©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.
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