Cover Image: Hearing God's Words

Hearing God's Words:
Exploring Biblical Spirituality (NSBT)

Peter Adam (Leicester: Apollos, 2004)

Blurb Review by Gordon Kennedy, Stranraer


Many discussions of Christian spirituality draw on a range of traditions and 'disciplines'. However, little attention appears to have been given to the Bible itself as a source of spirituality, or its teaching on this theme. Furthermore, a common assumption is that the evangelical tradition has little to offer in the area of spirituality. In response, Peter Adam urges us to renew our confidence in a biblical model of spirituality, and to test our spirituality by the Bible. Drawing on a selection of Old and New Testament texts, along with significant insights from the Christian tradition, he expounds the shape and the structure of a gospel-centered 'spirituality of the Word', through which we receive the life that God gives, and know God himself. This is a very important book which deserves to be well digested by church leaders and preachers. Highly recommended.


Introduction: A strange silence

1. Biblical spirituality: Whoever is from God hears the words of God
a. Biblical spirituality?
b. Evangelical spirituality?
c. Reformed spirituality?
d. Biblical theology and spirituality?
e. The shape and structure of biblical spirituality

2. The Old Testament: hear my words, O my people
a. Genesis: Words of promise, words of power
b. Deuteronomy: Hear, O Israel!
c. Job: Words of revelation, words of faith
d. Psalms: O that today you would listen to his voice!
e. Proverbs: Every word of God proves true
f. Jeremiah: My words in your mouth

3. The New Testament: The words that I have spoken are spirit and life
a. Luke: That you may know the truth
b. