Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: Habits for Our Holiness by Philip Nation

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"Not your typical spiritual disciplines book
Most books on the spiritual disciplines follow the same pattern: introduce the discipline, prove it from Scripture, and give tips for how to do it.
Habits for our Holiness does more than that: It connects the disciplines to all of life. By showing how the disciplines have their greatest power when practiced in community and on mission, Philip Nation gives Christians a bigger reason—and greater desire—to pursue spiritual disciplines. He also warns us of what happens when we neglect them.
With plenty of examples, stories, and illustrations, Habits for our Holiness will inspire you to nourish your life with discipline, enjoy the fruit of godliness, and have a hand in building the church."


Summer is here. My freshman year of college is now a pleasant memory. One year down––three more to go. With the arrival of summer break comes more leisure time and what better way to use those extra hours in a day than by reading a good book (of your choice and not assigned by a professor, I might add)? 

Rather than dive head-first back into the fictional worlds I love, Habits for Our Holiness caught my attention and seemed like the perfect read to kick-off my summer vacation for two reasons. 1) Life gets busy––my first year of college revealed how I can slowly begin to slack-off in the spiritual disciplines despite my best intentions. Summer is a great time to evaluate and strengthen my relationship with Christ. 2) One of the students in my college asked me to lead a small Bible study group for the upcoming school year and I want to gain a deeper knowledge on the spiritual disciplines that I can put into practice as well as share with the girls in my small group. 

I have to admit (and I'm sure lovers of fiction can relate) that non-fiction doesn't always hold the attention. I've tried and failed time and again in the past. Habits for Our Holiness, however, does not disappoint. 

Philip Nation communicates his message in a clear, concise way that is easy to understand. Although his writing is simple, his message is profound. Mr.Nation defines a spiritual discipline as "a mental and physical act and a habit that expresses our love for God and fosters a greater display of His glory in our lives and a deeper understanding of His character and agenda." The author successfully shows how love is the common factor in all spiritual growth because "love is the central discipline of the Christian life."

Each chapter in the book is focused on a different discipline ranging from the commonly heard practices of worship, Bible study, and prayer to practices not normally identified as disciplines such as fellowship, rest, and simple living. I especially enjoyed Mr.Nation's insight into how practices like the last three mentioned can be applied in daily living as spiritual disciplines. The author breathes new significance into the more well-known disciplines by explaining their importance and showing how each discipline applies to God's mission at large. 

Habits for Our Holiness is a book that will provide a deeper understanding of the spiritual disciples to all people––whether they have much or little knowledge on the spiritual disciplines. For those seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ, breathe new significance to the spiritual disciplines, and learn how to practically live out the spiritual disciplines in everyday life and God's kingdom at large, this book is a necessary addition to your non-fiction, "practical life" library. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars. (Don't worry––those fictional worlds will still be waiting for you when you're done!)

** Thanks to Moody Publishers and PR by the Book for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I have given **

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