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Dynamics of Spiritual Life [Paperback]

Richard F. Lovelace
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 1990
Richard F. Lovelace draws from biblical models and church history to present a comprehensive approach to spiritual renewal.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Richard Lovelace Feb. 8 2002
Format:Paperback
In Dynamics of Spiritual Life, Lovelace gives a scholarly, yet non-technical, analysis of the elements of revival (which Lovelace correctly dubs normal "spiritual life"). The book looks at scriptural principles, examines past revivals, and establishes a theologically sound model for implementing the lessons learned from the scriptures & the wisdom of the past. Drawing much upon Jonathan Edwards, Lovelace proposes that the elements of revival are: conviction of sin, deep understanding of justification, movement of the Spirit, prayer, community, missions, & social compassion.
Richard Lovelace is an under-recognized great Christian thinker. This volume is scholarly, insightful, and surprisingly devotional. The principles are applied and oft quoted by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York. Redeemer has grown and planted about a dozen churches over the last decade. I consider this a must read for anyone who wants to understand how God works radically in normal "spiritual life."
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Richard Lovelace Feb. 8 2002
By Wayland Wong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In Dynamics of Spiritual Life, Lovelace gives a scholarly, yet non-technical, analysis of the elements of revival (which Lovelace correctly dubs normal "spiritual life"). The book looks at scriptural principles, examines past revivals, and establishes a theologically sound model for implementing the lessons learned from the scriptures & the wisdom of the past. Drawing much upon Jonathan Edwards, Lovelace proposes that the elements of revival are: conviction of sin, deep understanding of justification, movement of the Spirit, prayer, community, missions, & social compassion.
Richard Lovelace is an under-recognized great Christian thinker. This volume is scholarly, insightful, and surprisingly devotional. The principles are applied and oft quoted by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York. Redeemer has grown and planted about a dozen churches over the last decade. I consider this a must read for anyone who wants to understand how God works radically in normal "spiritual life."
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritually rejuvenating book July 25 2006
By Donner C. S. Tan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has a riveting spell on me since I first read it a decade ago and has continued to shape the fundamental landscape of my understanding of theology and spirituality ever since. He traces his conversion from atheism to his reading of Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain, that led him to a journey of spiritual inquiry, where he met Christians of different shades and backgrounds. It was however the Reformed tradition/Puritans that had the most profound impact on him and opened him up to the transforming power of the gospel.

He sees a missing link between justification and sanctification among many believers which he dubs the 'sanctification gap'. He sees how it is possible to have confessed Christ, continue a life of religiosity and remain spiritually dead. In fact, either an encounter with the grace of God without an ensuing commitment to sanctification or an exposure to the righteous demands of God's law without a concomitant experience of his grace can lead to aberrant forms of the Christian life. He offers a way forward by explicating how justification and sanctification are brought together conceptually and in practice.

Presenting his understanding from the Reformed perspective, he outlines the fundamental core of the gospel message that can truly set us on a vibrant course of growth and renewal. This includes depth conception of sin, and encounter with the life-transforming grace of God, justification as well as sanctification by faith, an experience of God's complete acceptance of us through the righteous achievements of Christ, claiming our authority through Christ's defeat over the diabolic, prayer and complete reliance on the Spirit, disenculturation (freedom from cultural binds)of our faith and theological integration.

He includes some additional musings on music, eschatology, live orthodoxy and Christian social concern, each of which is inspiring and thought provoking. I have found the book to be beautiful and succint in its expression and spiritually and theologically challenging. He has written a simpler version of this book with discussion questions more recently for the benefit of some who found this original work less accessible but I have found that it is nothing like reading and drinking in again and again Lovelace's very fine book 'Dynamics of Spiritual Renewal' in all its depth and beauty.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Chip's Top Ten (wordsntone.com) Sept. 10 2005
By Stephen M. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was one of the first to reveal that my sanctification is part of a larger, grander scheme than my private, personal spirituality. Dynamics reaches back into Church history and outlines the spirit's work through men and events, culminating in a premise for renewal that is bigger than "I." This book is both history and spiritual journey, with a framework of theological reflection similar to the book of Acts mixed in. A book like this needs to be re-read in this generation of church-growth gurus and mega-church ideology.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Theology of Holistic Reformation and Renewal Nov. 2 2008
By Douglas Groothuis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For four years in the early 1980s, I taught from this book in a year-long course I taught at the University of Oregon (Eugene), the third quarter of which addressed Christian social ethics and theology of culture. What a feast it was.

Dr. Lovelace approaches the theology of renewal as a church historian, who draws wisely from many movements and thinkers, of whom Jonathan Edwards features prominently. While Reformed theologically, Lovelace appreciates the best of the Protestant traditions and accept the ongoing power of the charismatic gifts. His reflections are deeply biblical, theologically rich, and spiritually heartening. To give just one example, his discussion of justification and sanctificatin is clear and cogent. It is also foundational to any Spirit-led renewal. Twenty years after I taught this material, one of my students email to say how helpful this was in her young Christian life.

The American church desperately needs renewal and reformation. This book, though written in 1979, can help chart the way. I cannot think of any book as profound, wise, and challenging on these matters. Yes, it is high time to reread this modern classic. Thanks to InterVarsity for keeping it in print all these years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise and balanced treatment. Sept. 17 2009
By David George Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I first read this book in the mid 1980s. I then reread it in 2005 for a church history class I taught. It has since become one of my favorite books. Lovelace combines solid scholarship with unusually wise and perceptive insights about the Christian life. I couldn't recommend this book more enthusiastically.
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