Back in print: Upper Room Spiritual Classics

In The United Methodist Church we teach that a proper approach to interpreting Scripture makes use of other Scripture, and of Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

While everyone has some access to spiritual experience and (at least in principle) to logical reasoning, it seems to me that of all these elements "Tradition" is the element with which people are often largely unfamiliar.  While regular church-goers likely know the seasons of the liturgical year, at least one or two of the ancient creeds, and probably some of the more popular hymns from the last 150 years or so, it is likely that there are centuries and centuries worth of hymns, writings, ecumenical councils, saints and their stories that our folks are simply unfamiliar with, but which form the bulk of the Holy Church's tradition.

This leaves the average United Methodist Christian without some important tools for clearly hearing and discerning the voice of God, and that is a deficit we pastors and spiritual teachers should be eager to remedy.

How does one get to know the Tradition?

Read, read, and read some more! 

There are lots of good one-volume anthologies and devotion books that draw upon writers from across the Christian tradition, or focus upon the early Church.

One great resource available to you comes from the Upper Room ministries, affiliated with our Church's Board of Discipleship: The Upper Room Spiritual Classics Series.

The Spiritual Classics Series is now back in print, in new editions, and I heartily recommend them to any Christian (not only Methodists), who would like to discover the treasure trove of spiritual teachers, friends, and guides that can speak to you from the long life of the Spirit-filled Christian Church.  
 The Spiritual Classics series offers small anthologies of short selections drawing from writers like St. Augustine or the Desert Fathers and Mothers in the Early Church down to Thomas a'Kempis the great Medieval spiritual writer, or John Wesley the early Methodist revival leader or even more recent writers like Evelyn Underhill.  Readers can "sit at the feet" of great saints like John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, and William Law among others.

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