Item description for Invitation to a Journey: Honest Talk about Jealousy, Anger, Sex, Money, Food, Pride by M. Robert Mulholland...
Overview In Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland helps Christians new and old to understand that we become like Christ gradually, not instantly. Not every personality is suited to an early morning quiet time, so Mulholland frees different personality types to express their piety differently. He reviews the classical spiritual disciplines and demonstrates the importance of undertaking our spiritual journey with (and for the sake of) others.
This road map for spiritual formation is profoundly biblical and down to earth. In the finest tradition of spiritual literature, it is a vital help to Christians at any stage of their journey.
Publishers Description "The process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others: " so M. Robert Mulholland Jr. defines spiritual formation. Compact and solid, this definition encompasses the dynamics of a vital Christian life and counters our culture's tendency to make spirituality a trivial matter or reduce it to a private affair between "me and Jesus." In Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland helps Christians new and old to understand that we become like Christ gradually, not instantly. Not every personality is suited to an early morning quiet time, so Mulholland frees different personality types to express their piety differently. He reviews the classical spiritual disciplines and demonstrates the importance of undertaking our spiritual journey with (and for the sake of) others. This road map for spiritual formation is profoundly biblical and down to earth. In the finest tradition of spiritual literature, it is a vital help to Christians at any stage of their journey.
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Studio: IVP Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830813861 ISBN13 9780830813865
Reviews - What do customers think about Invitation To A Journey?
Great Book Oct 3, 2009
THis is an incredibly insightful book for anyone interested in Christian reading. Definitely one of my favorite Christian books of all time.
Wonderful Resource! Jul 27, 2009
M. Robert Mulholland's Invitation to a Journey: A Roadmap for Spiritual Formation, written in 1993, is a part of InterVarsity Press' Formatio series, which is dedicated to spiritual formation. Formatio integrates spiritual practice with God's word and has the goal of guiding the reader toward transformation in the image of Christ. Currently the series boasts over 30 titles from such acclaimed authors as Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, and Leighton Ford and cover such topics as fasting, Celtic devotion, solitude and silence, and prayer. Formatio is also a sponsor of Metamorpha, an online community for Christian spiritual formation.
Mulholland has presented an excellent addition to the spiritual formation canon. Avoiding the temptation to simply cover the traditionally recognized disciplines, he exposes the reader to many aspects of formation rarely discussed with detail: how our formation involves and impacts others, how personality structures affect formation, the classic four stage pilgrimage of awakening, purgation, illumination, and union, and the succinct definition that he applies to spiritual formation all set his work apart. Invitation to a Journey exists in a special class of required reading for not just spiritual formation, but for issues of the spiritual life in general. This should be atop the reading list for all new believers and for all those interested in moving along healthily on the path of formation.
M. Robert Mulholland's Invitation to a Journey is an important contribution to spiritual formation. Full of unique qualities that set the bar quite high, Mulholland has provided a wonderful resource.
Hard for a left-brained reader to enjoy. Nov 25, 2007
I feel a little gruff in only giving this book three stars, but that is largely due to the fact that if someone were to ask me what the book was about, I would scratch my head and be able to say little more than, "Spiritual Formation" and hope that the other person knew what that was. Mulholland's book was well written enough, but I found that the book did not hold my attention very well, even amidst a quiet environment. I re-read page after pager trying to glean something that would stick with me after I set the book down.
These "sticking points" were few and far between. However, some of its more salient features included the idea that Christians are not converted in one, fell swoop going from zero to 60 in nothing flat, but that they undergo multiple conversions as God increases in their lives (and as they seek to let him do so).
I liked Mulholland's urging contemporary Christians to try and measure themselves as God sees them (both better and worse) and not by what spiritual disciplines THEY are doing. I also appreciated his insights on how to read for "formation" (not just for information) and every Christian's need for a community of believers. Many of us neglect these important aspects.
What hit closest to home for me was just a few, brief sections on doubt and the mystery we encounter with God. Mulholland says that, "If there is no mystery, there is no room for God, because God is the ultimate mystery" (P. 148). I appreciate this honesty in a sea of Christians who would otherwise have us believe that they have it all figured out.
In a related section labeled "The Dark Night of the Senses," he paints an authentic picture of what every believer will eventually encounter: "Not a cloudless summer sky, but a spring morning after a night of violent storms; there are still dark clouds in the sky, downed trees and the occasional live-wire" (paraphrased). At those moments in life when we can no longer sense God's presence we usually doubt our faith or relationship with him, but Mulholland says that this is to place God in a box and relegate his role to one of simply maintaining a feedback loop for his followers. He stresses many times that Christians must give God free reign to be who he is and do what he will do, especially when it doesn't match their expectations and when they are confused or frustrated by him. That kind of wisdom is priceless.
Overall, this book has a few key points that I found quite helpful and insightful. I was mildly disappointed that I had to search so heavily for them among so much other chaff, yet I know that I tend to be a very linear thinker and most spiritual formation books don't fall into that category. I think the whole book could be read in about 3 hours, but it took me close to 5 due to the need for re-reading and lack of registering in my mind. If you know that you track well with this kind of reading then I would alter my rating to 4 stars. There are far worse books on spiritual formation out there, after all.
A great book! Sep 21, 2007
This is a must read for every Christian. The author challenges the readers to live their lives on a higher level.
Insightful, Practical, Helpful Jun 25, 2007
This book was a wonderful surprise to me when I picked it up. It was given to me as a textbook for a class I was teaching, and I honestly began to read it without any particular expectation. It has turned out to be one of the more practically helpful and insightful books on spiritual formation I have read. It is well organized, and very accessible.
Two strengths in particular stand out to me. First is the author's definition of spiritual formation: "Spiritual formation is a process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others" (pg. 12). The "for the sake of others" provides a kind of focal point for much of what the book has to say about being conformed. Second is Mulholland's emphasis on the need for believers to be conformed in areas of their lives where they are most unlike Christ. Once that is said, it seems obvious enough: it just isn't said all that often.
If you are looking for good books on spiritual formation, I recommend this one highly.