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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DON WHITNEY has been Professor of Biblical spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO, for 10 years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality. Don is a frequent speaker in churches, retreats, and conferences in the U.S. and abroad.
 
Don grew up in Osceola, AR, where he came to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After graduating from Arkansas State, Don planned to finish law school and pursue a career in sportscasting. While at the University of Arkansas School of Law, he sensed God's call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1979. In 1987, Don completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He earned a PhD in theology at the University of the Free State in Bloemfonteine, South Africa in 2013.
 
Prior to his ministry as a seminary professor, Don pastored Glenfield Baptist Church in Glen Ellyn, IL (a Chicago suburb), for almost 15 years. Altogether, he's served local churches in pastoral ministry for 24 years.
 
He is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, which has a companion Study Guide. He has also written How Can I Be Sure I'm a Christian?, Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, and Family Worship. His hobby is restoring and using old fountain pens.
 
Don lives with his wife, Caffy, in their home near Louisville. She teaches classes for seminary wives and is an artist, muralist, and illustrator. The Whitneys are parents of Laurelen.
 
Don's website is BiblicalSpirituality.org. He's on Twitter @DonWhitney and on Facebook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress; Upd Rev edition (June 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615216170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615216178
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DON WHITNEY has been Professor of Biblical spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO, for 10 years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality. Don is a frequent speaker in churches, retreats, and conferences in the U.S. and abroad.

Don grew up in Osceola, AR, where he came to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After graduating from Arkansas State, Don planned to finish law school and pursue a career in sportscasting. While at the University of Arkansas School of Law, he sensed God's call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1979. In 1987, Don completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He earned a PhD in theology at the University of the Free State in Bloemfonteine, South Africa in 2013.

Prior to his ministry as a seminary professor, Don pastored Glenfield Baptist Church in Glen Ellyn, IL (a Chicago suburb), for almost 15 years. Altogether, he's served local churches in pastoral ministry for 24 years.

He is the author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, which has a companion Study Guide. He has also written How Can I Be Sure I'm a Christian?, Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, and Family Worship. His hobby is restoring and using old fountain pens.

Don lives with his wife, Caffy, in their home near Louisville. She teaches classes for seminary wives and is an artist, muralist, and illustrator. The Whitneys are parents of Laurelen.

Don's website is www.BiblicalSpirituality.org. He's on Twitter @DonWhitney and on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Craig Sanders on July 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
"Discipline without direction is drudgery," writes Donald S. Whitney in a familiar opening to the 20th-anniversary edition of his classic book on biblical spirituality. Revised and updated, the book contains new material with more emphasis on the gospel that will help both first-time readers and those who enjoyed the first edition to ground their disciplines soundly in Scripture.

Whitney, professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, improved on the 1991 edition of his most influential work by adding 11 new methods of meditation on Scripture, including a more explicit Christocentric focus in each chapter. He bolstered the content with more Scripture references in order to distance himself from a mystical approach to spirituality and removed any cultural references that would fade with the passing of time.

The expanded methods of meditation on Scripture carry on the legacy of the original edition, which introduced praying through the text as an enriching exercise for many Christians. Newer methods prescribed in the revised edition include formulating a principle from the text, asking how the text points to Jesus, creating an artistic expression and using meditation mapping.

"A mind map is a diagram that outlines information in a more visually appealing and memorable way than words on lines," writes Whitney, explaining the intellectually stimulating practice of meditation mapping with the example of Romans 8:28. "It's not a different way to think, just a different way to write down what you think."

Whitney also revised and updated the companion study guide for his bestselling work. The 140-page resource is a valuable tool for small group discussion and personal study, and is regularly priced at $9.99.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It is a question I often receive: What books do you recommend for new Christians? There is a short list of books I would love for every Christian to read shortly after they put their faith in Christ: Jerry Bridge’s The Discipline of Grace and R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God, to name just a couple. Another one I recommend widely is Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. First published in 1991, the book has finally been expanded and updated in a second edition. It is better than ever.

Whitney bases the book around a simple command from 1 Timothy 4:7: “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” Whitney explains, “If your purpose is godliness—and godliness is your purpose if you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, for He makes godliness your purpose—then how do you pursue that purpose? According to this verse, you “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” It is absolutely crucial that the Christian discipline himself to live a distinctly Christian life.

In the first chapter Whitney dives right into the concept of spiritual disciplines, explaining that they exist for the purpose of godliness. They do not save us and do not make God love us more; rather, they are the means God uses to conform us to Christ’s image. “The Spiritual Disciplines are those personal and interpersonal activities given by God in the Bible as the sufficient means believers in Jesus Christ are to use in the Spirit-filled, gospel-driven pursuit of godliness, that is, closeness to Christ and conformity to Christ.”

Through eleven chapters Whitney explains and unpacks ten important disciplines.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PJL on September 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I try to be judicious in assigning stars to books and products, but I feel this is truly a five star book.

The material may not be for everyone, but for its intended audience, i.e. those intent on pursuing godliness, I have found this book to be worth reading and re-reading.

I disagree with those who say it is not practical - there are multiple concrete examples of how to _practice_ these disciplines... for example, taking a short chunk of Scripture and meditating on it; emphasizing different words of the text when speaking a verse in the mind or aloud; praying through a verse; setting a goal of writing down X number of insights about a particular goal; etc. (Forgive me if there are errors here in my recollection, I am going from memory).

While it is practical, he is also clear on our motivations to lead a spiritually disciplined life. I feel he was successful in increasing a spiritual hunger in the reader.

Again I would echo those who have mentioned this in their reviews and also JI Packer who wrote the introduction - this is book worth rereading!

I am going to ask to work through the book in a group setting at my church - it would work perfectly for a group study. I believe there are 13 chapters, so it could be easily done in one season of study.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hartnagle on February 2, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well-written, biblically backed book on discipline. But that doesn't mean it's dry and dusty! No! This is an exciting invitation to pursue the great adventure of truly becoming like our dearest Love: to walk as He walked, to read as He read, to live as He lived. This is done,not by our on power, or by our own merit. Rather, this is entirely based in the gracious work already accomplished on our behalf through the death paid by Jesus on the cross. No amount of our going through the motions will change us a bit until we accept His substitution for us. But because he already granted us His grace, we can now be free to be transformed by the disciplines into his image. This is a wonderful book on how God chooses to romance us into a deeper love of Him.

Whitney gives detailed biblical backing for 12 distinct and yet interwoven disciplines of the faith. He uses personal anecdotes and a transparent and conversational tone to implore our submission and devotion to these processes. The hope is not disappointing! As we pursue these means of greater godliness, we will see our lives, marriages, families and communities begin to change too. Godly disciple redeems us and our relationships in ways nothing else will. However, there is a constant returning to the Gospel as the agent through which that redemption comes. He then exhorts us to persevere, and not to lose heart! We live in "enemy occupied territory", and this side of heaven the road to sanctification will be ever uphill!
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