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Becoming a True Spiritual Community: A Profound Vision of What the Church Can Be Paperback – Bargain Price, July 10, 2007
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About the Author
Dr. Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminary speaker, Bible teacher, popular author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries. He is currently Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University in Denver and Visiting Professor of Spiritual Formation for Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta. Dr. Crabb and his wife of forty-six years, Rachael, live in the Denver, Colorado area. For additional information please visit www.newwayministries.org
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- ISBN-13 : 978-0849918841
- Paperback : 256 pages
- Product dimensions : 8.56 x 5.48 x 0.66 inches
- Publisher : Thomas Nelson; Illustrated edition (July 10, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #233,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As a psychologist, I think one of the things I most appreciated about this book was his vision for what Christian psychology, or soul care, may look like. He believes that the community of the church should be the primary place for healing to take place and I think he is exactly right.
On page 178, he wrote, "In the middle of the wild ocean of shattered dreams and broken lives, the community of Christ celebrates God's forgiveness: they believe in what each other could become, they never minimize sin but they love to maximize grace. They are carriers of Christ to each other. That's what spiritual friends do when they act together to journey to God."
I would highly recommend this book. I know that there are those who have had negative reviews of this book, but I have a hard time seeing why. If you are one of those people, I would hope that you would be able to dialog about it in spiritual community.
For forty years I have had an on-again-off-again relationship with the Christian Church that exists in North America. My primary experience has been with Protestant Evangelicalism, but my knowledge of the Christian church has extended beyond the boundaries of that circle in the most recent decade. What I have experienced in my forty years of churchianity has not been what I would describe as good and that experience of "not good" resulted in seasons where I danced intimately with the church and other seasons where there was no relationship at all. I accept the responsibility that is mine where my heart and my attitude were incompatible with the Christian church, but I can't help but think if the church were living up to the organism it is described in the Bible there may not have been the tension between us through the years... there may never have been a break in our relationship at all. I wonder...
So, what is it about this book, Becoming a True Spiritual Community: A Profound Vision of What the Church Can Be, that I find so wonderfully endearing? Before I answer that, let me point out that this is a republication of a book formerly published under the name of The Safest Place on Earth. As far as I have been able to discern, the books are the same. Now, back to the question, what is it about this book?
Becoming a True Spiritual Community ranks as one of the most honest assessments and characterizations of the American church that I have ever read. Saying this I must also clarify that there is no "church bashing" or vitriolic rhetoric that demeans the church. The words are honest and written from an attitude of love for the church, but they are candid, blunt, and revealing. As Crabb reveals some of the shallow façade supporting the contemporary church he does so with painfully honest self-examination that draws the reader into journeying inward to make similar examinations of their own spirituality... sometimes exposing our own shallowness, pride, ego, and selfish desires. This process of exposing and examination continues through part one and into part two of the book before the tide begins to turn and the hopeful beauty of the church and spiritual community that God desires for us is revealed. There are allusions to this hope in the first half of the book, but the crescendo builds to a gloriously hopeful ending beginning at the halfway mark around chapter nine.
The book is full of personal anecdotes and many metaphors gleaned from classic and contemporary literature from the disciplines of spiritual formation. There is also a very thorough discussion guide at the end of the book that would prove itself invaluable for a group study.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I'm sure timing has much to do with my excitement, but I also know that my desire for spiritual community as described by Dr. Crabb has been my passion for at least twenty-five years. I am reinvigorated and encouraged by what was written in this book and will recommend it as one of the top reads concerning the study of ecclesiology (the Church). I look forward to sharing the thoughts contained in this book with others and being a part of the communities that will be formed out of those discussions.
The good news is that there are some people who are willing and that's enough to start. The truth is, that it's just too easy to keep doing things the way they've always been done. Perhaps that's not entirely true. Church is work no matter how you do it, so why not do it right? And what Dr. Crabb provides here, is indeed the framework to do it right.
The only thing necessary is hungry hearts. So if you have one of those, get this book and read it.
By the way, this is exactly the same book as "The Safest Place On Earth" with a different cover. I do think this is a better title and more clearly reflects what this book is about. I have both books and even the page numbers are the same.