Remembering Spiritual Disciplines

Authors David Mathis and Philip Nation discuss a vital subject.

Ed Stetzer: What prompted you to write on this subject?

David Mathis: I spent eight years on the college campus, first as a college student and then discipling college students on staff with Campus Outreach. One of our biggest focuses was teaching students to “fish for themselves” in the Christian life by creating lifelong habits for Bible intake and prayer. Also, Christian community and the fellowship of the local church was an important habit to develop during the college years, to set students on a trajectory for spiritual health both during and after their college years. I had gravitated toward the topic since being assigned Don Whitney’s book by a discipler while I was a student.

Then several years later, Bethlehem College & Seminary, where I chip in as andjunct professor, assigned me a course for college juniors on personal disciplines and personal disciplemaking. This pressed me to answer common questions in the classroom, and in particular to help students simplify the framework of the spiritual disciplines, and distill the key principles, so that an often intimidating topic could become more realistic and life-giving. Teaching on the disciples inspired me to write some articles at on what I was finding most helpful in the classroom, and the team at Desiring God encouraged me to pull the vision together in book form. Crossway Books rallied to the project, and now Habits of Grace exists. Looking back, I didn’t really set out on the hunt to write this book; it’s sort of something that hunted me down.

Philip Nation: The spiritual disciplines are tools that God has used in my life to deepen my relationship with Him. Having been introduced to them by some of the classic ...

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