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The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  409 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Spiritual discernment is good for more than just making monumental decisions according to God's will. It is an essential, day-to-day activity that allows thoughtful Christians to separate the truth of God from error and to distinguish right from wrong in all kinds of settings and situations. It is also a skill-something that any person can develop and improve, especially w ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published December 19th 2007 by Crossway Books
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Hector Emilio Gonzalez Torres
Este libro debería ser examinado por toda América Latina, ya que nuestros países tienden a adormecer su discernimiento y son fácilmente engañados por cualquier viento de falsa doctrina.
Ana Ávila
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quiero que todos lean este libro. Es fácil de leer, útil y muy práctico. El tema del discernimiento es siempre necesario para cualquier cristiano, y pocos le prestan la atención que merece. Lo recomendaré sin cansancio.

Mi única "queja" es que a veces Challies se extiende un poco en sus ilustraciones. A veces me quedaba pensando "¿va a llegar a algún lugar con esto?"; por supuesto, siempre lo hacía. Fuera de eso, una excelente lectura. Me encanta lo estructurado que Tim es. Algunos lo consideran
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I have read books and blog articles from this author before. Generally, I enjoy his writing and appreciate his pastoral approach to his subject matter, and I have certainly been encouraged by his content before.

However, in my opinion, this book just wasn't very good. Here are some of my reasons.

1. The book was too long. - I know this gets said about every book ever written, but I really believe this book could have been much shorter. The author repeats his points again and again. In my opinion
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Really enjoyed this book. Easy to understand and sets out the basic principles all Christians should use in their everyday life to understand what real Truth is.
Chola Mukanga
The book is helpful by highlighting an area that is usually taken for granted. But it could have been much shorter. He goes all over town and is unnecessarily polemical in some places. I also found the scope of discernment covered limited. Would have been good to consider different areas where discernment is need not just with preaching (e.g. visual arts).
Álex Oliva
Este libro explica con gran maestría qué es el discernimiento, para qué se usa, cómo se usa, los "peligros" a los que nos enfrentamos cuando lo buscamos, los "peligros" de practicarlo, por qué debemos anhelar el don, por qué debemos desarrollarlo, etc, etc, etc.

Es un tanto reiterativo en algunos puntos, hasta majadero, pero creo que es necesario que se recalquen cosas como que el discernimiento es la búsqueda de la verdad de Dios y la voluntad de Dios aplicada a nuestra vida cotidiana; que la sa
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I recently finished this book by Tim Challies who is a web designer who hails from the Great White North. Although I have had my difference with Canadians over the years (they try to pawn of ham as "Canadian Bacon"...I'm not buying is to different parts of pig) I was still very fond of this book.

This book does not have a misleading is about the act of discernment which is a discipline that has not been the focus of much attention in recent years.

Challies attempts to engage the
Mar 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Tim Challies writes an interesting and informative blog ( which I check regularly. I find that he is a good thinker and a decent writer, and I can tell that he puts a lot of effort into his blog posts. His book reviews have been particularly helpful to me.

I was disappointed in this book, however. Spiritual discernment is surely an important topic and one that is desperately needed within the church, and as it goes, Challies did a decent job handling this topic. However, two things s
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Discernment is something that I think we talk about in Christian circles as a side issue, or something that happens almost by accident as we progress in our faith. Tim Challies asserts that this should be a much more important topic in our lives... if not the most essential discipline as we grow in our knowledge and love of God.
It is a comprehensive, to say the least, and challenging book that has left me with a thorough understanding of the biblical definition and importance of discernment. But
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tim Challies clearly communicates the need for discernment and how it is paralleled with spiritual maturity. In a day when we are opposed by culture, satanic influence, and even our own evil natures, we need to be a discerning people. Challies shows the importance of "understanding and applying God's Word" in order to separte what is error from what is good. We must believe and think correctly about what the Word has revealed about God and His character. And we must believe and think correctly a ...more
Paul Mullen
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith-vocation
Tim Challies tackles an important topic. What I really appreciated was how he debunked the behavior that suggests that we can find proof verses or know the specific will of God in a particular situation that is not addressed in the scriptures by examining the scriptures for a specific answer. Instead, he suggests that we need to be reading the whole body of the Bible, to be working on living as God intends, and then out of this infusion of scripture, experience, and Spirit, we will begin to be a ...more
Paul Wichert
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book to see if it would be a good small group study at some point. After reading I am uncertain. There is a lot of good discussion in the book about discernment and some peripheral areas such as judging and God's will. The book moved fairly slowly to a definition of discernment about one-third of the way through and ended with a 17-step process for Christian discernment. While I followed the author's intent, and I do think the book is helpful, I'm not sure approach is as complete or ...more
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion Tim Challies has added a considerable contribution to the body of Christ by writing this book on the need of acurate, humble and timely discernment in the the world. Although the theme of discernment is by no means scarce in the Bible, there is comparatively very little literature on the subject. Challies has contributed a relevant and biblically accurate urgent call for discernment that is so needed in the church today. In a culture where excercizing biblical discernment is oftent ...more
Troy Nevitt
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who need an introduction to discernment
Fantastic introductory work to the discipline of discenrment. With this being recommended with those starting out on discernment, do not expect to instantly know the art of discerning, it takes time, and this book is fantastic on the process that should go through your head, and for questions you start to have.

