Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, revised and updated (NavPress 2014, $15.99), Donald S. Whitney

SpiritualDisc-book“Discipline without direction is drudgery,” writes Donald S. Whitney in a familiar opening to the 20th-anniversary edition of his classic book on biblical spirituality. Revised and updated, the book contains new material with more emphasis on the gospel that will help both first-time readers and those who enjoyed the first edition to ground their disciplines soundly in Scripture.

Whitney, professor of biblical spirituality and associate dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, improved on the 1991 edition of his most influential work by adding 11 new methods of meditation on Scripture, including a more explicit Christocentric focus in each chapter. He bolstered the content with more Scripture references in order to distance himself from a mystical approach to spirituality and removed any cultural references that would fade with the passing of time.

The expanded methods of meditation on Scripture carry on the legacy of the original edition, which introduced praying through the text as an enriching exercise for many Christians. Newer methods prescribed in the revised edition include formulating a principle from the text, asking how the text points to Jesus, creating an artistic expression and using meditation mapping.

“A mind map is a diagram that outlines information in a more visually appealing and memorable way than words on lines,” writes Whitney, explaining the intellectually stimulating practice of meditation mapping with the example of Romans 8:28. “It’s not a different way to think, just a different way to write down what you think.”

Whitney also revised and updated the companion study guide for his bestselling work. The 140-page resource is a valuable tool for small group discussion and personal study, and is regularly priced at $9.99.