Fresh Air for Every Day

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 6.31.33 PMThis is what Eugene Peterson says about Jack Levison’s new book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit:

Jack Levison studies, meditates, prays, and writes of the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives with more skill and understanding than anyone I know. His latest book, 40 Days with the Holy Spirit, is conspicuous for its lively, down-to-earth conversation in this much neglected and misunderstood aspect of the Christian faith. He insists that this is not a specialist interest, not something for “advanced” Christians to take. He is determined to open the doors of hospitality widely to every last one of us. And he does it.

This is what Jack says himself:

Whenever I write about other topics, I itch to get back to the Holy Spirit. Whenever I’m asked to teach in churches, I teach about the Holy Spirit. Whenever I blog, I tend to blog about the Holy Spirit. Whenever I find my mind wandering, it’s usually in the realm of the Holy Spirit (xiv).

As with many Paraclete books, the book is shaped for the church calendar and this one for Lent, but this book far transcends Lent. It is for personal spiritual formation. What matters perhaps most about the Holy Spirit is that we don’t “get” the Spirit conceptually and internally all at once (even if you are charismatic!) but we need to learn about the Spirit more and more. We learn not by cramming it all into one session — grabbing a concordance, a dictionary and a big theological book — but by daily long term routine exposure.

Jack’s book is designed to do that: 40 days. Stories, good Bible study, and a prayer at the end of each short chapter.

Gathered around seven verbs and these verbs organize the themes of the book:

breathing, praying, practicing, learning, leading, building, and blossoming.

This is a devotional … by a world class Bible scholar… and he’s not pandering to anyone’s theology … and he opens the Bible and lets the Spirit turn chaos into order.

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