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The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

por Tim Challies

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516434,940 (3.96)1
Spiritual discernment is good for more than just making monumental decisions according to God's will. It is an essential, day-to-day activity that allows thoughtful Christians to separate the truth of God from error and to distinguish right from wrong in all kinds of settings and situations. It is also a skill-something that any person can develop and improve, especially with the guidance in this book. Written by a leading evangelical blogger, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is an uplifting, scripturally grounded work that explains the need for discernment, its challenges, and the steps that will cultivate it. Author Tim Challies does not do the discerning for readers; he simply shows them how to practically apply scriptural tools, principles, and wisdom so that their conclusions about everything-people, teachings, decisions, media, and organizations-will be consistent with God's Word.… (mais)
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The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies (?)
  journeyguy | Apr 2, 2013 |
This book got very good reviews and ratings from a number of readers. But I found it to be doctrinaire and dry - the author seemed to suck the life out of scripture and the role of the Holy Spirit. He limits discernment to judging what is right/wrong and good/evil with no nuance, no ambiguities, no questioning of deciding (discerning) between good, better, or best. No paradox.
The most valuable chapter, I thought, in the book is chapter 10, The Practice of Discernment, where the author lays out the process of discerning an issue as if it were a recipe. Step 1, step 2, step 3 up to step 16! The issue he chooses to discern (is it good or evil, right or wrong?) is the question of self-forgiveness, and after the 16 steps he concludes it is evil, it is wrong, because scripture doesn't speak of forgiving one's self. Reading this section closely, I felt he missed the issue for starters -- that the self-forgiveness he cited is not really the ability of a person to forgive him/herself as God does, but the necessity of accepting God's forgiveness, of applying God's forgiveness to self, to the sins of oneself. In Psalm 51, I see this kind of seeking and then accepting with great joy and relief God's forgiveness as being what most Christians mean when they talk about forgiving themselves.
From the glowing reviews of others, it is evident that some, probably many,
readers will find this book on discernment helpful. I'm going to have to look somewhere else. ( )
1 vote MarthaHuntley | Sep 22, 2012 |
"The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment" deals with a subject that is especially relevant in our time: discerning between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error. In the preface to this book pastor John MacArthur suggests that this book "should be required reading not only for church leaders, but for all sober-minded laypeople as well." I agree.

As a pastor it will be my aim to get this book into the hands of as many church members as possible. In fact, I have been looking for a book like this one since I entered the ministry...

Far too few (in our churches) know what it means to exercise careful discernment. As they read books, watch television and listen to popular pastors and teachers too many are like sponges soaking up everything they receive; as a result many are getting caught up with false teachings and doctrines that cause much harm individually and corporally. Here is a book that offers tools for those who wish to grow in this area and avoid the many pitfalls all around.

In this book Challies presents an urgent call to the spiritual discipline of discernment. He not only discusses some of the challenges of discernment in our day, he also offers very practical steps for those who wish to grow in this discipline. This is a very helpful and important book. ( )
  stephendr | Aug 27, 2009 |
In the flooded market of Christian book publishing, it is indeed rare for a book to truly break new ground. Rarer still is a book that breaks new ground in a clear and practical way on a topic that is important to the life of every follower of Christ.

And yet that is exactly what Tim Challies has done in this debut book. While we have multitudes of books on prayer, love, humility, obedience, and other aspects of our walk with Christ, there have been few that specifically and comprehensively deal with this other crucial aspect of Christian living: discernment.

Challies first calls us to the importance of discernment in our lives, as a mark of spiritual maturity and as a guard of the gospel. He next takes time to review the significant challenges to living a life of discernment in this culture, dealing specifically with internal, spiritual, and cultural influences.

From there he spends a chapter building a specific definition of spiritual discernment based on its use in the Bible. He defines discernment as “the skill of understanding and applying God’s Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong.”

There is a chapter on discerning and judgement, which compares things which the Bible instructs us not to judge (”motives or the righteousness of other believers”) vs. things the Bible commands us to judge (such as doctrine). From explaining that discernment is primarily concerned with the truth of God, he next moves onto a helpful chapter devoted to an overview of discernment as it applies to the will of God.

Chapter seven of the book looks at discernment as a spiritual gift, while chapter eight is devoted to the dangers of discernment when used improperly. Lastly, Challies describes the spiritual disciplines that equip us to develop discernment, and goes through a detailed practical example of discernment in action.

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment really is a book for every believer, that lays out a solid foundation and a useful guide to becoming a more discerning Christian. I was personally challenged in reading this book to apply discernment as a more serious and systematic discipline in my own life. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote wiseasgandalf | Jun 5, 2008 |
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Spiritual discernment is good for more than just making monumental decisions according to God's will. It is an essential, day-to-day activity that allows thoughtful Christians to separate the truth of God from error and to distinguish right from wrong in all kinds of settings and situations. It is also a skill-something that any person can develop and improve, especially with the guidance in this book. Written by a leading evangelical blogger, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is an uplifting, scripturally grounded work that explains the need for discernment, its challenges, and the steps that will cultivate it. Author Tim Challies does not do the discerning for readers; he simply shows them how to practically apply scriptural tools, principles, and wisdom so that their conclusions about everything-people, teachings, decisions, media, and organizations-will be consistent with God's Word.

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