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Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Spiritual disciplines are often viewed primarily as a means to draw us closer to God. While these practices do deepen and enrich our "vertical" relationship with God, Kyle David Bennett argues that they were originally designed to positively impact our "horizontal" relationships--with neighbors, strangers, enemies, friends, family, animals, and even the earth. Bennett expl ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Brazos Press
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Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: church
I struggled with this book, honestly. I really wanted to like it and be inspired by its ideas, but it just couldn't get there. First of all, the book could have used some serious editing. Editing was needed. The text would have benefited from editing. This is a manuscript that could have been better if it had been edited. Seriously, this is is what almost every paragraph was like. There was a topic sentence followed by four or five iterations of the same without significantly expanding on or fur ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I'd retitle this "Spirituality for College Students: How Not to be a Jerk". Young singles appear to be the primary intended audience based on the tone and pop culture references.
I did appreciate some of the new (to me) insights on redeemed socialization (not being intrusive on your neighbor's life) and communication/meditation.
Overall, while the principles were helpful, the applications are better suited to a particular lifestyle.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summary:  An approach to spiritual disciplines that explores how various spiritual practices not only nurture our relationship with God but shape our habits of being in the world including how we love our neighbors, and the rest of God's creation.

This book is probably different than any book on spiritual disciplines I've read. What Kyle David Bennett does is turn the spiritual disciplines "on their side" and consider how these spiritual practices, often focused on deepening our love for God, are
Reading Books
Jul 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Frankly, as much as I love the idea of spiritual disciplines as a way to love our neighbor, this book falls short. Each chapter is formulaic, explaining a spiritual discipline, exploring a few ways in which it can help us love others, and ending with a checklist. It would have been much more effective as a blog post. With the goal of viewing spiritual disciplines at the horizontal level, it also neglects the importance of spiritual disciplines between us and God, creating an unnecessary, if not ...more
Kenson Gonzalez
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished reading this book last week and I must say that I was confronted in some areas of my life. However, there were other aspects that seemed very repetitive. Possibly the author wanted to make his ideas clear.

What is this book about?
Everything turns on how our spirituality is not only about God but also about our neighbor.
Many of us think that all we need is to have good fellowship with God but ignore or despise our neighbor. And that needs to be corrected. This book encourages and provid
Brandi Peek
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
My rating of this book is based on the fact that between the title and the synopsis of the book, I had completely different expectations for the it. I believed it was going to have some new reality on spiritual disciplines that I might have missed. Instead every chapter was basically we give up or should look at and do this discipline differently for our neighbors. Most of the book could have been summed up in the following way: love your neighbor as yourself, treat others the way you want to be ...more
Nathaniel Cooley
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
I enjoy reading about the spiritual disciplines. I was excited to open this book, which was recommended by a friend who is a pastor.

Overall a good review, albeit an overstated one, of the lateral implications of the spiritual disciplines. Which although is no new concept, is definitely not highlighted as a stand alone subject very often.

While the author is obviously well versed on the subject, he at times suffocates the reader with reiterations of the same concept already stated. Perhaps a bit o
Joshua D.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most books on spiritual disciplines focus on how the discipline help enrich your life with God (what you might call the vertical dimension). In "Practices of Love" Kyle Bennett attempts to show the "horizontal dimension" to the disciplines - how they shape you to love your neighbor and make a difference for the common good.

The chapters are a little uneven, but I think the book is mostly successful. The prayers and application ideas at the end of each chapter are magnificent, and chapters six an
Joshua Serrano
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I appreciated two things about this book.

1. The main thesis is that spiritual disciplines are not just vertical but horizontal, meaning not just for God but for our neighbors.

2. Putting the spiritual disciples as two sides of the same coin: speaking/keeping silent, fasting/feasting, simplicity/renewed owning, etc.

If you are looking for a good book to read to help you understand the spiritual disciplines have legs in the world, this is your book. Also, it'd be great to do with small groups.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Great premise, but could have been done in a short article--no need for a whole book. The idea is that spiritual disciplines are not just for ourselves, not just for nicer Jesus-and-me times--they ought to have fruit in the way we minister to and love others. For example, the discipline of silence should carry over into relationships, making us better listeners. Get it? There. Now you don't need to read the book. ...more
Daunavan Buyer
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book but nothing too new. Bennett explores the horizontal dimension of different spiritual practices and takes time to wrestle with the implications of these disciplines impacts our neighbour. It was quite repetitive and much of his synopsis paragraphs were all that he needed in some points but overall the ideas were great. Gave me a lot to think about...
Anthony Rodriguez
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
Really helpful way of thinking about spiritual disciplines. We often lose track of the horizontal nature of the disciplines and I think we do indeed lose out when we do so. The book was relatively small and easy to read. I probably could have done with a bit more. But I'd certainly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic. Good read. ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall I found the idea of practicing Christian spiritual disciplines for not only personal spiritual growth, but in a manner that loves your neighbor and encourages their spiritual growth new and compelling. The other take-away is that spiritual disciplines should be incorporated into the Christian’s daily life not just for a season.

I found the author’s applications lacking and shallow.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
There were good things in this book, but it was frustrating to read.I didn't care for the writing style or the author's assumptions. He always came from the worst case scenario. I felt like it would have been better if it talked about heart change instead of how to change my outer behavior. Just ok. ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
While the meat and the big ideas of this book are in the first few chapters, the suggestions and thoughts at the end of each chapter make it worth keeping it handy to remind yourself how to live out the disciplines in daily life, not separately!
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book had an amazing premise - one that really excites me and that I want to get behind in my everyday life - but it was very hard to get through. It was very long-winded and repetitive. A crisper writing style would have made this a much more enjoyable read.
Amanda Patchin
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book of one idea, but that is a very important idea. Presentation is friendly and approachable but grounded in solid thinking and theology.
Adam Webb
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offered a different perspective on spiritual disciplines. With a perspective on how we live and how we live others. Practical application can be found at the end of each chapter.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book on the horizontal dimensions of the spiritual disciplines—simplicity, meditation, fasting and feasting, solitude, silence, service, and Sabbath keeping. Good read!
Cameron Roxburgh
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the idea of the book - but it lacked a little depth for me. I think some of the points were stretched.

Good for a read to push on some ideas and bring imagination for others.
Dan Dawson
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not good.
Gabriel Jensen
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly insightful, practical, and challenging! Every Christian ought to read this one!
Tim Hoiland
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith, 2017
If we’re honest, most of us have grown up understanding the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, solitude, silence, and rest (among others) as practices designed primarily to sanctify us as individuals, which, in turn, honors God. But as Bennett argues, the “vertical” aspect of the practices is only half the equation.

In this book, Bennett invites us to view the spiritual disciplines “from the side,” to consider anew the “horizontal” dimension of these practices. In each chapter, he consider
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