Today's Devotions

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Worth Considering: CS Lewis

  • On Easter Eggs: CS Lewis +

    There is a stage in a child's life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character Read More
  • What are we to make of Christ? by CS Lewis +

    Now, as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are they are not legends. I Read More
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good_and_beautiful_godThe idea behind James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God (InterVarsity Press, 2009) is twofold. First, spiritual growth generally requires intentionality and discipline--hence the "soul training" exercises at the end of each chapter. Second, many Christians struggle with loving and growing in God. A common cause of these struggles is "false narratives," misconceptions about God that we may or may not realize we have, but that make a huge difference in our spirituality. ("God wants me to try harder," "God blesses me when I'm good but punishes me when I'm bad," etc.)


Smith works to uncover these narratives and replace them with Jesus' narratives. Living by Kingdom narratives not only encourages healthy spiritual growth, it also inspires greater love and appreciation for God. For me, Smith's method is especially helpful because he convinces my scholarly skeptic side, yet remains surprisingly accessible--without dumbing things down to the point of insulting readers' intelligence. The narratives he addresses are things I've struggled with, myself, and it's so refreshing that he doesn't just give me platitudes, but instead addresses them on a much deeper level.

The InterVarsity Press website offers good info on the book, including the table of contents.  The Good and Beautiful God is the first in Smith’s three-part “Apprentice” series. Additional material, including supplementary blog posts, audio files, and even a sample chapter, can be found on the series website: www.apprenticeofjesus.org.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Living by Kingdom Narratives +

    The idea behind James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God (InterVarsity Press, 2009) is twofold. First, spiritual growth generally Read More
  • Storytelling +

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • Devotional Classics +

    This collection edited by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith and published by Harper Collins, is a collection of fifty-two Read More
  • Give My Soul Rest: the movie Avatar +

    Avatar, the 2009 movie by James Cameron, raised as much discussion and controversy through its piecemeal use of Native American, Read More
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Gems

  • Process +

      The finished diamond is one of the most beautiful and desirable gems. Read More
  • Not a Conscientious Objector +

    As we abide in him and he abides in us, we are receiving his life rather than creating our own Read More
  • Falling in Love With God +

    “falling in love with God,” as Boa’s subtitle for the facet explains. In this approach we attempt to enter into Read More
  • God's Dimension +

    We experience a great sense of the wonder, boldness, and overwhelming awe of God through our relationship with the Holy Read More
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