Thursday, May 5, 2016

Habits for Our Holiness by Philip Nation

Full title: Habits for Our Holiness: How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out (Moody Publishers, 2016).

Most Christians desire to be more holy, because they think they should be. But, many don't know exactly what holiness means. For me, it means being "set apart" for God, but not set apart in the sense that you withdraw from the world. Easton's Bible Dictionary defines holiness as "consecrated to God's service." That involves a lot of things.

Author Philip Nation shows us how we can dedicate ourselves to knowing God better by practicing certain spiritual disciplines. Two other authors have addressed spiritual disciplines at length: Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. Both list certain disciplines that bring us closer to God. Nation uses some of these familiar disciplines and adds a couple more. He places a different emphasis on the quest for holiness. Not only should we be holy in our dedication to God in our private life. We are also commissioned by Jesus to be active in the world, providing an example and leadership to others who want to be close to God. The promotional material for the book puts it this way: "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."

I've read books on spiritual disciplines before, and I expected this book to be similar. However, it is only similar in the fact that it explains spiritual disciplines. Nation's approach is refreshing because he's saying that we should not only use disciplines to become more holy. We should use them to be better witnesses for our faith. I recommend the book to anyone interested in the spiritual disciplines. It will breathe new life into your quest for holiness.

Nation is a teaching pastor and assistant professor who is also associated with LifeWay Christian Resources.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I did not request a review copy and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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