Mark Buchanan, pastor of New Life Community Baptist Church in Duncan, British Columbia, has written five books on Christian spirituality. Buchanan's latest is Hidden in Plain Sight (W Publishing Group, 2007). Stan Guthrie, CT's senior associate editor, interviewed him.

Why this new book?
Plain Sight is based on that passage in 2 Peter, chapter 1, where Peter says if you add to your faith goodness and knowledge and self-control—he lists seven virtues—you will have this amazing Christian life. If you possess the seven virtues in increasing measure, it "will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive." Being ineffective means you're making no difference, having no impact, leaving nothing behind. Being unproductive means you're bearing no fruit, producing no results. So the opposite is true: If I am growing in these seven virtues, I will also grow in the reach and depth of my impact, and the abundance of my fruit.

How does this affect your life?
Most books on spiritual disciplines are an amalgam of "best practices," garnered variously from ancient and modern monastic communities, the Amish, medieval Catholics, the pietistic movement, and the like. The disciplines I explore in Plain Sight are lifted straight from Scripture. I'm unaware of any biblical text quite like it: Add these seven things, Peter says, and you will live the life God intends for you. He names the qualities and gives the sequence. The simplicity of that is breathtaking. Most books on spiritual disciplines talk about the practices—prayer, fasting, Scripture reading—that cultivate our spiritual life. This book explores the virtues that are the fruit of that life. In other words, it identifies the goal of spiritual exercises.

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