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Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  165 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A practical program for developing a deeper, more authenticrelationship with God

Written for anyone who wants to develop a deeper more meaningfulrelationship with God, Mansions of the Heart offers astep-by-step guide through a spiritual formation road map based onTeresa of Avila's Seven Mansions. The book includes a Mapping Toolthat will help you discern your place on your
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ebook, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2009 by Jossey-Bass
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Garland Vance
As part of my doctoral studies through Denver Seminary, I have read several books dealing with the Stages of Faith Development. Mansions of the Heart by Thomas Ashbrook was by far the best (which is impressive since I also gave The Critical Journey a 5 star rating).

Ashbrook takes the writing of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and systematizes them into a paradigm for faith development. In the first two chapters Ashbrook points us to the goal of spiritual formation as well as some of the m
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Alex
Aug 02, 2017 added it
Shelves: christian
I think much of modern Christianity is built on flawed epistemology. It reduces "knowing God" to having information or data about God, instead of the transforming and relational way in which we are able to know God. Our faith is too often simplified to just knowing theology or doing the right thing, as important as those things are. Christianity is spiritual and our relationship with God is to be intimate. This book is the best primer I have seen to provide a roadmap for that type of relationshi ...more
Cynthia Vogel
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who's ever read the book "The Interior Castle" by Saint Teresa of Avila, this book is a great help at explaining some of the rich depths of that book and Mr Ashbrook gave a tour of the seven levels and usually 6 rooms at each level, and the role these play in our pursuit of our Bridegroom...he delineates the gifts and the spiritual changes we receive through out this whole process of attaining holiness.

I would recommend this book to those who have already read St Teresa's book or to
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Laura R Bransky
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It took a long time, only because it wasn't valuable to rush my way through. I really value this book. So much of what he wrote put words to the longings in my heart, clarity to my struggles, and guidance towards some next steps to deeper intimacy with my Lord. I don't see language or teachings like this in my circles...that's been a source of frustration. I'm glad to know I'm not alone my perceptions. I don't know a lot about spiritual formation, but it seems of benefit and worthy of exploratio ...more
Mark Taylor
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pastors
Ashbrook argues for a game-changing goal for spiritual formation, offers us a map so we can find ourselves in the journey and helps us see that the ultimate destination is much further and deeper than many of us have imagined. Let this book guide, challenge and encourage you toward intimate, loving and joyful fellowship with the Triune God!
Josh Burgess
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a powerful book for me. Very impactful.
Margaret
Very interesting and makes a lot of sense about the seven stages, I totally related to this book. I might end up buying this one.
Doug
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very important, Protestant introduction to the developing discussion of spiritual formation. Ashbrook presents a clear, evangelically-palatable, and intriguing description of this recent (though ancient) turn in Christian discipleship.

Ashbrook focuses specifically on common stages of spiritual growth, grounded in centuries of church experience. The Reformation seems to have stunted serious exploration of stages of sanctification by front-loading the doctrine of justification, which can someti
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Jeremy
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think that this book has impacted me enough to get five stars, but I always have to caution myself with any attempt to systematize, quantify, or categorize spiritual growth. It doesn't seem to be in keeping with Scripture or God's tendency to be unpredictable.

That said, Ashbrook does a masterful job of regularly reminding the reader that this is the case; that spiritual formation is fluid, non-linear, and that no two stories are the same. He uses Teresa of Avila's Interior Castles and puts the
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Joe
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm still trying to process everything I've read ... all I know, is that I want to understand more.

Ashbrook's work, which explores spiritual formation using the work of Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, stuck me in two ways.

First, it invited me to look at faith struggles in a new way. While times of questioning and uncertainty are often seen as backsliding or falling away, Ashbook identifies multiple places in our life of faith where the seeming absence of spiritual things is actually a
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Flyck
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
In many ways, reading this book made me feel as though Ashbrook had written it with me in mind. I could feel myself shouting agreeance in my inner being as I read, so it was a personally valuable book. I didn't read it slowly, however, & am aware that I have not allowed myself to benefit from Ashbrooks' suggestions which are intended to aid the readers' spiritual formation. Knowing this, I think Ashbrook has offered an invaluable resource to those wanting to push further on in their relation ...more
Leslea
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really appreciated this valuable introduction to faith formation and the stages of faith to which God invites us. I've read other books on this topic, but none as clearly defined and illustrated. One of the things I valued most is that each stage is not only explained but treated with respect and love. I've experienced in myself and others the tendency to label, i.e. judge, those who aren't where we are spiritually. We discard what they have to say because we're sure our faith position is the ...more
Donald Linnemeyer
I really enjoyed this book. It's a basic introduction to medieval concepts of spiritual maturity, specific Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Fabulous depth and richness here, but written by a modern pastor from a charismatic background, so he keeps things accessible.

