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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Deeper Life (Daniel Henderson)

TITLE: Deeper Life, The: Satisfying the 8 Vital Longings of Your Soul
AUTHOR: Daniel Henderson
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2013, (272 pages).

It is easy to enter into faith. It is not easy to sustain a life of growth. Likewise, it is easy to talk about spiritual renewal, but it is not as easy to demonstrate what exactly that means. Using eight measurables, senior pastor Daniel Henderson brings together his wealth of experience with churches and believers, and produces a resource book for anyone seeking spiritual direction and wanting to be more intentional in their spiritual growth. Knowing how easy it is for anyone to be distracted, hurried, and needing more intentional guidance, Henderson proposes the following in spiritual warfare:

Worship + Integrity + Nonconformity = WIN.

Worship is essentially about who we live for, and the "FUEL for a deeper life." Henderson defines it as "the response of all I am to the revelation of all God is." Nice.

Integrity is defined as "the fiber of a deeper life." The more we clarify and apply the biblical truths of "identity, purpose, values, priorities, goals, and others," the more integrated we become.

Nonconformity is about the FRUIT of a deeper life, that as we resist the wiles of the evil one, and the temptations that often attack us, we will be more prepared to conform ourselves to Christ. The eight longings in this book are targeted to meeting the above three goals of worship, integrity, and nonconformity.

The eight longings are described as follows:

#1 - Who Is God? Knowing God Fully (Theology)
#2 - Who am I? Knowing Self Truthfully (Identity)
#3 - Why Am I Here? Knowing Our Role on Earth (Purpose)
#4 - What Really Matters? Knowing Our Values (Value)
#5 - What Shall I Do? Knowing Our Activity Order (Priorities)
#6 - How Shall I Do It? Knowing Our Goals (Goals)
#7 - When Shall I Do It? Knowing Stewardship (Time)
#8 - How Will I Finish? Knowing how to Finish (Legacy)

For each longing, Henderson begins with a thought provoking quote followed by a contemporary illustration. He brings in his own stories, highlights the advantages for exercising these longings, and provides easy to understand tests and practical tips to cultivate growth in that longing. This is supplemented by discovery exercises that readers can use for their own benefit, or for teachers to adopt in their Christian Education classes. The Appendices are valuable resources too. With many creative acronyms, clear frameworks, and supported by real life experiences, Henderson is a gentle guide and a wise teacher. 

I think Bethany House Publishers have hit on a winner. For anyone who feels lethargic or lacking some spiritual direction, this book may very well be the spark to ignite your spiritual flame. I recommend this book highly.

Rating: 5 stars of 5.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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