• "God wants me to try harder."
• "God blesses me when I'm good and punishes me when I'm bad."
• "God is angry with me."
We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true--but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here.
Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you've discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind.
At the end of each chapter you'll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Because the best way to make a complete and lasting change is to go through the material in community, small group discussion questions also accompany each chapter. Those who are leading apprentice groups will also find additional help and opportunities to interact with other leaders at the Apprentice website.
This deep, loving and transformative book will help you discover the narratives that Jesus lived by--to know the Lord he knew and the kingdom he proclaimed--and to practice spiritual exercises that will help you grow in the knowledge of our good and beautiful God.
Features & Benefits
• Provides a theological basis for faith along with help in living out our faith through
• Geared toward lay people and designed to be used in a small group series
• Includes questions for individual reflection and processing embedded in the text
• Includes a small group discussion guide
• Includes a description of a companion spiritual practice to try in each chapter
• Provides nine weeks of material for small groups plus an introductory week
Reviews & Endorsements
"The Apprentice Series is the best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation."
- Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy
"I know from our long relationship that Jim Smith is a fine and trustworthy man, who authentically knows 'the good and beautiful God.' I can think of no higher compliment than this: I would happily trust the care of my soul to Jim and the good and beautiful God he commends to us." - Todd Hunter, author of Christianity Beyond Belief and pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Costa Mesa
"This first book in The Apprentice Series, The Good and Beautiful God, is a treasure. Dr. Smith has thought long and hard about the process of human transformation into the likeness of Jesus. I urge you to buy this book immediately! Read it and apply it. Then live it out in the context of a loving community. You will not regret doing so." - Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and coauthor of Longing for God
"Smith challenges those who seek to follow God to examine the stories they already know. . . . [Includes] exercises and questions . . . to deepen their knowledge of God."
- Publishers Weekly, 5/22/2009
"Make spiritual mentors, group leaders, youth pastors, Christian educators, and Willard/Foster fans aware of this material."
- David Mundt, CBA Retailers + Resources, July 2009
"If you're looking for books to help patrons rekindle or enhance their relationships with God, buy this one. Highly recommended for small groups interested in deepening their relationships with God." - Church Libraries, Fall 2009
"I predict this book, and the two more in the series, will become deeply influential books in evangelical churches that want to deepen spiritual formation."
- Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed, July 15, 2009
"Other authors have written extensively on spiritual disciplines and the spiritual life, but few have created a curriculum that is as accessible to the common believer seeking spiritual growth. I exuberantly recommend this book to anyone interested in a practical model of spiritual growth. - Steve Gioielli, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, Fall 2009
|Author: James Bryan Smith
Format: Three (3) Hardbacks w/Dustcover
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
• The Good and Beautiful God 232 pages
• The Good and Beautiful Life 264 pages
• The Good and Beautiful Community 240 pages