Item description for A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law & John Meister...
Overview This devotional classic, written by William Law, an eloquent religious teacher of the eighteenth century, was designed to prod indifferent Christians into making an honest effort to live up to what they professed to believe. It has been appreciated in every succeeding generation because of its innate vigor and virility.
This devotional classic, written by William Law, an eloquent religious teacher of the eighteenth century, was designed to prod indifferent Christians into making an honest effort to live up to what they professed to believe. It has been appreciated in every succeeding generation because of its innate vigor and virility.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.08" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.41" Weight: 0.47 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1955
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664248330 ISBN13 9780664248338
Availability 125 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 29, 2017 10:54.
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More About William Law & John Meister
Born in 1924, William Sloane Coffin, Jr.'s young life of wealth and comfort was suddenly rearranged by the death of his father in 1933. A series of moves led mother and children first to California and then to Europe. As a boy, Coffin's first ambition was to be a concert pianist. In Paris he was able to study with Nadia Boulanger and later in Geneva met Ignacy Paderewski. When World War II erupted, the family returned to the United States, and Coffin attended Phillips Academy in Andover, graduating into an army uniform. As an officer he used his linguistic skills in intelligence work. After the war he attended Yale University, alma mater to his father and grandfather, and later studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York City with Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich. Uncertain of a calling to the ministry, he left Union for the newly organized CIA and was assigned to Europe. He eventually settled on a career as a minister and returned to Yale as chaplain, where he held the university pulpit for seventeen years. During the 1960s and 1970s a great thirst for social justice energized Coffin, and he led vigorous protests against both the evils of segregation and the Vietnam War. He has remained a social activist and protester to this day. From 1977 to 1987 Coffin was pastor of Riverside Church in Manhattan. From this pulpit, his well-earned fame as a preacher of great power and conviction spread nationwide. No one in 1983 who heard him preach the eulogy for his son, Alex, shortly after he died in an auto accident, could ever doubt either his courage or the depth of his confidence in the abiding presence of God's grace. Reverend Coffin currently lives a life of active retirement in Strafford, Vermont John F. Thorton is a literary agent, former book editor, and the coeditor, with Katharine Washburn, of Dumbing Down (1996) and Tongues of Angels, Tongues of Men: A Book of Sermons (1999). He lives in New York City. Susan B. Varenne is a New York City high-school teacher with a strong avocational interest in and wide experience of spiritual literature (M.A., The University of Chicago Divinity School; Ph. D., Columbia University).
William Law was born in 1686 and died in 1761.
William Law has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life?
Get plowed!! Feb 27, 2008
Here is the clarion call to a true life that glorifies God. Put the lies of culture aside and learn the real truth.. and live it!!
A Serious but Dangerously Legalistic Call Dec 12, 2007
The fact Pastor John Piper in some of his books, "Don't Waste Your Life" and "A Hunger for God" quoted Law in this book several times intrigued me to read it personally. As I went through the chapters, however, it is clear to me and will become clear to the readers as well that Law sounds eerily close to a Roman Catholic minus the devotions to the rituals. Despite many deep, excellent, stinging, uncomfortable, soul-searching reflections and illustrations on the Christian life contrasted against the futility of a self-centered life that I believe are profitable for Christians, particularly to defy the preaching of prosperity gospel that seems to "prosper" more than the true gospel, sadly Law embraces the fatally erroneous doctrine of justification by works. In his view, Christians need to practice the principles of piety, self-denial, generosity, meekness, simplicity of life and all the Bible, particularly the New Testament teaches, the best they can in order to be saved that sounds all too familiarly popish. What he mostly brings up from the Bible is the wonderful teachings of Christ. There is no mention of poverty of spirit, dependence on God's grace to live a sanctified life or to desire to live for him to begin with, let alone the cross, justification by faith, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and perseverance of the saints.
