Sacramental Life

If you are looking for an excellent, thoughtful, book on classical Christian spirituality, then Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation through The Book of Common Prayer is it.

I recommend this to all pastors or clergy in any sacramental church because it so ably integrates theology, pastoral care, and spirituality. In fact, I wish this book had been required reading in my seminary curriculum.

The author, David Desilva, is a United Methodist pastor (a former Episcopalian), who examines the Christian spiritual life - the sacramental life - by engaging with The Book of Common Prayer, that great jewel of the Anglican (and Wesleyan) tradition, that has come to be used and loved among other Reformation churches as well as among Roman Catholics and Western-Rite Orthodox Christians.

Desilva focuses on the 4 liturgical services from the Prayerbook people are most likely to attend, Baptism, Holy Communion, Marriage, and the Funeral, and examines what they teach us - in their structure, prayers, and Bible lessons - about the Christian life, and how they form us in that New Life. It is really a great book to engage with the theology of the sacraments and the liturgy in a way that is immediately relevant to our practice of living the Christian life, our spirituality.

The style is perhaps not as elegant, humorous, or memberable as a CS Lewis or NT Wright, but on the whole this book is very solid and well worth the read. One strength of the book is that Desilva includes many practical stories from his ministry of people's spiritual struggles and growth. It also comes recommended by such luminaries as Richard Foster and Bishop Will Willimon.

Have you read any good books on Sacramental and Liturgical spirituality that I should check out?

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Anonymous tastepp@insightbb.com said...

Sounds great! It will be on or at least very near the top of my list when I get settled. - I'm looking forward to it.

7:45 PM, August 03, 2010  

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