Living Before God: Deepening Our Sense of the Divine Presence

Ben Campbell Johnson, Author
Ben Campbell Johnson, Author Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company $17 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8028-4652-5
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Johnson (Professor of Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary and author of Listening for God) explores the constant awareness of being in and enjoying God's presence. He begins by urging his readers to wake up to life and to God, instead of going through the motions of living in a state of ""life-sleep,"" and encourages them to discover ""wonder"" as a noun and as a verb. In his chapter about meeting the Word (Jesus) through the words of Scripture, Johnson provides instructions for lectio divina, an ancient monastic practice gaining popularity among present-day Protestants. Then Johnson confronts the temptations and the fears facing anyone striving for spiritual development and distills such problems into the issue of trust--whether one truly trusts God to be God. From these developmental chapters, Johnson moves into various issues within Christian spirituality, including how to listen to God, how to find God in the here and now and Christian freedom. Each of the 10 chapters offers discussion and reflection questions at the end, as well as an exercise for keeping a journal, making this a suitable book for individual or group study. Johnson writes honestly about his own spiritual journey, candidly presenting his faults and shortcomings along with his sincere joy when he makes progress. (Feb.)
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