Published in 2007
Review by Ryan Ho
I first heard of Tim Challies while surfing through reviews on Amazon.com. His reviews stood out to me as incredibly intellectually and theologically discerning, so I decided to read his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, in order to discover his critical method. As I read, I sought to develop my own “discipline” of spiritual discernment further and hoped that Challies could help me in that venture. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
Challies views spiritual discernment as something that is not only important for Christians but absolutely necessary. The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment is divided into ten easy-to-follow chapters. In each chapter, Challies uses a variety of means to demonstrate why we should value spiritual discernment. Throughout, Challies shows how the Bible calls believers to practice spiritual discernment in their own lives. Challies exhorts believers to treat spiritual discernment as they would any other spiritual discipline, seeking to develop it and integrate it into ministry.
Although The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment isn’t perfect – I’ll never remember all 17 actions listed in the last chapter, and I was sick of reading John MacArthur quotes by about the fourth chapter – it is a much needed book dealing with an oft-overlooked topic in today’s church. The church is indebted to individuals such as Challies who aren’t afraid to stand up for what is true and right, and I recommend The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment to anyone longing to grow in spiritual depth and maturity.