Book Review Spiritual Formation as it the Church MatteredV2 Essay

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY Book Review: Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered BY: Thomas L. Arrington CLASS: EVAN 500; Spiritual Factors of Growing Churches INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Gregory Faulls DATE: 24 JANUARY 2015 James C. Wilhoit, Spiritual Formation as it the Church Matters (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academics, 2008). INTRODUCTION Dallas Willard wrote in the foreword of this book, “James Wilhoit has written a book of special urgency for our times.(9)” In this writer’s opinion, that was an understatement. Some books you read for school, after the first 20 to 30 pages, you can truly tell that you are not going to like the book. You proceed to speed reading it just to grab the nuggets and move on to the next book or you choose…show more content…
Wilhoit, while teaching and having dialogue with his students pertaining to their spirituality formative influences which lead to conducting interviews with a number of church leaders, he realized, through these stories and interviews there has been a “sea of change in our formational structures and their effects will take a generation to fully manifest themselves.(13)” This establishes the basis for writing this book, to make a “call to intentionality about our formation and to repentance about how we have tried to engineer formation more than we have prayerfully opened our lives and our churches to God’s grace(14)”. The book consist of ten chapters, which can be broken down into two parts the establishment of the foundational structure of spiritual formation, chapters 1- 2, and the four pillars that support spiritual formation, in which he calls the four “R’s” Receiving, Remembering, Responding and Relating, chapters 3-10. Wilhoit then further breaks these four pillars into two parts. Part “A” describes and explains the foundation of the “R”; Part “B” then expounds on how to foster the pillar into the life of the individual and the church. He then moves on to the next pillar. Throughout the book the reader will find 12, what Wilhoit call, “Community Spiritual Formation Corollary” or main take-always from that specific section and when placed together form a specific

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