Growing in Christ, by Jim Cymbala. John Ortberg, Gary Thomas, Rick Warren and Mike Yaconelli (Grand Rapids: Zondervon, 2003) 141 pp., paper $12.99
Growing in Christ is a collage of five of “today’s top Christian authors discuss[ing] spiritual disciplines for everyday life” (cover). Chapters from works previously written by these five men compose the content of the book. For reviews of these authors and their books see our website: www.svchapel.org
In general, while there are a number of helpful insights in Growing in Christ, it is a mixed bag at best. As the spiritual disciplines description implies, the “spiritual masters” these authors repeatedly point to and quote are the “Christian” mystics both past and present. Perhaps most revealing is John Ortberg quoting Richard Foster and none other than Carl Jung, not in a passing way but as the basis of his whole chapter on the unhurried life (p. 51). Also, Yaconelli’s two chapters on what a mess he is spiritually, disguised as being relative, is both depressing and unbiblical.
This is a book of little value except as a primer for those wanting to know what popular authors today are passing off as ways to grow spiritually.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher Southern View Chapel