Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

How to Get the DNA of Jesus
Image: Illustration by Keith Negley
Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity
Author
Publisher
IVP Academic
Release Date
January 5, 2014
Pages
256
Price
$18.23
Buy Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity from Amazon

Over the past 35 years or so, evangelical interest in the classical spiritual disciplines has grown exponentially, thanks to the groundbreaking work of writers like Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, and Henri Nouwen. We increasingly understand, as Nouwen expressed it, that the spiritual life "involves human effort," a disciplined embrace of such concrete means of grace as prayer, silence, worship, simplicity, and service to others.

Gordon T. Smith, president and professor of systematic theology at Ambrose University College in Calgary, Alberta, applauds these developments within a tradition that, in its early years, had focused largely on evangelism and conversion. But what, he asks, is the underlying purpose of the spiritual disciplines? Why pray, worship, fast, or lead a simple life? In Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity (IVP Academic), Smith offers an answer: We do these things to grow as believers, to become ever more holy.

Cultivating Our Union

Holiness is a loaded term, one with a checkered reputation. "Holy" people are often portrayed in film and books as mean, angry, self-righteous, hypocritical, screamingly judgmental, perfectionistic, emotionally stunted, and lifeless. Few of us would want to spend an evening with such people. And false holiness is especially unattractive (even though, in our honest moments, we know we often behave like the very people who drive us crazy).

Yet all of us have, at one time or another, encountered holiness with an attractive, loving face. For me, Julian of Norwich, Francis of Assisi, Billy Graham, Pope Francis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Mother Teresa come to mind. Most of us have been blessed with Christlike relatives, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Previous
  • When Sexual Abuse Comes to LightSubscriber Access Only
  • Imagine All the PeopleSubscriber Access Only
  • Next
    Read These NextSee Our Latest
    RecommendedWhen Jesus Got the Bible Wrong
    Subscriber Access Only When Jesus Got the Bible Wrong
    The Messiah made a "mistake" for good reason.
    Trending‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’
    ‘My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List.’
    Too many Christians have been caught using Ashley Madison, many of them pastors and church leaders. What now?
    Editor's PickThe World’s Most Astonished Atheist
    The World’s Most Astonished Atheist
    The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed Joy Davidman’s worldview, too.
    Comments
    Christianity Today
    How to Get the DNA of Jesus
    hide thisMarch March

    In the Magazine

    March 2014

    To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.