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The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Spiritual Formation

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In Handbook on Spiritual Formation, twenty-five church leaders explore spiritual formation in the light of history. This includes specific acts of liturgy, public worship, and prayer. The volume is an alternative to a humanistic education which has robbed some churches of the ability to transform believers. It assists congregations in producing the kind of people who can witness to the world through both their words and the depth of their being. Handbook on Spiritual Formation helps educate and nurture believers in the process of their spiritual formation.

Contributors include Dallas Willard, Donald Bloesh, Leanne Payne, John Piper, Larry Crabb, James Bryan Smith and many others.

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“Spiritual formation (of which nurture and discipleship are integral parts) is not just a new piece of cloth placed on old and worn-out garments of Christian education. Spiritual formation represents a radical paradigm shift, a new way of looking at the church’s ministry. Of course, this new paradigm can also be seen as a return to the original model—to the nurturing patterns of the early church. Three elements mark the approach to Christian nurture and discipleship called spiritual formation: (1) it involves the whole church’s ministry; (2) knowledge is viewed as a means to Christian growth and never as an end in itself; and (3) there is a distinct accent on the work of God’s grace in the process of formation.” (Pages 10–11)

“For the Puritans, anything in life might become a channel of God’s grace.” (Page 52)

“Spirituality, in this view, is not so much the story of the soul’s seeking God as it is the story of seeing God-recognizing the presence of God in all of life.” (Page 53)

“A second mainstay of Puritan thinking about Christian formation can be summed up by the notion of the balanced Christian life.” (Page 58)

“In such a framework, there are no ‘trivial’ events, and life itself provides a continuous means of spiritual formation.” (Page 51)

Here is a smorgasbord of essays that range wide and between them probe deep into the roots of spiritual life. Everyone who has a ministry of pastoral guidance will find something new and useful in these pages.

—J. I. Packer, Regent College

It is not often that a book combining adequate coverage of the subject, accurate information, and genuine spiritual insight appears, but The Christian Educator's Handbook on Spiritual Formation does just that. It draws together theoretical insight on spiritual formation for the academician and practical help on growing spiritually for the layperson.

—Walter A. Elwell, Wheaton College

What a pertinent topic. What a great group of writers. What a wealth of information. Having read through Wilhoit and Gangel's handbook of spiritual formation, I'm certain I'll be going back to it time and again.

—David R. Mains, The Chapel of the Air Ministries

  • Title: The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Spiritual Formation
  • Editors: Kenneth O. Gangel and James C. Wilhoit
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 352

Kenneth O. Gangel (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is now executive director of the graduate studies division at Toccoa Falls College. Prior to taking this post, he was a distinguished professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. A noted expert on Christian education, he has written many books, including Feeding and Leading.

James C. Wilhoit (Ph.D., Northwestern) is professor of Christian education at Wheaton College. He has authored a number of scholarly articles and books, including Christian Education and the Search for Meaning.


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    Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


    Print list price: $32.00
    Regular price: $31.99
    Save $8.00 (25%)