Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review: Disciplines of a Godly Man

This has been on my to-read list for a long time, it having been recommended to me back in first year in college, but I only managed to read it this year. Kent Hughes has written a comprehensive and intensive book on the spiritual disciplines required for godly men.

Several times as I read the book, I was thinking to myself, this all seems a little prescriptive, as he examines a particular area of a man's life (e.g. family, work, worship, church, giving, and many more), explains some relevant scriptures, provides some illustrations, and then proceeds to say what this will mean and look like for the godly man. You could even go so far as to say it's not a little prescriptive, as he admits there are over 100 'do's', intentionally. However, he does make the point that there's a difference between discipline and legalism - that of motivation. The desire to live a godly life (and be disciplined to do it) should be to please God as a response to God's grace; not to try and earn God's favour through our efforts.

As you can imagine, it's a fairly challenging read. Areas of life perhaps never considered before are brought into scrutiny, and motives, thoughts, words and actions are examined carefully. It's definitely not one to zoom through quickly - but one to savour slowly, perhaps taking a chapter per week. It's also an ongoing thing for each of us, we won't be finished being sanctified before we die, so there will always be things that stand out and challenge us to continue to work at.

My only slight negative is that it's very American in style, and may be best suited to that particular culture and society's standards. Some of the illustrations didn't connect with me at all, due to their being over-American.

However, I wouldn't let this stop me from recommending the book. It's not an easy read, but it will do you good!

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