I became a Christian when I was 16 through a young couple down the hill who hosted a Wednesday night Bible study for anyone who wanted to show. They were newly charismatic and eager, and we had a great time. He was a physics prof and she taught lit, and the conversation was always engaging. It seemed to all of us then that the whole world was newly charismatic and was ours to pluck. The stodgy old guard kept their noses in theology while we bandied about with Jesus Loves Me tee-shirts and listened to Jesus music strummed on folk guitars.
There weren’t many books for us then, so we passed around whatever we found. What we found was usually poorly written and was a weird kind of churchy self-help/memoir poorly published by a vanity press.
This is what I thought of reading Wagner’s self-help spiritual guide for a thriving life.
He funnels the fruitful spiritual life down to six topics – he calls them secrets – that you probably already know about. After reading the book, I’m guessing that CP’s method for thriving is to insert himself wherever he wants for whatever purpose he wants. You might come away with a different view.
When I bought the book and paged through it, I was looking for something Spurgeonish or Tozierish that cleared a path leading to deep and true devotion. This wasn’t it, thought the first chapter is titled, Live in the Presence of God. I read it twice in case I missed something, and it dawned on me that this isn’t a how-to book at all, but just the title of his first secret: to be fruitful, we must practice living with God. He doesn’t say how or who or what but offers the deep wisdom that it’s not easy so keep trying. I’m sad that I paid money for that chestnut.
Whatever you’re paying, it’s too much. Read through John again, and if you’re interested in the Holy Spirit, go through Acts.
See the book here on Amazon.
Go here to Barnes and Noble.
For Goodreads, go here.
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