©2002 Gary L. Thomas; (P)2009 Zondervan
Gary Thomas gained some acclaim with his biblically solid exploration of marriage in Sacred Marriage. Our church recommended that book, so when I heard about Sacred Pathways from another respected source, I decided to give it a "read." His thesis is that, while scripture study and prayer should be a daily part of our lives, we all have our own innate needs and inclinations when it comes to worshipping God that may be satisfied in a variety of ways. Some of us have our hearts lifted to Him by being in nature, for instance, while others feel most connected to him via ritual or the senses. In all, he lists 9 pathways: the naturalist, sensate, traditionalist, ascetic, activist, caregiver, enthusiast, contemplative and intellectual. I immediately recognized my own primary path, but he encourages you to read the other chapters to identify secondary pathways. Thomas also identifies risk areas for each pathway. For instance, the naturalist may be at risk for worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.
All in all, a thought-provoking and interesting read. Having read it, I have a better understanding of why the question of church worship style can be so intractable. I gave it only 4 stars because Thomas reads the book himself, and while his voice is pleasant, I suspect a professional reader might have been better.
A brand new wife, two kitten children, and a whole lot of thoughts.
Gary Thomas is a very enthusiastic author and reader. He's very easy to listen to.
The book itself was so helpful. Not only did it help me identify my own "spiritual temperaments", but it also encouraged me to pursue other ways of connecting with God. This book was great for someone seeking to deepen their relationship with God.
I think one could mistakenly interpret this book as attempting to limit experience with God to one or two ways, but the author encourages readers to relate with Him in ways that might be foreign. He explains that Jesus had ALL of the spiritual temperaments - to really be like Christ, we should challenge ourselves to relate with God in new ways.
Great book that encourages Christians to relate to God according to how and who they are as individuals.
Each chapter has a "test" to help you discover which of the 9 spiritual pathways are strong and which are weak.
Kind of like those "Spiritual Gifts" Assessments.
Nice that the author read it.
I think this book will be around for decades.
Gary Thomas' profound insight into differing "spiritual temperaments" can give very clear, systematic direction to anyone's pursuit of God. Sacred Pathways is presented in a structured format, making it helpful for future reference (as one will always have their favorite chapters). This book is not to be taken as law, but when one sees the heart in it, the profundity becomes clear.
cons: Thomas, the author/narrator, is a preacher. And, as a preacher, he tends to go on tangents. Some are necessary. Some are helpful. Luckily, they do not subtract from the greater work as a whole.
This is a wonderful book with a very unique take about how different Christians are nurtured /draw close to God. I found it highly interesting and well done (both the book and the audio). I highly recommend it!
Simple approach with excellent descriptions of each pathway.
Yes. Sacred Marriage is another of his works that is excellent. I highly recommend it as well. Both are stellar works.
I could relate to many of the temperaments that he was referring to. I really enjoyed how this highlights the diversity that is in people. Rather than man everyone into a carbon copy of me, I would nurture them to follow the pathway which helps them relate to Father God in their unique way.
I liked how he gave some of the pitfalls of each temperament. I could identify with these and see how they may negatively affected many of the people I have known over the years.
I love Gary's books. In this one, I just enjoyed the depth of research and how he did not demean any one way of relating to God. Rather, he provided such an in depth representation of the goodness of each temperament.
I had more of an aha! feeling. I am not messed up after all. You know how you can be different from those around and assume you are over doing things a little.
What a breath of fresh air this book is to me! It opened my eyes and gave me insight into my soul's design and the divine designs of my loved ones' souls. We are free to be who we are. We are designed specifically to love God in our own way. I have been inspired by the suggestions in this book to follow many of the authors that are my same spiritual temperament and have thoroughly enjoyed finding other writers who speak my soul's language! This is one of my very favorite books!
vital for learning about not only yourself but the diversity of God's people and His vastness
Grandmother, Mother, Wife and Daughter of the King of the Universe! Love to camp, learning to quilt & I work in a crisis pregnancy center.
Within a few paragraphs I felt a sense of relief. Many times in the past I had been envious of how someone else related to God. Why couldn't I be more like her? Now I knew; that was not my temperament. My way of worship was just as valid as hers.
This book, which I will read again, is a great tool for learning how to grow and stretch your faith. Thank you, Gary Thomas, for helping me to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength!
"Very helpful book"
A great overview of different ways of experiencing God. We used this book as a theme for a very popular sermon series at Church. Recommend.
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