19th century writing verses the 21st century

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

When they hurled insults at him he didn’t retalitate, when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges, justly. He himself bore our sins in the body of the tree, so that we might die to sin and live in righteousness. (Simpson, Cross of Christ)

Modern comfort ability is in itself a burden in the cost of discipleship. We cannot move forward without considering how that affects our well-being. This is modern sensibility and whatever interrupts our comfort is a threat. 21st century self-help books and leadership books that advocate technique pales in comparison.

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Ignatius Spiritual Disciplines of Discernment

Most of us have to make choices from knowing what to do in the future, which spouse to marry, what job to take, etc. We live in a place where the dish of choices are laid before us. What do we do?

  1. First, the best discipline is to stop and not to act but to listen to the voice of God. This is the classic and most basic of all disciplines called solitude but it is truly needed in our rush and bustle lifestyle. The great writers of old have reminded us that this is essential. I am reminded by the disciples who waited at Jerusalem for power,and Elijah who seeked after the still small voice of God
  2. Three great theologians named Wesley, Ignatius and Jonathan Edwards were instrumental in taking notice of our spiritual hearts and feelings rather then rational. I think we know how to rationally make decisions but most decisions need to take into other accounts like intuition and feelings, and not only facts. The dismiss feelings is to be cold and robotic. We are humans that need to take into account everything. Banner says that, “Ignatius of Loyola notes that sin is unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness. Until I am absolutely convinced of this I will do everything I can to keep my hands on control of my life, because I think I know better than God what I need for my fulfillment.” God does care about us fully, even the feelings of our heart.

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John A. MacMillian

Every doctrine of Scripture, while correlated closely with others of the, same class, has features peculiar to itself. Only as these are clearly understood, and held in their right relationship, can there be the fullest benefit from their reception. The constitution and laws of the spiritual world are perfectly orderly and logical, and must be adhered to and carefully obeyed if, the desired and promised results are to be gained. (from the authority of the believer )

John A. MacMillian was a Canadian missionary to China, and the Philippians, businessman, professor, writer, pastor. Rev. MacMillian was born in Toronto and was a member of the Canadian Presbyterian church. He heard the call of missions from AB Simpson. He is widely known for his book the Authority of the Believer – a landmark book on spiritual warfare. He is told to have exorcised many demons in China and the Philippians.

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The Spirituality of AB Simpson

…thoroughly I am satisfied that this is the great secret of failure in our Christian life. We come a little way with Jesus but we stop at Gethsemane and Calvary. They followed Him in His ministry in Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount was splendid orality. They loved the feeding of the thousands, and said, What a blessed King He would make! They would not have to work as they used to. But when He stands and talks about Calvary and speaks of the cross for them as well as for Him, and how they must go with Him and go with Him all the way, they say, “This is a hard saying; who can bear it?” (The Self Life and the Cross Life)
AB Simpson is the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination and forerunner to church strategy of mission movements overseas specifically to Asia, Africa and South America.
Simpson’s spirituality was Christological and was marked by service in sacrifice. Even though his writings would not appeal to this generation due to an emphasis on extraordinary occurrences. Simpson provides a balanced thought of service and spirituality. Service for Simpson required believers to dig deeply from the wells of Christ.

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My first book in Spirituality: The Pilgrim’s Progress

There are two spiritual books that had an impact on me as a child. The first is C.S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress. In fact, the book was a baptismal gift that I cherished. It’s amazing that none of my friends who went to church ever heard or read the book as a child or even as adults.

Pilgrims Progress featured the journey of Christian in part 1 and his wife in part 2. It’s an allegory of the Christian life. It reminds the reader that Christian living is that of suffering and joy. It doesn’t pull out all the stop, but drives home the importance of perseverance.

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