. Thomas does not discuss the differences between private and corporate worship, but he does recognize that some temperaments are better suited for private worship-not all are equally suited for corporate worship. The final chapter also includes practical suggestions for cultivating a more meaningful devotional life in accordance with one's temperaments in both corporate and private worship.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Chad Oberholtzer on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having already read Thomas' "Sacred Marriage," I had extremely high expectations for this book, and I would say that they were largely met. Gary Thomas manages to write in a style that is both intellectual and personal, challenging the reader to ponder at a deeper level than many Christian books while never allowing his style to seem distant or arrogant. It's a tricky balance, but Thomas manages to strike that balance.

"Sacred Pathways" sets out to establish the reality that Christians do not naturally connect to God in identical ways and that this is not only acceptable but part of God's plan. It's the type of message that many of us need to hear, as we play the dangerous game of comparing our spirituality to other esteemed believers and realizing that we don't measure up to them. Thomas instructs us to consider that we are not meant to try to mirror anyone else's walk with God. Rather, we need to identify how we have been created and head down that "sacred pathway" with all diligence to "cultivate and grow" our relationship with God.

Thomas managed to tell very personal stories from his own life about every one of the nine sacred pathways, while managing to explain which ones came more or less naturally for him. This articulates the crucial point that though we may be bent toward one pathway more so than another, none of us have the right to ignore any of these sacred pathways as somehow irrelevant in our lives.

One particularly commendable component of Thomas' writing is his respect for the history of the church, and he constantly refers to our spiritual predecessors to gather their thoughts from the past centuries on so many different topics. What a refreshing approach to contemporary Christian writing!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most Christians have dealt with the frustration of trying to balance a busy lifestyle with a consistent devotional time. Some of us do better with the balancing act than others. Many of us wonder, "Are there better ways I can commune with God on a regular basis?" Thomas states here that there are better ways, once we have discovered as God has placed them in us.

Thomas identifies nine "sacred pathways" that are present in differing degrees in Christians. Naturalists love God in nature. Sensates worship God through their five senses. Traditionalists walk with God through ritual and symbolism. Ascetics draw strength from solitude with God and from simplicity. Activists energize themselves spiritually through confrontation. Caregivers best worship God by caring for the physical needs of others. Enthusiasts love God with mystery and celebration. Contemplatives interact with God via adoration. Intellects love to serve God with their minds.

The author includes at the end of each chapter a questionnaire, so that reader can quiz himself to see how strong of an inclination he has in each pathway. Most people have two to three pathways that are dominate.

This title is excellent. I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the quality of consistent devotional time with God.
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More About the Author

Gary Thomas is a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. He unites the study of Scripture, church history, and the Christian classics to foster spiritual growth and deeper relationships. Gary's unique message will help you:

* Embrace the unique way that you interact with God.
* Partner in the spiritual growth and character formation of your spouse.
* Build a closer, grace-based family.
* Enjoy God with a new sense of freedom and delight.

Find out more at:

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