Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries

Gerald L. Sittser, Author, Eugene H. Peterson, Foreword by . InterVarsity $22 (364p) ISBN 978-0-8308-3493-8

Christians in today's church strive to lead spiritual lives marked by true sacrifice, much as the earliest Christians and their communities did. Sittser, who teaches at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., offers a compelling history of spirituality. While many such histories focus on the early martyrs of the faith and medieval mystics, Sittser's singular study demonstrates that contemporary Christians drink from a deep well of spiritual practices as they become part of the cloud of witnesses to the faith. Sittser characterizes periods in the history of spirituality according to various themes—e.g., witness, belonging, struggle and conversion—that continue to characterize Christianity today. Unlike earlier histories of spirituality, Sittser's includes a chapter on the spirituality of evangelicals (“conversion”) and one on the spirituality of pioneer missionaries (“risk”). Thus, the trailblazing missionary work of Jeremiah Evarts (1781–1831) and Jim Elliot (1927–1956) to indigenous peoples is singled out as a form of spiritual practice. Sittser concludes each chapter with exercises designed to reflect on ways that certain spiritual practices can be incorporated into contemporary observance. Discussion questions that can guide groups or individuals and an annotated reading list make Sittser's book a valuable tool. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 364 pages - 978-0-8308-3745-8
Open Ebook - 351 pages - 978-0-8308-7997-7
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