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Sacred Pathways

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  629 ratings  ·  68 reviews
This book encourages readers to see strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies in their devotional approaches to God, and thus learn how to improve their devotional, quiet-time, and personal-worship lif
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Zondervan (first published 1996)
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This book leaves me in a bit of a predicament. On multiple levels, I have serious concerns about some of the ideas about spirituality, specifically teachings about prayer and intimacy with God in Thomas’s text. Unfortunately, this is not surprising. Thomas quotes from and cites many of what have been coined the Christian Classics, early church writers and philosophers, many of which were Roman Catholic monks and mystics who taught a contemplative spirituality and mystic view of prayer. In his de ...more
A very helpful book, focussing on nine different pathways that people meet with God. The author explains early on that these are not the same as personality preferences - such as the Myers-Briggs or Enneagram systems - although there are some obvious correlations.

There's a chapter on each of the pathways. Each one has an explanation with some examples from Scripture and from other lives; some suggestions; some warnings against extremes, and a useful short questionnaire enabling the reader to bu
Pretty interesting book dealing with how different people relate best to God. The author explores 9 different ways that people worship God. Depending on a person's temperament, one may feel closer to God while outside on a nature walk or in a cathedral experiencing communion.
1. Naturalists: Loving God Out of Doors
2. Sensates: Loving God with the Senses
3. Traditionalists: Loving God through Ritual and Symbol
4. Ascetics: Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity
5. Activists: Loving God through Confro
This book outlines 7 different "spiritual temperaments", distinct ways that people feel worshipful. I very much appreciated this book, as it made my wife and I feel less abnormal that we don't feel worshipful when raising our arms during worship music! We have "Intellectual" temperaments, and feel most worshipful when we're learning new things about God. Others feel most worshipful when singing, when alone, when in nature, when using old liturgies, etc.

The book is structured in a very pragmatic
Adam Shields
Short review: This is a good book on different spiritual temperaments are and how spiritual growth can be encouraged for the different temperaments. It is quite balanced and encouraging. But many people will probably get bored and only read the ones that they think apply to them. I would encourage you to take all nine of the short tests and at least read your top four or five chapters. The last chapter is essential reading to help you understand, no matter what your temperament, how you should p ...more
Lizzy B
Absolutely fantastic. I have never come across such a clear call saying - people aren't all the same and as such shouldn't all need to relate to God the same way. Scrap the traditional quiet time as a one route - try them all, mix things up, learn your predominant preference, try new things and understand possibly why you struggle with church which is meant to be a celebration but just doesn't feel that way! Everyone celebrates differently!

Simple book that explains each "pathway" or temperament
Hank Pharis
Very interesting approach to the Christian life. Thomas suggests that just as we have different spiritual gifts, personality temperaments, leadership styles, etc. so also we have different spirituality styles. Obviously we are all called to all the fundamental aspects of the Christian life but we also tend to gravitate toward differing styles of relating to God. He suggests nine "sacred pathways": Naturalists; Sensates; Traditionalists; Ascetics; Activists; Caregivers; Enthusiasts; Contemplative ...more
One of the books I consider to have revolutionised my Christian worldview. After having read the title once through in the library, I purchased one to keep (as a bible school student, we have to be extremely selective in the books we choose to buy/keep otherwise we would end up with many books that we would never pick up again).

I felt that the feeling of condemnation was lifted when I discovered that God designed us such that we uniquely worship/connect to him through different "pathways." Inst
This book is an incredibly insightful work that sees to help the follower of Christ to identify ways that they are uniquely wired to practice their faith. In me it has wrought a sense of freedom in some of my tendencies that I thought quirky, and led to some conviction due the subtle judging I have developed in regard to how I perceive others' habits. I recommend it to all!
In his book, Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas discusses the nine spiritual temperaments he has discovered. A spiritual temperament is a way in which someone connects with God. There is more than one way to feel connected to God, says Thomas. He attempts to explain each temperament to help the reader determine which way(s) he/she feels closest to God.
Thomas talks about the nine spiritual temperaments. Naturalists are those who feel close to God when in nature. Sensates are those who feel a connectio
If I was sure of a certain level of spiritual maturity and discernment, I would be inclined to recommend this book to everyone. Unfortunately, one issue with this book means I have to be careful recommended its otherwise wonderful contents. Namely, the author seems to be of a mind that certain sections falling under the broad term of "Christianity" are valid, when a study of their doctrines shows them to certainly not be so. With that caveat, however, I found Sacred Pathways to be an immensely h ...more
Pat Roseman
This book was referred to in "The Me I Want to Be" by John Ortberg and I was glad I already had it on my shelf. There's a quote on the back cover that caught my attention - "Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Spiritual Walk." I'm sure I have been guilty of doing just that many times.

Most of us have taken temperament "tests" throughout our lives. I've probably taken the Myers-Briggs a dozen times. Gary Thomas says there are also spiritual temperaments that affect our relationship with Jesus Chr
Richard Simpson
Jul 28, 2012 Richard Simpson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New and maturing Christians
This book reminds Christians that while they all love the same God and serve the same Lord, that the expression of that love and service does not necessarily need to be identical to that of our friends, or neighbours,or even of those who lead us and mentor us in the Lord. The first section shows us why this is so, and suggests we try to rediscover the place where God first spoke to us most strongly.

