THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT IN THE WORLD OF TODAY by Gordon Wakefield

THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT IN THE WORLD OF TODAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Wakefield, a Methodist minister, views the functions and forms of spirituality today as not specifically, or perhaps even accidentally, different from those of the primitive Christian Church. He adopts a classic definition of spirituality as ""the way to lead a Christian life,"" demonstrating how that spirit, if not those very words, have motivated the true Christian pursuit of perfection and union with God from the time of the New Testament to the present. In practice, however, the author finds the mid-twentieth century uncongenial for the practice of an individual, personal spirituality; the tendency is for individual conscience to abdicate in favor of social conscience, and individual morality in favor of group morality. In the face of such unpropitious circumstances, he preaches with renewed vigor the personal, concerned God of earlier times, one who can be reached and communed with by prayer--today, let us say, more by the prayers of Quoist and Malcolm Boyd than by those of Athanasius or Ligouri. To many Mr. Wakefield's book will seem old-fashioned, conservative, for he preaches the ""old truths"" in a moderately new way. Yet he does it so convincingly and with such understanding of the secular as well as of the spiritual, that even the ""progressive"" reader will find himself at first charmed and then almost persuaded.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 1969
Publisher: Macmillan