You can tell Ashbrook has years of experience as a pastor and counselor; his stories ring true, and his advice is great. He had a real knack for describing thoughts and experiences I'd had and for explaining their implicatio
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David Smith
Very few books I don’t like. Unfortunately, for me, this was one. I’m sure the issue was me, not the author nor the topic. The seven mansions of 16th century Teresa of Avila applied into the 21st century should have gripped me. Yet as I scanned the past four-plus decades of my life as a Christian, I struggled to discern which of the seven stages of spiritual growth I have been in and when. I think the tendency for most is to think that they’re in the upper echelons of spirituality, no matter wha ...more
Stuart Marlatt
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm finding Ashbrook's discussion of spiritual formation, based on the 'seven mansions' model of Teresa of Avila, as well as the writings of John of the Cross, to be at once challenging and refreshing. I'm really appreciating the perspective that he is bringing to our journey in walking with Christ and Christian maturity.
Josh
Sep 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
A BUNCH OF HIPPY DIPPY BALONEY. SERIOUSLY JUST STICK TO THE BIBLE AND LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOU HEART, MIND, SOUL AND YOUR STRENGTH AND LOVE YOU NEIGHBORS AS YOURSELF AND WALK THE WALK AND TALK THE TALK. No more Christian best sellers for this guy, PEOPLE ALWAYS TRYING TO MAKE A BUCK IN THE SELF HELP CHRISTIAN WORLD. SELL OUT FOR CHRIST, NOT THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR!
Brian Kilde
I'm about half way through the book, and I really enjoy it. It's a great chronicle of how God designed us to move deeper into "a love relationship with Him (p. 19)." If you've been following Christ for a lengthy season and you're feeling stuck in your faith, this is a good book to read.
Vickie Laclare
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read this with my husband. It helped us both to see where we are in the stages of spiritual growth laid out by Teresa of Avila. It gave me insights into what God may be teaching me now and how I can cooperate with Him.
Chris Schutte
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A deeply beautiful, compelling invitation to Christian life, modeled on the "Seven Mountains" of St Teresa of Avila's "Interior Castle".
Ronda Lewis
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Second time reading Mansions of the Heart....One of my favs!
Nithin Thompson
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a refreshing book on spiritual formation. Not a Linda process but a progressive journey. A great update on Theresa of Avila.
Brian
Apr 22, 2016 marked it as to-read
Recommended by Jack Bethel
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“The garden of the soul, she says, can be watered in several manners. The first, drawing the water up from a well by use of a bucket, entails a great deal of human effort. The second way, cranking a water wheel and having the water run through an aqueduct, involves less exertion and yields more water. The third entails far less effort, for in it the water enters the garden as by an effluence from river or stream. The fourth and final way is the best of all: as by a gentle but abundant rainfall the Lord himself waters the garden and the soul does not work at all.” 0 likes
“Our defense against the devil, made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, comes in three ways: 1. Preparation: In Ephesians 6:10f, the apostle Paul teaches us to grow in our faith similarly to a soldier putting on armor, so that we may stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Our defense is truth; a right relationship with God; the Gospel of peace, faith, and salvation; and our offensive weapon, the word of God. 2. Discernment: We are gifted by the Holy Spirit to “discern spirits” (1 Cor. 12:10). 3. Active resistance: James 4:7 says that if we resist the devil he will flee from us. Our ability to resist depends on our preparation and our discernment. Our resistance is not passive, but an active and intentional use of the “sword of the Spirit, the word of God.” Jesus modeled this, and the disciples followed suit, as they cast out demons by commanding them in the name of Jesus. We can do the same thing through the power of the same Holy Spirit.” 0 likes
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