Spiritual practices are very important in helping guide any Christ follower along their walk with God. There are many books published that talk about the ancient spiritual practices, their importance to someone’s spiritual journey, and practical application ideas. With that being said, Finding Our Way Again by Brian McLaren, the first book in The Ancient Practices Series, is nothing special, and quite frankly didn’t bring anything new to the table that hadn’t already been published. The book talks shortly about the spiritual practices that are common to the Abrahamic traditions of faith: fixed hour prayer, fasting, Sabbath, the sacred meal, pilgrimage, observance of sacred seasons, and giving. McLaren does not go into great length of any of the practices, but talked briefly about an important value to any Christian, whether newer to faith or older. The key point was that “most of the truly important skills we learn in life come through training, practice, tradition or community” (81). The spiritual practices will help people to grow as Christians, but if they don’t practice, or attempt to practice, they won’t grow in their abilities to use these practices.
The point that I struggle the most with in reading this book, and maybe this was due to my knowledge of Brian McLaren, but I felt the book was more of a spiritual book for anyone religious or spiritual. It wasn’t showing Christians the ancient practices, and practical ways to use them in their daily life. There are far better resources on the market that talk at greater length about spiritual practices, and also create realistic ideas of how a Christ follower could practice them. This book almost attempts to appeal to people in many different religions, and I feel that is due to what Brian McLaren believes is clouded. I would not recommend this book to a Christ follower for the simple fact that it does not concentrate on why spiritual practices are important in focusing on Christ, and putting him at the center of our lives. There are better books available from authors who are truly working at these spiritual practices to grow in their relationship with Christ.
What are your thoughts if you have read the book? Please comment below if you have ideas of how the spiritual practices can help you grow closer to Christ, and/or how they have helped you in the past.