Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God

Reviewed by: Hope Bolinger, Professional Writing student at Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Book Title: Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God

Author: Ruth Haley Barton

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 150 pages


“Retreat,” in the world of war and in the world of Western society, sounds like a bad word. Even when Christians take part in purposeful retreats to get away from distractions and the busyness of life, they often use that time to work ahead on projects and end up more tired than when they’d arrived. Barton eases readers through practical steps—from Enneagram types to variations of prayer—to help Christians strategically withdraw (not retreat) from the world and into the arms of Christ.

In a short number of pages, Barton provides several useful, tangible ways to conduct oneself during a retreat. Her interspersed anecdotes about her own experiences on retreats and leading them herself helps add color to the 150 pages. However, the dry, simplistic writing often made the chapters difficult to slog through the very short book. Plus, given the brevity of the book, readers will find most of the observations to be somewhat common sense, being able to draw those conclusions prior to approaching this book. Still, the author provides enough pragmatism and memorable examples from culture, media, and her own life, to help ease readers into a “be still” mindset.


Rating (1 to 5):

3 out of 5

Suggested Audience:

Burnted-out Christians in need of a retreat

Christian Impact:

Modern Christians have lost touch with disciplines such as silence, solitude, and the practice of Sabbath. In this book, Barton invites us to reawaken this need for time away with God.


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Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God

About Ceil Carey

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

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