Eric's Reviews > Renewal as a Way of Life: A Guidebook for Spiritual Growth

Renewal as a Way of Life by Richard F. Lovelace
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Jun 03, 11

Read in March, 2010

Overview
In his book, Renewal As a Way of Life, Dr. Richard Lovelace teaches us about the importance of spiritual renewal and how a Christian can and should have dynamic change in their life. Dr. Lovelace starts out with showing us that we have created a self-centered religion and how Christianity is about God and Him being the center of our lives. He then shows us that we need to find our worth in who God sees us to be. We then are compelled to love God and love others. The middle of the book talks about the three “dynamics of spiritual death,” which are the flesh, the world, and the devil. He writes about the realities of these evils and how they are bent on winning our souls. In the last third of the book, Dr. Lovelace talks about Christ as the victor, and both individual and corporate renewal in our life. Focusing on the Messianic victory, he counters the issues of spiritual death, with the power we have in Christ. He then shows how we are renewed through justification, sanctification, the Holy Spirit’s work, and Christ’s authority. He brings the book to a powerful finish in the final chapter by concluding with the need for corporate spiritual renewal. He looks at the importance (and current lack) of mission, prayer, community, and theological integration in the spiritual renewal of the church in this present day. This last chapter brings home the important role that others have in our spiritual growth. It is not an option, it is a must, and Dr. Lovelace makes that abundantly clear.

Critique
The first two chapters were filled with great quotes and set up a great foundation for the rest of the book. I would say that the reading is a bit slower, but would encourage any reader to continue, because the book gets better with each chapter. The chapters on the flesh, the world, and the devil were insightful. I thought the strength of the book was it’s final three chapters, talking about the victory we have, yet the battle we are in and how we shall live. The last chapter was excellent and a must read for all Christians. Dr. Lovelace insightfully shows us some components of corporate renewal as well as critiquing the church’s weaknesses. He shows how it is absolutely necessary for corporate renewal in our life and this can be a great blessing to the church and the world.

Application
This book really confirmed and encouraged some basic principles of renewal such as prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit. It really brought light to the importance of spiritual renewal corporately. I have been convicted of my denominationalism and the importance of an ecumenical view of the church, specifically in the renewal of the community. This will help as I hope to be church planting in another culture and I will greatly need the help of any and all Christians for the gospel to be a great light in a dark place.

Best Quote

“But the goal of authentic spirituality is a life which escapes from the closed circle of spiritual self-indulgence, or even self-improvement, to become absorbed in the love God and other persons. (Pg. 18)
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