(Book review) The Lost Discipline of Conversation

Reviewed by: Barbara Jacobini

Ministry Title: Ladies’ Sunday School Teacher, AWANA staff, former Public Library Children’s Programmer

Church: Fellowship Baptist Church, Highland, NY


Introduction

Title: The Lost Discipline of Conversation: Surprising Lessons in Spiritual Formation Drawn from the English Puritans

Author: Joanna J. Jung

Publisher: Zondervan

Publication Date: 2018

Format: print

Length: 224 pages

OVERVIEW

In this well-researched book, Joanna Jung draws upon the writings of well and lesser-known puritans to learn how they valued and used the spiritual discipline of conference, or intentional, spiritually-focused conversation as a means to spiritual growth. We learn not only why the Puritans considered such care crucial to discipleship and the Christian walk but also how to implement this in our modern-day lives. Specific examples and prompts are given for several different audiences with which the reader may choose to converse in order to follow the biblical exhortation to care for one another’s souls.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Anyone who is interested in being obedient to Christ in their walk with others. Readers who are longing to go beyond superficial relationships or wondering how they can better disciple others will especially appreciate this book, as well as those who are interested in the faith walk of the Puritans.

Christian Impact

This book has the potential to cause a revival, if only we would let it! The author makes the case, through scripture, Puritan writings, and experience, that, “For optimum spiritual health, conversations on spiritual matters matter,” and that, “Christians have an obligation to care for each other’s spiritual health.” If we find our spiritual health or the health of those around us lagging, perhaps this author holds the cure.

Other Notes:

There is a greater need than ever for Christians to seek to know other Christians beyond the surface and encourage them in their walk with Christ. Much can be gained from putting Ms. Jung’s suggestions into practice. The appendixes provided are also very well researched, but it is at times difficult to connect these resources to the sections to which they pertain and/or to know how exactly they are to be used. In all, this book is an eye-opening, engaging read with advice that can be utilized immediately. I gave it four stars instead of five because I thought it could be a little more user-friendly and lacked a certain “flow.” That being said, I would still consider it a must-read.


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About Cecelia Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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