The second, and main portion of the book, describes nine "Sacred Pathways" or ways of knowing God,
Josh Wilson
Gary Thomas, Sacred Pathways

Gary Thomas book, Sacred Pathways, discusses spirituality within a Christian worldview and posits that individuals relate to and connect with God in diverse ways dependent upon the individual’s unique ‘spiritual pathway.’ Thomas suggests that the difficulty some individuals may face in relating to God is due to the fact that they are following a poorly prescribed spiritual treatment plan rather than recognizing the infinite nature of God and their own unique make-up.
Mike Conroy
Although he stretches his main point too far at times (rewriting a little history and trivializing differences between Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox) that Christians grow, recharge, and a drawn to develop in different ways (intellectually, discipline, quite, loud music, etc) is easy to overlook. This book challenged me to take my own growth more seriously and to have more understanding with those who are different than me.
Sheila Derr
With so many personalities, styles of learning, and ways of communicating, it is no wonder that there are probably an infinite number of ways that we relate to God. This book is about the ways or styles we use in relating to God. The Christian community is often guilty of fleshing out a sort of prescription for what growth in Christ takes or looks like. Gary Thomas presents the idea that perhaps this cookie-cutter way of thinking is what causes much frustration and struggle for many in relations ...more
This book was very helpful. I'm not the emotional type; your classic INTJ. All my life I've been surrounded by fellow Christians who are very emotional in their worship. I'm closer to God when I'm studying and reading. I prefer to look for the logic in scripture and power of God (it's there if you look). So, I've always felt like an outsider. This book helped me realize there's nothing wrong with how I worship. I highly recommend this book for every believer. It will help them focus in on their ...more
I suspect that most people would have an idea where their passions lie, but it would benefit to read the whole book as not only does it give you perspective on other people's personalities, it may enrich your own.

I was not surprised to find where I scored the highest, but was surprised on how high I scored in other areas. I also learned many new ways of developing the areas where I had a high score.

I was excited reading the first chapter hoping I'd have an epiphany, but unfortunately it was not
Hannah Beck
Wow, what a phenomenal read. Not only does it help identify your own dominate pathways to God, but it also helps bring out some wonderful light to the sacredness of other forms of worship that might not be appealing to you or I. I recommend this to anyone seeking to grow closer to God. You will walk away with your eyes opened.
Angie Jones
This book really helped me see how God wired me for worship differently than others. I have so much more appreciation for the unique image of Himself that He imprints on each one of us. Unique, personal and intimate.
OK, such a neat idea. I'm glad to have read it, because it opens my eyes to the fact that there are a variety of worshipping styles/methods. I guess that overall, though, this Mr. Thomas feels a little limited. Maybe it's because we don't share a faith (or the language that comes along with our faiths), but I felt as though he could've gone so much deeper.
Rachel Yule
This was a superb book, which has given me new insight and understanding. I would recommend it to any (and every) Christian.
I read this book for a Bible study, and it was fabulous! Through this book and a few other activities, we explored our spiritual temperaments (the ways we best/most easily connect to God). At the end of each chapter was a short quiz about each temperament, and at the end of the book, you look more in depth at your top temperaments. Thomas gives concrete examples of how you can put your spiritual temperaments into practice and also encourages you to explore the other temperaments to a) incorporat ...more
This was a helpful, entry-level book that illuminates some different ways of being drawn into spiritual experience and encounter with God that are unique to each reader. Through ranking in brief surveys, personal affinity or style is identified, although the conclusion is far from an airtight, which can be frustrating. What I take away from the book with is a sharper sense of why I am drawn in the directions I am, including to liturgy, silence, icons, emphasis on the visual and experience, and b ...more
great insight into nine sacred pathways - how we worship and connect to god. each person is different but all pathways are sacred and valuable. great to read for any church leader!
Claudia Lee
I've yet to find a book by Gary Thomas that doesn't inform, encourage and challenge me. This book is helpful in identifying the communication/communing style that describes how you sense God's love and presence and how you communicate back to Him. The book doesn't say that 'your' style is the only way to communicate, but it does affirm that we all sense God in different ways and that it is OK to communicate with God in the way that is natural for you. It also helps you understand and accept othe ...more
Jennifer N.
Mar 23, 2015 Jennifer N. marked it as to-read
available at messiah college!
Jun 17, 2014 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I was encouraged to read this book after hearing a message by Andy Stanley on the Your Move podcast. He encouraged us to find it how we best relate to God so that we could grow deeper on our relationship with God.

I enjoyed learning about the spiritual temperaments that draw me closer to God, that help me feel His presence even though he is a non - physical being. And the book was great for giving practical ways for each temperament, instead of being purely theoretical. Good stuff.
Aug 28, 2007 Melina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
People are different. We learn about temperments, learning styles, "love languages", etc. but expect everyone to relate to God in the same way. Why? This book outlines nine styles/ways that people love God and relate to Him. It is wonderful to have affirmation that the way you experience God is not less "spiritual" or worthy than how anyone else experiences Him. Also, it is good to see that your way is not the only way, and to gain understanding of others.
I want to like this book. The premise is engaging. I've discussed this basic idea (that people have preferences for how they interact with God, ways of communicating with and experiencing Him that are unique to their personality and/or experience). I love Gary Thomas' writing, and have benefited greatly from his work. I appreciate how he ties in Christian history. But this title just doesn't click with me. Had trouble finishing it.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Gary Thomas is a writer, speaker and the founder and director of the Center for Evangelical Sprirituality - a ministry that integrates Scripture, church history and the Christian classics. He's spoken in 49 states, four coutries and his books have been translated into eleven languages. His books have won and be
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