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Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection Paperback – September 21, 2006
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About the Author
Wil Hernandez, PhD, works for The Leadership Institute in Southern California in partnership with the Denver-based Spiritual Formation Alliance. He also serves as the Director of Community Formation at Evergreen Baptist Church of L.A. In addition, he teaches a course on the spirituality of Henri Nouwen at Fuller Theological Seminary and at the Center for Religion and Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University.
Top customer reviews
Alan Fadling, Mission Viejo, CA
First, I am reduced so that His Spirit in me may be increased. I cannot look up at the sky until I have "looked down at the Cross." In seminary, my mind is ever evolving and growing. Yet, human intelligence continues to progress while the human spirit experiences a holocaust. Each day that goes by that I do not thank God for the blessing of my mortal and broken condition, I am truly cursed. So in my brokenness I see God's power and I weep. If I rationalize the brokenness, then what I am, as Nouwen stated, is "but the bitter fruit of the human choice to say `No' to [God's] love."
Second, I am in communion with God, especially when I suffer. Nouwen stated concretely that "there is no journey to God outside of the journey that Jesus made." Pain is my greatest teacher, but I am not always its most willing subject. A metal can only be refined by fire. The purification process produces a shiny, polished surface. When I suffer, I am letting the Holy Spirit fire burn in me so that ultimately I can reflect God's image through me. Praying does not remove the pain of suffering; yet suffering leads me to prayer, and prayer is my direct line to God.
Third, I am hope. Even in our awareness that darkness exists, we humans, like Nouwen, "never envision going through the worst" of it. Because I am choice, I hope. I hope I never have to know the pain of loss again. I hope I never fail my friends again. I hope I never fail God again. I hope my sons will never know the ravages of war. I hope my marriage lasts forever. I hope I die a happy old woman in my sleep. Is this what God meant by hope?
Finally, I am a story. It is an imperfect story, with imperfect people, imperfect lives and imperfect outcomes. I am the sum total of my imperfect memories. I experience because I once experienced. What are the people, places and things that contribute to my story? If my life is a journey, which way am I heading? Who will point the way?
I highly encourage you to read Hernandez' book, as you tap into Nouwen's spirituality of imperfection to discover what "your" imperfections mean to "you."
and ministry of Henri Nouwen who has been a spiritual guide par
excellence to so many of us. One cannot read a page from Nouwen without
sensing his depth. Wil's book illuminates the sources of this depth far
beyond what could be gleaned by those of us who have frequently returned
to Nouwen as a source of spiritual reading and guidance over many years.
As Wil so ably shows us, Nowen's love of God, self and others was
Biblically faithful, theologically nuanced and psychologically sound
which freed him, broken as he was, to engage others in the healing and
transforming ministry of Jesus. I highly recommend adding Henri
Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection to your library if you have not
yet done so.
L. Paul Jensen, Orange, CA
C. Lynn Gibson, DPhil, CFSP
Oxford Graduate School