The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus

Rich Villodas. WaterBrook, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-65438-4
Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, debuts with an engaging exploration of how to form a deeper union with Christ. Explaining how Christians are constantly at risk of being made shallow by their material desires due to “the value system of a world that determines worth based on accomplishments, possessions, efficiency, intellectual acumen, and gifts,” Villodas recommends a deeply rooted life “marked by new rhythms, contemplative presence, and interior awareness, which results in lives that work for reconciliation, justice, and peace, while seeing the sacredness of all life.” The five values Villodas focuses on—unplugging from hectic life, achieving emotional health, integrating sexuality and spirituality, pursuing racial justice, and spreading the gospel—are explored through prayer suggestions and examples from scripture of the “deeply formed practices of contemplative rhythms” in the lives of Moses, John the Baptist, and Jesus. These concepts become most tangible in Villodas’s detailing of discussions he’s had with congregants about racial injustice and racial disparities, and the seven “habits” for change he learned as a result—remembering history, listening with concentration, lamenting, praying for reconciliation, practicing racial self-examination, renouncing whiteness, and repenting. Christians looking to bring more intention and emotion into their religious life will love this. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/22/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Religion
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