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Minding the Heart: The Way of Spiritual Transformation Paperback – September 19, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Individuals and congregations will be challenged, helped, and strengthened though careful reflection on the insights found in this splendid volume.” (David S Dockery, President Union University 2013-11-01)

“The great Puritan divine William Ames defined theology as the science of living in the presence of God. That’s what this book is about: a biblical examination of Christian interiority, what it means to know and love Jesus Christ from the inside out, with one’s whole heart. A great introduction to spiritual theology.” (Timothy George, Dean Beeson Divinity School 2013-11-01)

“Any doctor will tell you the key to physical life is the heart. If it is not beating, you are dead. The same is true of the spiritual life. At the center of spiritual growth and transformation is the heart. This wonderful study by Robert Saucy shows you just how important the heart is and that eternal life is a life of quality drawing upon a transformation from deep within.”― (Dr Darrell L Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies Dallas Theological Seminary 2013-11-01)

About the Author

Robert L. Saucy (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. A former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, he has authored a number of works on biblical and theological subjects.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825436656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825436659
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rusty on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Spiritual transformation what is it? How do we accomplish it? Much of what is called "discipleship" is nothing more than coaching to "do better" and "try harder" leaving one feeling spiritually exhausted and discouraged. This is not the approach taken by Robert Saucy in Minding the Heart The Way of Spiritual Transformation.

Saucy's singular focus is in the title to this delightfully refreshing book; Minding the Heart. The author takes you on a journey through scripture to uncover the meaning of "Heart" in all of it's uses. The ideas shown in the book from scripture may feel a little strange to the modern mind set, but with the helpful explanation of the author the spiritual significance comes to light. There are thirteen pages of a triple column scripture index at the back of the book that may well be worth the price of the book. I know I will be referring to it often.

Robert Saucy takes you on a journey of the heart in scripture. You will learn what the heart is, what is it's nature, what is a heart that God desires, and what all this means for you. This journey is not pop psychology but scripture. It is well worth the effort and will have a profound affect on your life. This work is a great gift from the author to the church at large.

The book I believe should be read by the widest possible audience. Church leaders and lay-persons alike will find it well worth the time. I would say that the only drawback is that the author is so well organized that I found I needed to slow down my reading pace. There are about 280 pages of actual text but each one is concentrated and deserves some reflection. The author builds on his ideas so I would recommend reading it straight through the first time.

Many thanks to Kregel Academic & Ministry for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.
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This book is immensely helpful in understanding how one grows spiritually. What can seem like such a confusing process (spiritual growth) is helpfully explained by Robert Saucy. He begins with a look at who we are at the core of our being. He wants us to understand that God is not looking for superficial changes in our lives but rather for the core of who we are to change. He then spends the second half of the book helping us understand how this process can be practically entered into. He covers topics that you would expect (thoughts, Scripture, prayer, community and love) but enters into these topics to such a deep level that all readers will be challenged to further become like Christ through his insights. The only drawback to this book is that it is rather wordy at nearly 300 pages and is probably not super accessible to people who have not done much scholarly/theological reading in the past. Yet for all who are not daunted by its size or technical aspects, and have a desire to grow to become more like Christ, this book would be a great resource.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lately, I've become aware of certain scientific studies related to what Christianity has usually called "the inner man." I will update that and say "the inner person." Several studies indicate meditation, prayer, and other forms of reflective exercises may actually alter the brain in such a way as to produce noticeable and positive results. Such a concept is found in Scripture regarding what it has called "the heart." In reading Robert Saucy's book, Minding the Heart, I have found a sincere scholar and theology who knows something of these studies attempting to draw the correlation. His goal is simple, to present a solid and scriptural method to spiritual formation of the "fallen heart." (14)

The most surprising part of this book is the lack of expected evangelical cliches. Saucy is a distinguished professor at Biola University, a noted evangelical school, so I expected the usual round of condemnation and basest explanation of what a life in Christ is about. I admit I was wrong, and more, astonished when I read "(t)he message of Scripture is that our life in Christ is more than forgiveness of sins, more than escape from God's condemnation, but a new way to live, a new source of zest that thirsts and hungers for more." (18) Indeed, a life in Christ is more about experience than what many like to acknowledge, but the experience of Christianity is essential to being a Christian. Further, his continued reference to the journey (rather than a momentary event) of the Christian must make every Wesleyan-heart warmed. With such a solid foundation laid, and my mind open to Saucy's goal, the rest of the book really begins to take hold.

The book is divided between fourteen chapters with an introduction and a conclusion as bookends.
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Format: Paperback
Robert L. Saucy's influence on many evangelicals is incalculable. He's mostly known for his work in areas of systematic theology and as an advocate for Progressive Dispensationalism (PD). He's currently the Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Biola University. So you might be interested in whether his latest book builds upon his previous work on PD or on ecclesiology. It's understandable that you'd expect that since he's written so much on those subjects (check his CV for evidence!). Guess what?

Robert L. Saucy's latest book is on spiritual transformation!! Yes, you read that correctly. Saucy has entered into the world of practical theology and written a book that addresses a subject of tremendous importance for Christians... Minding the Heart: The Way of Spiritual Transformation.

So what's Minding the Heart about? Saucy starts by stating that "this book is about the personal transformation of life that the Bible teaches is for everyone who believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ" (p.9). He goes on to tell his readers that much of the content of this book has been "simmering" for a long time, though his interest grew after co-teaching a class with several psychology professors. While reading through Minding the Heart, it is apparent that this is the work of a seasoned Christian thinker.

Saucy attempts to show his readers how to experience spiritual transformation. His first chapter is a challenge for Christians to move beyond simply "getting saved" to experiencing "abundant life." He then moves into providing what he believes is a biblical explanation of the concept of "heart" and how the "heart" is a "real problem in life.
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