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Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice Paperback – August 7, 2016
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--author of Idiot Psalms
"With her profound summonings, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre recovers for many contemporary readers an ancient practice that is reminiscent of rabbinic attention to the dark sayings of Scripture, those compelling, curious, often challenging passages that would nudge us into seeing more, would have us glimpse the inexhaustibility of the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, even the inexhaustibility of His Word."
Cornelius Plantinga Jr.
--author of Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists
"McEntyre has again written with conspicuous grace and truth. She sees deeply into the Christian life. She writes simply and nobly, but with an enormous weight of discernment and suggestion. Some passages here are as powerful and lovely as any I’ve encountered in years."
--coauthor of Prayer: A History
"Seamlessly blending exegesis, philology, lectio divina, and prayer, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre teaches us how to listen for the divine word in all times and circumstances."
About the Author
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Habits are crucial in spiritual formation. This is because the human heart naturally gravitates toward stubbornness and hardness of heart. Without intentionality, it is hard to change from the inside out. I find this book a welcome addition to my library of resources on spiritual listening. There is journaling that we can do to refresh what we have learned. There is spiritual meditation and contemplation that we can adopt along the way. This book is McEntyre's personal way of doing Lectio Divina. A good spiritual reading will pave the way for the rest like oratio, meditatio, and contemplatio. The word 'daily' is important. It is one thing to read through a book once straight through. It is yet another to take a day at a time, a verb at a time, a thought at a time, and a prayer at a time. This is the habit forming process which is essential in the formation of the soul. Without regularity and sustained reflection, it is hard for any forming to be made. Thanks to McEntyre, we have another set of practices we can adopt. Simple, clear, and inviting, this word-by-word format is a refreshing process that leads us toward deeper spiritual formation.
Marilyn McEntyre is Professor of Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a popular speaker at retreats and writing workshops. She had recently won a Christianity Today 2015 book award for "What's in a Phrase?"
This book is provided to me courtesy of William B. Eerdmans and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.