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Contemplative Bible Reading: Experiencing God Through Scripture (Spiritual Formation Study Guides) [Paperback]

By Richard Peace (Author)
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Item Number 117664  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.2"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1998
Publisher   NavPress Publishing Group
ISBN  1576831086  
EAN  9781576831083  

Availability  0 units.

Spiritual Formation Study Guide - Full Series Preview
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Item Description...
The SPIRITUAL FORMATION STUDY GUIDES explore and explain how the use of disciplines (such as journaling, Bible reading, prayer, and others) can deepen both our walk with God and our community with other believers. A NEW WAY TO READ THE BIBLE. Reading the Bible is something with which most of us are familiar. Some even do it regularly. But do we really think about how we read and respond to Scripture? How deeply do we allow ourselves to be impacted by it? Contemplative Bible reading (or lectio divina, as it is often called) is an ancient method of approaching Scripture. Consisting of four parts, this method begins with the selected biblical passage and moves to meditating, praying, and contemplating what God is revealing through the Bible. Many of us tend to think of meditation as something done individually, but reflecting on Scripture in a small group invites us to act and encourages us to share with others how God is calling us to respond. Contemplative Bible Reading examines this spiritual discipline and invites you to approach the Scripture in a new and challenging way. By exploring different passages and learning to hear God's voice in them, this guide will help you meditate and act on the truth of the Bible.

Publishers Description
This study guide will help you learn to hear God's voice as you explore different Bible passages and meditate and act on the truth of the Bible.
- Personal study between meetings
- 8 lessons

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More About Richard Peace

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Melody Carlson is the best-selling author of more than 150 books, including the TrueColors series (TH1NK/NavPress). She has won various awards for her writing, including The Gold Medallion and The Rita Award. She has two grown sons and lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband and Labrador retriever.

Richard Peace currently resides in the state of California. Richard Peace has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Bristol (Emeritus) Bristol University Bristol University.

Richard Peace has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Oxford World's Classics (Paperback)
  2. Spiritual Disciplines Study Guide
  3. Spiritual Formation Study Guides

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A hesitant ecumenical move  Jan 3, 2004
The author, Richard Peace is a "professor of evangelism and spiritual formation at Fuller Theological Seminary." It is not suprising, therefore, that at times he is hesitant to trust the method of lectio divina - a particularly ancient and monastic practice. This hesitancy is reflected in two ways: first, his insistence that the subjective experience of lectio divina be subjected to the discernment of the group and second, that a more Protestant "objective" study of the text precede the lectio divina. It is worth noting that for mediatio he suggests the imaginative approach most frequently associated with the Ignatian exercises. The result is a small group "lectio divina" which may work well as an introduction to lectio divina for Evangelical small study groups, but is questionable as a general introduction.

My concerns begin with the directedness of the "objective" study - directed at times by multiple choice questions and at other times by mingling of personal application with the "objective" study. My concerns continue with assumptions as to what the person praying the Scripture will hear. After listening to the Scripture and noting what word/phrase catches one's attention the questions are: "How is my life touched by this word?" "Am I being invited to respond?" ending with prayer for the individual to your right in response to the invitation they noted.

The result is that the focus becomes too oriented toward the human rather than the divine. And, it appears to me as a Catholic, that the author fails to trust in God's Scripture as a living communication between the lover (God) and the beloved (human) in the here and now.

Nonetheless, the volume is useful as a way to introduce people used only to the intellectual study of Scripture to Scripture as direct prayer/communication. From the suggestions for further reading, I believe that the author "did his homework" and deliberately chose the audience and focus for the program. That is not an audience with which I am familar. But for individuals already comfortable with imaginative approaches to Scripture and contemplation, this is not an appropriate introductory volume.

A guide to meditation and personal devotion of Scripture  Jan 21, 2001
Dr. Peace is the Robert Boyd Munger Chair as Professor of Evangelism and Church Renewal at Fuller Theological Seminary.

This is a relative thin book (96 pages), and is meant for a small group to read through, as well as individuals to study through. It is divided into 14 sessions, where individuals are supposed to go through and do the odd numbered sessions, and small groups are supposed to do the even numbered sessions.

This book is primarily meant to be a study guide for small groups, with leader notes, art of leadership guide, bibliography for further study. The exercises are meant for individuals to work towards the small group study.

Contemplating Bible reading is a 1500+ year old tradition based on lectio divina, divine reading. The process, as described by peace is to Reading/Listening to Scripture (listening for phrases or words that jump out at the reader), Meditating (considering what these words/phrases are and the connection to one's life), Praying (...through these phrases), and Contemplation (resting and listening to God in these topics in silence).

The book goes through a number of texts, and allows both groups and individuals to reflect upon them. It gives some background to the Scriptures, and allows for discussion questions. There are some thoughtful questions in each of the sessions, to allow the reader to think about the passages and the meaning (and application) more. There are also essays on Lectio divina and upon each step.

It pretty good book for some small groups and individuals, if your small group is fairly biblically sound and mature as Christians. The danger of being overly subjective is present, and reading one's own story or one's own prejudices into the text (eisegesis) is a possibility. Nonetheless, this can be a thoughtful way to read Scripture differently than the traditional Bible study guides.


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