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Beginning Well

Paperback|Sep 2001
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$31.99

How can Christians grow to maturity unless their conversion experience takes them past sin's consequences to true spiritual transformation? The key, says Gordon Smith, is Beginning Well. His challenging and provocative survey of Scripture, spiritual autobiographies, and a range of...


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How can Christians grow to maturity unless their conversion experience takes them past sin's consequences to true spiritual transformation? The key, says Gordon Smith, is Beginning Well. His challenging and provocative survey of Scripture, spiritual autobiographies, and a range of conversion theologies (Protestant, Catholic, Reformed, Wesleyan) takes you beyond "minimalist" views to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for authentic transformation. A must-read for pastors, evangelists, and spiritual directors.
-Publisher

"Saints are made by good conversions."In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin--the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well.In this age of false starts and stunted growth, maturing Christians need help reflecting on and interpreting their own religious experience. Christian leaders need to rethink the way that conversions happen.Beginning Wellis a catalyst toward this end. Surveying Scripture, spiritual autobiographies and a broad range of theologies of conversion (Protestant and Catholic, Reformed and Wesleyan), the author seeks to foster in the Christian community a dynamic language of conversion that leads to spiritual transformation and mature Christian living. In the process he moves us from a short-sighted "minimalist" view to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for good conversions.This book--a stirring call to rethink the relationship between conversion and transformation--is a must read for pastors, evangelists, spiritual directors, seminary professors and others who are concerned about the nurture and development of Christian converts, and the nature of authentic religious experience.
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL

Gordon T Smith

Gordon T. Smith (Ph.D., Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) grew up in Ecuador and is president of reSource (formerly Overseas Council Canada), which works with other reSource affiliates to support and enable excellence in theological education in the developing world. Formerly academic dean and associate professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.


He is author of a number of works in theology and the spiritual life including A Holy Meal; Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation; Courage and Calling; Listening to God in Times of Choice and The Voice of Jesus.

  • Preface
  • 1. Thinking About Conversion
  • 2. The Community Of Faith & The Language Of Conversion
  • 3. Autobiography: The Church's Experience Of Conversion
  • 4. The Evangelical Experience: A Historical Perspective
  • 5. Models Of Conversion In The New Testament
  • 6. Elements Of A Christian Conversion
  • 7. Four Internal Actions Of The Christian Convert: Intellectual, Penitential, Affective & Volitional
  • 8. Three Elements That Support & Enable: The Sacramental, The Charismatic & The Communal
  • 9. Growing Up Christian: Conversion & Second-generation Christians
  • 10. The Rhythms Of Grace
  • Indexes

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