We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true--but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here.
Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind.
At the end of each chapter you'll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Because the best way to make a complete and lasting change is to go through the material in community, small group discussion questions also accompany each chapter. Those who are leading apprentice groups will also find additional help and opportunities to interact with other leaders at the Apprentice website.
This deep, loving and transformative book will help you discover the narratives that Jesus lived by--to know the Lord he knew and the kingdom he proclaimed--and to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.
©2009 James Bryan Smith (P)2010 christianaudio.com
When my mind starts to replay narratives about Jesus that are not true causing me to act in all sorts of strange ways in self contempt. Just a few words from this book set me right in the love of God once again.
Get the right naratives in your life...so many are put there by people other than God. This book helps bridge many gaps of understanding who God really is.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
This is intended as a group study, although written in a book form. I read it by myself and really enjoyed it, but I can see that it would be better as a group. Smith walks us through a number of false beliefs about God and why they are wrong and then tries to show us God the Father as Jesus knows him. Interspersed throughout are 'soul training' exercises. If you read a chapter a week (as intended) then they are introductory look at spiritual disciplines. It is the first book in a three book series. I have all three and plan on reading the next soon. This will be a book I read again.
Thank you for the gift of this book. It has put some fresh language to some old practices as well as give lots of new thoughts about deepening your relationship with God. I love it and so does my small group. I talk about your book all the time.
United Methodist Pastor. Seeker of Biblical Truth. Contemplative. Lover of humor and people who don't take themselves too seriously.
Working from Jesus' point of view as found in scripture, Smith presents religious narratives that we are all too familiar with, and measures them against what Jesus actually said and did. This book is for groups and individuals who want to not only follow Jesus but want to see themselves and others as people "in whom Christ dwells." The "soul training" exercises challenge and help the readers become more Christ-like. I cannot imagine anyone not desiring to continue the journey with the next two books: The Good and Beautiful Life, and The Good and Beautiful Community. This Apprentice Series trio could transform our churches into Kingdom-of-Heaven disciple-making beacons of hope, love and light for the world.
Smith's explanation of the cross and salvation finally helped me understand why the cross is necessary.
What the Bible REALLY says about God.
Smith's mentors, Richard Foster and Dallas Willard along with the other influences in his life make Smith the perfect author for this book. I believe that this book is God-inspired, and it is relevant to today's North American Christians who have received a skewed view of God through centuries of traditions that have moved us away from what scripture really says about God.
This book is well worth reading. But, be warned that the reader is poor and the audio quality of this book is bad. I would not recommend listening to it in this format.
A good reminder of the essence of Christian faith well narrated. Practical, broad minded while scriptural and suitable for group discussion. For those new to Christianity or those seeking to grow in faith, contemplation and action.
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