Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Perfect Devotional Book

So here's the question: What makes a devotional book good? If you were to have the perfect daily devotional book, what would be in it?

A good starting point in answering this question would be to take this survey:

Rate each of the following according to its importance. 1 - Not Important 3 - Neutral 5 - Very Important.

- Daily Scripture Reading
- Covers many areas of faith
- Spiritually Challenging
- Simple
- Daily Prayer
- Journaling Instructions

Here are some other areas where I would like to gain your opinion:
Do you like devotional books that cover a lot of different books of the Bible, or ones that focus on a single book or genre?
Would you like devotional books that deal with some of the difficult passages of the Bible, more obscure instead of ones that are taught a lot?

I would appreciate any other of your thoughts on the matter as well!

4 comments:

  1. 5 - Daily Scripture Reading
    3 - Covers many areas of faith
    5 - Spiritually Challenging
    1 - Simple (I've never found faith/scripture to be simple.)
    1 - Daily Prayer (I only rated this 1 because it's something I have always struggled with. My wife and many others would disagree with me and perhaps it is just something I need a new perspective on.)
    3 - Journaling Instructions

    Do you like devotional books that cover a lot of different books of the Bible, or ones that focus on a single book or genre?
    Single book. I like when the context, author, characters, cultural & historical setting, and audience are laid out in detail and all the themes and verses are tied back into the contextual meaning. (I guess I like my devotional to be more of a personal Bible study).

    Would you like devotional books that deal with some of the difficult passages of the Bible, more obscure instead of ones that are taught a lot?
    Yes - my favorites have been when I studied Job and most recently Ecclesiastes.

    I also enjoy, as do many others, O. Chambers MUFHH which does not fit the above description but I enjoy it because it can be done with limited amount of time, hits on pretty tough issues, and his theology always seems rock solid.

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  2. In a lot of the devotionals that I've seen, prayer and journaling are closely related. You ranked daily prayer a 1 and journaling a 3. What do you think about their interconnectedness and your valuing of them?

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  3. Hmmm. I guess I would consider journaling to be introspective/a way to organize thoughts, while I have traditionally considered prayer as either liturgy, a form of public speaking, or a psychological cry of desperation. Now that you mention it though, I could see prayer being an effective form of introspection.

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  4. This is an interesting thought.

    Is prayer not communication with God before it is anything else?

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What do you think?