Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal Paperback – July 13, 1979
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"Here is more evidence of growing Evangelical concern with renewal, spirituality and the historic witness of Christianity. Dynamics of Spiritual Life is a major new contribution to our understanding of God's action in the church and in history. While writing from an essentially Reformed perspective, Lovelace remains open to other traditions, including contemporary Neo-Pentecostalism, and is sensitive to God's renewing action historically within Roman Catholicism as well as in Anabaptism, Pietism and other Protestant renewal movements." (Howard A. Snyder, author of The Problem of Wineskins and Liberating the Church)
"We need a book like this at this time. Lovelace has done the job in a sensitive, insightful, readable way. His work deserves a readership far beyond the Evangelical tradition out of which it grows." (Mark J. Link, S.J., author of These Stones Will Shout and The Seventh Trumpet)
"Disciples of Jesus Christ who know the cost of discipleship, heirs of grace who treasure its costly gifts, and men and women of taste and scholarship and civil impulse have good reason for wishing the author luck. No, put that not 'luck' but 'steadfastness' and 'grace.'" (Martin E. Marty, University of Chicago)
About the Author
- Publisher : IVP Academic; First Edition (July 13, 1979)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 455 pages
- ISBN-10 : 087784626X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0877846260
- Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #996,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But then Lovelace writes another page and it contains gems of insight and analysis on the spiritual roots of revival. Whole chapters here are worth no more than one star. And the book lurches from one-star stuff to five-star stuff on the same page. But the one-star material is not especially harmful, while at his best Lovelace is superb. So get the book and read it. Forget the dated stuff. Ignore his infatuation with the wisdom of the young and disenculturation (whatever he means by that). Listen to him when he talks about the failure to seek holiness that leads to a dearth of the Holy Spirit's presence.
Read it discerningly. But don't worry about being seriously harmed by the bad sections. They're mostly banal, while at his best, Lovelace seems to channel some of Jonathan Edwards.
I found this to be a theologically rich book covering a wide variety of topics such sotierology, eschatology, pneumatology, and eschatology but generally grounded in the history of the church. Although addressing evangelicalism, he ventures more broadly into Roman Catholicism, Lutheran Pietism, and Reformed Puritanism to name a few.
There was much to commend about this book. I think it would be useful for church leaders to read even today to read and understand the dynamics of renewal. As a psychologist and one who is interested in the life of the soul, I found this book particularly sensitive to the role of soul care in the church. Lovelace does not commend a primarily exhortational method nor does he go so far as to wholly give way to modern forms of psychotherapy. In other words, his writings would seem to fit comfortably in the world of Christian Psychology, where I tend to identify myself.
For the average reader, this book may be overwhelming. It is 455 pages long and he is prone to using technical terminology at times. If you are willing to wade through that, however, I think the extra work will be worth the reward.
After about 50 pages, I settled into Lovelace's writing style and began to find his words at times slightly poetic. Others may be correct in that he could have more concisely stated points but it wasn't so obvious that it was bothering me while I read.
All in all, It is a great book that personally left me changed for the better. It is one of those books that will continually be one to turn to where new things are noticed during each new read. Highly recommend.