You’ve got to read this book

For Lent I took up once again John Kleinig’s Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today. That has to be one of the most helpful books I have ever read. I have been a Christian for a long time, and I am not unconversant when it comes to spiritual subjects. But I found myself learning fresh insights into the Christian faith on every page of this book.

Dr. Kleinig, an Australian theologian and Bible scholar, is simply the most illuminating contemporary Christian writer that I have come across. His subject here is “Christian spirituality,” what mystics and those seeking a deeper spiritual life all crave. But what he does is to open up that deep spirituality that can be found in the everyday life of the Christian: in the Gospel, in going to church, in reading the Bible, and in prayer. Grace Upon Grace has chapters on Christ and what He has done and continues to do for us; on how to meditate on God’s Word; on prayer; and on spiritual warfare.

Go to the Amazon site, which has a “look inside” feature for a sample. Go on and buy it there and the Cranach blog will get a commission. Some time ago I posted excerpts from the book on this blog. Do a search for “John Kleinig” and you can find them.

Reading it this time had an even greater impact on me than before. I was struck especially with what I was learning about intercessory prayer–praying for other people–and what it means to pray in Jesus’ name (praying as His agent for what He wants to happen). Also what he says about vocation, with his application of the New Testament’s military metaphors, with the garrison soldier not being responsible for the whole battle, just the plot of land where he was stationed.

Dr. Kleinig is Lutheran, but if you aren’t Lutheran, don’t let that keep you from reading it. All Christians can benefit from reading this book–pastors, young people in confirmation classes, lay people, new church members, everybody. If they do, they will be introduced to the riches of the Christian life. Seriously. Trust me on this. Read this book.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dennis Peskey

    I concur wholeheartedly. I have two books which are read every year, “Grace upon Grace” and “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel“. I view Dr. Kleinig’s book as the rest of the story, or to put it another way, having heard the Law and believed the Gospel, now baptised – then what?

    The subtitle, Spirituality for Today, expresses the essence of this work; mind you, the “work” is God’s continued sanctification in the life of a believer. This is not some silly self-help guide for a better you but grounds the reader in a Christocentric relationship in all facets of their life. Be good to yourself and buy the book – you deserve this.
    Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I concur wholeheartedly. I have two books which are read every year, “Grace upon Grace” and “The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel“. I view Dr. Kleinig’s book as the rest of the story, or to put it another way, having heard the Law and believed the Gospel, now baptised – then what?

    The subtitle, Spirituality for Today, expresses the essence of this work; mind you, the “work” is God’s continued sanctification in the life of a believer. This is not some silly self-help guide for a better you but grounds the reader in a Christocentric relationship in all facets of their life. Be good to yourself and buy the book – you deserve this.
    Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio
    Dennis

  • Booklover

    Thank you. I needed an excuse to buy a Kindle, and this is it.

    Two thousand of my classic books were destroyed in our flood last year. I’ll put this book on a Kindle, and put the Kindle upstairs on the highest shelf. :-)

  • Booklover

    Thank you. I needed an excuse to buy a Kindle, and this is it.

    Two thousand of my classic books were destroyed in our flood last year. I’ll put this book on a Kindle, and put the Kindle upstairs on the highest shelf. :-)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I shall consider it. Problem is, wife owns the eBook reader, and I have to be a good boy in order to get my hands on it.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I shall consider it. Problem is, wife owns the eBook reader, and I have to be a good boy in order to get my hands on it.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    I had the privilege of hearing the content of this book “from the horse’s mouth” in lectures as a seminary student. It’s a “desert island” book. Much too good for an e-reader, too good for paperback, it deserves the permanency of leather binding and acid-free paper, so it lasts for centuries.

  • http://acroamaticus.blogspot.com Pr Mark Henderson

    I had the privilege of hearing the content of this book “from the horse’s mouth” in lectures as a seminary student. It’s a “desert island” book. Much too good for an e-reader, too good for paperback, it deserves the permanency of leather binding and acid-free paper, so it lasts for centuries.

  • Geo

    I keep a journal of quotes and statements that I want to be able to go back and find quickly. Many pages are filled with such material from “Grace Upon Grace.” This book will make you feel good as you learn that growth in this new life in Christ is something that God is ready to work in you through the power of the Spirit in the Gospel. Read it. And, please, more from Kleinig!

  • Geo

    I keep a journal of quotes and statements that I want to be able to go back and find quickly. Many pages are filled with such material from “Grace Upon Grace.” This book will make you feel good as you learn that growth in this new life in Christ is something that God is ready to work in you through the power of the Spirit in the Gospel. Read it. And, please, more from Kleinig!

  • helen

    Pr. Henderson,
    May there always be an owner after you to value it as you do!

    If your library is consigned to “Half-price Books” by heirs with calloused thumbs who “don’t read”, may it do mission work there!

  • helen

    Pr. Henderson,
    May there always be an owner after you to value it as you do!

    If your library is consigned to “Half-price Books” by heirs with calloused thumbs who “don’t read”, may it do mission work there!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This book is so great – thanks for the reminder to pick it up again – which I hope to do soon.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    This book is so great – thanks for the reminder to pick it up again – which I hope to do soon.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    Bought it, can’t wait to get it.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    Bought it, can’t wait to get it.

  • Karen Locklair

    I agree! This is one of the best books I have ever read.

  • Karen Locklair

    I agree! This is one of the best books I have ever read.

  • Pingback: Spiritual life as a process of reception, part I of I « theology like a child

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