Monday, August 18, 2008
Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul's Path to God by Gary Thomas
The premise of this book is that not everyone was designed to worship God in the same way. The author presents his belief that there are 9 different “spiritual pathways” (or temperaments) that people can fall into, often being strongest in one, but also exhibiting traits of some of the others, too.
The 9 Spiritual Temperaments are:
1. The Naturalist - Loving God Out-of-Doors
2. The Sensate - Loving God with the Senses
3. The Traditionalist - Loving God through Ritual & Symbol
4. The Ascetic - Loving God in Solitude & Simplicity
5. The Activist - Loving God through Confrontation
6. The Caregiver - Loving God by Loving Others
7. The Enthusiast - Loving God with Mystery & Celebration
8. The Contemplative - Loving God through Contemplation
9. The Intellectual - Loving God with the Mind
Each chapter outlines the characteristics of each temperament, mentions some Biblical characters who displayed these characteristics, tells the strengths & weaknesses of each temperament, and gives some examples of how the Christian who is strongest in that particular temperament could “refresh” their faith by applying some new worship practices / styles. The end of each chapter has a “test” of 6 questions to rate whether or not you have a “preference” for that temperament, while the end of the book has a place where you write in your overall scores so that you can see which you’re strongest in.
This book was really enlightening, and I found lots that I can put to use in my life. I’d recommend it, especially for those who feel they’ve “gone flat” in their worship of God / in their faith.