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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Intro to Devotional Classics from the Renovare Institute

Richard Foster and Bryan Smith

Beginning a couple of weeks behind seems to fit my modus operandi, but on we go. Bryan Smith has edited many of the classical devotional writers from antiquity to modern late Twentieth Century. The reasoning for this undertaking is to help the post modern person grasp the continuity and unchanging nature of God. One, by reclaiming the original meaning of the words devotional-'writings that aim at the transformation of the human personality'-and classic-'that many people over a sustained period of time have drawn strength from its insight...'. And then to make available, in one tome the resources of these accepted great theologians and writers for the modern reader to use as a convenient weekly devotional with exercises for individuals and groups and a meditation by Richard Foster in each chapter.

We are to read with the heart, slowly meditatively, without expectation of the cliched, but rather intending the lectio divina. I will not publish the selections in toto(only each chapter's scripture passage in HCSB) but rather attempt to summarize the weeks devotion with my answers to the questions found at the end of each chapter. I hope to give service to the unique character of the book, to the reader of this blogspace, and to myself as I try to utilize, develop and grow the talents God has given me, the resources He has provided me, and the blessing of His love.

The book is divided into seven major sections:

Preparing for the Spiritual Life
The Prayer Filled Life
The Virtuous Life
The Spirit Empowered Life
The Compassionate Life
The Word Centered Life
The Sacramental Life.

The first is a preparatory section with six topical sections following.

The author mentions that he has on occasion modernized the text of the original archaic words and syntax so that modern readers may have an ease and comfort in perusing the writings. He has of course endeavoured to maintain the meaning and message of the origianl author's apparent intent.

He also thanks Lynda Graybeal for her countless hours of prayerful editing of this work to ensure these words from the past might speak to today's reader.

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