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Stirrings of the Soul: Evangelicals and the New Spirituality Paperback – September 30, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Matthias Media (September 30, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 187632662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1876326623
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,468,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback

Michael Raiter
Sydney: Matthias Media, 2003

Review by Darren Cronshaw

Michael Raiter, Principal at Bible College of Victoria, uses a biblical lens to analyse the new spirituality that he sees pervading not just alternative spirituality festivals, secular bookshops and the internet, but also the rising popularity of charismatic and mystical Christianity. He explores the Australian religious and cultural context including our consumer culture, stressed-out generation and postmodern era. He explains the appeal of the new spirituality in terms of contemporary hunger for relationship, thirst for experience and desire for a non-judgmental, inclusive, therapeutic and inner-directed spirituality.

From a Reformed Anglican perspective, Raiter disagrees with viewing festival attenders and other religious shoppers as `seekers' (prefering to stress their nature as `hiders' from God because of sin). He focuses on a call to a word-based spirituality that is discerning about charismatic or mystical variants. For Christians who are longing for something more in their spirituality, he cautions against any suggestion that certain well-proven guidelines are the way to know and feel God's presence.

The writer levels critique as his own branch of the church too, for example its lexical preoccupation with `the gospel' and `Bible teaching' as a kind of shibboleth for authentic ministry (rather than focusing on Jesus that the gospel is about and Christian maturity that Bible teaching is directed towards).
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