Spirituality Old & New: Recovering Authentic Spiritual Life, By Donald G. Bloesch

Spirituality Old & New

Recovering Authentic Spiritual Life

by Donald G. Bloesch

Spirituality Old & New
  • Length: 196 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: May 11, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2838
  • ISBN: 9780830828388

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Donald Bloesch surveys this history of Christian thinking on the nature of the spiritual life. In his own charitable, ecumenical yet evangelical way he provides incisive guidance toward a genuine Christian spirituality that is firmly rooted in biblical faith and fully aware of the positive contributions of various streams of Christian tradition, while critically engaging the current plethora of options being offered today.

"Donald Bloesch's Spirituality Old New is an extraordinary gift to Christians everywhere, pastors and laity alike. It's really all about walking with God under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Amid all the fads, half-truths, dead ends and dangers, Bloesch steers us with a steady, experienced, biblical hand to the goal---which is not about our 'feeling it' but about God 'receiving it'--the praise and devotion he deserves. This just has to be put on everyone's all-time top five list of books on the topic."

David W. Gill, author of Becoming Good: Building Moral Character and Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles

"Donald Bloesch rightly believes, as did one of his favorite authors P. T. Forsyth, that it is dangerous to cultivate our own piety when we should rather seek God for peace. This volume explains not only why this assertion is true, but it does so with exceptional clarity and ecumenical irenicism. This is a book desperately needed when many evangelicals are moving away from biblical personalism. Bloesch is a master teacher, and the church desperately needs the wisdom of his excellent book. It ought to be required reading by every teacher of spiritual formation--Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox."

John H. Armstrong, President, ACT 3

"Who among evangelical theologians can provide a more authoritative word on 'spirituality old and new' than Donald G. Bloesch? In his new book by that title, Bloesch is discerning and critical, yet open and winsome; erudite and edifying; wise but passionate. Readers will find an analysis of the dangers lurking everywhere in spiritualities old and new in our culture today, and also Bloesch's robust biblical, historical, evangelical alternative. The book's subtitle, Recovering Authentic Spiritual Life, has been a central focus of Bloesch's interest, research and reflection from the very beginning of his career that now spans over fifty years. While Bloesch learns from many, he is a slave to none as he adds yet another jewel to his long list of publications. This is the most significant contribution to the conversation on spirituality by an evangelical in quite some time."

Rev. Dr. Elmer M. Colyer, Professor of Historical Theology and Stanley Professor of Wesley Studies, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

"Here is a biblical and churchly 'spirituality' so needed today as an alternative to the New Age nostrums that crowd the mall bookstore shelves. Along the way, Donald Bloesch examines a range of offerings for the cure of souls that includes classical mysticism--its strengths and weaknesses--current gnosticisms in Christian garb and their post-Christian equivalents while making his powerful case for a Christocentric spiritual life of loving God and serving the world."

Gabriel Fackre, Abbot Professor of Christian Theology Emeritus, Andover Newton Theological School

"With a warm and passionate presentation, this is a book from a senior evangelical theologian that is important reading for Christians today."

David Parker, Evangelical Review of Theology, July 2008

"Spirituality Old New is a helpful treatment of this hot topic stressing that true biblical spirituality grows out of correct theology and warning against careless borrowing of other forms of spirituality."

Preaching.com, Bible and Bible Reference Survey 2007


Abbreviations of Bible Translations

1. Introduction
Perduring Types
Leading Mentors and Teachers
The Legacy of Pietism
Continuing Questions

2. In Quest of Spirituality
Faith and Spirituality
True Spirituality
The Crisis in Spirituality

3. Types of Spirituality
Mystical Religion
Biblical Religion
A New Spiritual Vision
Ideal Types

4. Classical Mysticism
The Mystical Experience
The God Above God
The Eternal and the Temporal
Ascent to Divinity
Call to the Desert
The Church Within
The Biblical-Classical Synthesis
Appendix A. Christian Mysticism and Gnosticism

5. Biblical Personalism
The Sovereign, Creator God
The Divine-Human Encounter
The Scandal of Particularity
Word and Spirit
Salvation by Grace
The Paradoxical Love of the Cross
Holy Worldliness
The Struggle of Prayer
The Great Commission

6. The New Spirituality
Historical Roots
The New Metaphysics
Key Concepts
Secular Mysticism
Rebirth of the Gods
Appendix B: The New Age Movement

7. Worldviews in Collision
Doctrine of God
Jesus Christ
Life and Vocation
Faith, Hope and Love
Prayer and Action
Ecclesiology and Eschatology
Life and Faith
Appendix C. An Unresolved Tension

8. For Christ and His Kingdom
A Churchly Spirituality
The Dialogue with Mysticism
The Dialogue with Pentecostalism
Freedom for Obedience
Appendix D. Therese de Lisieux: An Evangelical Saint?
Appendix E. A Hymn of Pietism

Name Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Donald G. Bloesch

Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010) earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and was professor of theology emeritus at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He did postdoctoral work at the universities of Oxford, Tübingen, and Basel. He wrote numerous books, including Faith and Its Counterfeits, Evangelical Theology in Transition, Theological Notebook: Volume 3, Essentials of Evangelical Theology, The Future of Evangelical Christianity, The Struggle of Prayer, Spirituality Old & New, Freedom for Obedience, and the seven-volume Christian Foundations series. He also served for a time as president of the Midwest Division of the American Theological Society.