Well, the immediate questions that arise are of course, aren't Christians saved already, and that they are saved by grace on the basis of the finished atoning death and resurrection of Christ on the cross, and not by works? How does one know that he has done his best? What is the standard? Whose standard is it to use to determine whether one has done his best, man's or God's? If it is man's standard, which one? The Pope's? How can we be so sure if it is his standard to be used, not someone else's? If it is God's, where is it in the Bible that says God commands us to do the best we can and not rely on him for everything without excluding our responsibilities? Where is it in the Bible that God's standard says we are saved as long as we do the best we can? This is unquestionably deadly because in the end, it points to the perfectionist demand of the law where no one can meet, which is warned against by the Apostle Paul in his epistles, particularly to the Romans and Galatians. The meat of what Law talks about is all about doing and there is no mention of child-like dependence and trusting on God's grace in Christ through the Holy Spirit to enable us to follow what Law, in some cases, biblically and exquisitely exhorts to embrace and practice. To properly describe what Law offers here is a mixture of rich food and poison. The rich food is his biblical heart-piercing warnings, rebukes, reflections, illustrations and encouragements, specifically about prayer, fasting, simplicity, modesty, generosity, humility and self-denial that I must admit are too good, too important, and too bitter-sweet, eye-opening of an exposure and remedy to my own weaknesses to be overlooked as well as too precious to be neglected in practice. The poison is his constant insistence of justification by works. For the fullest benefit to be reaped, enjoy the rich food. Let it purify our souls and reform our lives, but spit the poison out. Instead, embrace and enjoy the even richer food of justification in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, and to the glory of God alone for these are the fountain that enables all true piety.
If you are ready to take your spiritual walk to a whole new level - read this book! Jun 26, 2007
If you're looking for a challenge in your spiritual walk - this is the book for you. Law's classic book was the transforming resource in the lives of the Wesley brothers as well as abolitionist William Wilberforce - just as it changed their lives, this book will not leave you the same!
I've read an abridged and edited version for the modern reader by John Meister (158 pages) - but it wasn't enough - I had to order the small type 317 page version! This is not an easy read - on the difficulty scale of 1 - 10, this would be a solid 9. I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone in high school or even college - Law deals with real world issues and a little seasoning in life is necessary to get the full effect of his challenge. This is a perfect book for the Christian man who wants more than a Purpose Driven Life, the man looking for a profound, insightful, and challenging read that will deeply impact the core of his being!
You can find these books online. The longer version is a Vintage Spiritual Classics edition and retails for around $13.00. Rare will be the person that will want this book - but if you're the one, don't pass this one up! I give this my highest endorsement and recommendation.
Law deals directly with the concept of devotion to God - and asks some difficult questions about where man places his true devotion in life - in the things of this world, or in the Kingdom of Heaven? Law argues that a wise and reasonable man will wholly devote himself to the things of the Lord for they are far superior to the temporal and worthless things of this world. In fact, Law says that a lack of this devotion is a clear indicator of gross ignorance! The book gives several practical elements necessary for a devoted life including prayer, study, humility and confession. But it is not the elements about which Law writes, it is the manner in which he presents them to the reader that makes this book so exceptional - Law raises the bar and challenges the follower of Christ to live an exemplary life, a life worthy of their calling, a life comparable to the great saints who have walked before us or even to angels who minister above us!
Fantastic, Humbling Jan 9, 2007
This book should be read by every Christian that can get it. It was a tremendously insightful and humbling book that opened my eyes to the hypocrisy in my own life as well as the church in general. The Christian church in America and I am guessing much of the Industrialized and wealthy west[yes, I am a member of that group] have fallen so far from the devotion and holiness that God requires that it is a shock to see what was the actual New Testament norm just 270+ years ago, let alone at the time of the writing of the New Testament. This was a very easy to read book, compared to say Spurgeon or Calvin. Extremely convicting personally. Would recc. to anyone who see themselves as sinners and wants to know what they should do. Includes excellent examples and is written as a practical guide, though not a how-to book[remember, was written over 270+ yrs. ago, before self-help books where invented;)]Found out about this book from a Word Pictures Program on the subject at their video's are also highly recc. for those seeking to glorify God and enjoy him for eternity[mans chief end] Sincerely, Wayne Borngesser
A must read book Mar 24, 2006
This is a classic of Christian literature. It should be a part of every Christian's library. These are the words that inspired the likes of John Wesley, John Newton, William Wilberforce and others. This issue is especially well edited and the book itself is an easy and inspiring read.