This, apologetics, and a discernment podcast such as Fighting for the Faith (Lutheran), or Stand Up for the Truth (I don't know the denomination) these give you a solid base to be able to
Chris Giovagnoni
This book is a must read, only if you're in a place where you're willing to do the hard work involved with spiritual discernment. The last chapter provides a great framework to apply when analyzing spiritual teaching and when making decisions.

The rest of the book makes the case, for holding everything up to the Word of God to determine what is true and what is not. Truth is consistent. It never varies. Being able to clearly identify truth makes spotting falsehoods packaged in grains of truth ea
Mark A Powell
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Right or wrong? Truth or error? The process of answering these questions is discernment, and Challies has written a work dedicated entirely to defining and developing this discipline. Challies spends the first part of the book explaining what discernment is, then discusses some of its dangers before concluding with practical advice on how to put discernment to use. Although this book is full of helpful information, it seems repetitive in some places and slow in others.
Jayme Hlatky
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I burned up a highlighter on this book. there were a couple of tedious chapters that seemed get get bogged down in details and I kept wanting to skip to the chapter on developing discernment. but over all this was very helpful! I know I will be returning to this book many times as I both practice and teach on spiritual discernment. I am convinced the American church is really sick as a result of this issue being neglected.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Great book. Strong focus on 1 Thess. 5:21-22 - "Test everything, hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." A much needed read personally and very challenging. This is an area that needs to be cultivated in our churches, specifically in our male leadership. I found the discussion questions at the end to be useful and probing. I would recommend this book for small-group book studies.
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
I had never read Tim Challies but I like what I read. This book is exceptionally easy to read, but not dumbed down by any means. It is a well written book that will keep almost anyone interested.

The book is dedicated to understanding what discernment is and how to attain it. At the end of the book he gives a practical example. This was the first book that I had read that was strictly concerning spiritual discernment. I was impressed.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Some Christians say it is unloving to nitpick on doctrine and right beliefs but Tim blows this completely out of the water with this book. He specifically calls those who do not seek after discernment as those who have not grown up to maturity. This is a must read. Specially for those who say "who are we to judge".
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure that there is a biblical calling that believers are less familiar with but more in need of than the discipline of spiritual discernment. Challies' book, while occasionally giving us the opportunity to practice what he is encouraging (!) is a needed wake-up call and a very accessible primer on this vital theme. I found myself both deeply encouraged and challenged as I read.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Solid subject with helpful application to instruct on how to proceed with discernment as a ministry or a gift. I really appreciated the discussion of the necessary posture and attitude to conduct discernment with. It is in this are that many discerning people fall short, failing to exercise humility or grace with those they purport to help.
Gerald Thomson
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am not sure this needed to be book length, but Challies does lay out a good argument for why every Christian should be involved in discernment. I really enjoyed the chapter on pitfalls of discernment, providing warning signs for all of us as we work through interpreting the Scriptures. He also includes a case study that is very informative.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful book. This is a no nonsense approach to discernment that every believer everywhere should read. I read it on my kindle, but will be ordering a few hard copies, one to keep, and some on hand to give away. Well done Tim Challies!
Bauer Evans
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
1st book written by this author. A thorough treatment of a vital biblical practice. I would have liked more emphasis on the role, importance of the Holy Spirit, but Tim's clarity, and concise writing ability makes this a must read
Landon Chapman
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was incredibly useful and enlightening. Sadly, in today's American Evangelical churches, those who practice spiritual discernment are looked at as "haters". This book goes a long way to remind us that the practice of discernment is necessary, and biblical.
Great book. Read it with a group of guys and found that it worked will for group discussions. Disagreed with Challies on some points, but that helped conversations go all the better. I think that this a really helpful place to start when looking into the topic of discernment.
Jean Pierre
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book has opened my eyes to then importance of discernment not only in books but in every aspect of Christian living. Through the chapters, he explains discernment as found in the Bible and he also gives many pointers on how to practice discernment. Great book.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. It encouraged much thought and personal evaluation. I found it to be slightly repetitive at times, but I'm sure that helped with its clarity and ability to truly drive home his points. I highly recommend.
Great read

Not one to dig deeply as I should into theological subjects, I found this not hard to read. I love this author. He makes several great points and convinces me early I need to have and cultivate discernment.
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Tim Challies is a leading evangelical blogger and editor of Discerning Reader, a site dedicated to discerning reviews of books that are of interest to Christians. A self-employed web designer, Tim lives in the outskirts of Toronto, Ontario with his wife and three children.
More about Tim Challies...
“With discernment comes division. A person who seeks to be discerning must be willing to suffer the effects of this division. It will divide not only believer from unbeliever, but it may even divide a discerning believer from one who is undiscerning. It will separate the mature from the immature, the naïve from the prudent.” 1 likes
“As we seek after discernment, a good and godly desire, our sinful natures will fight against us. We will soon discover a part of ourselves that does not want to make clear distinctions between what is good and evil, and a part of ourselves that does not want to be committed to what is good and right and true. And so the first enemy we must overcome in our discipline of discernment is ourselves.” 1 likes
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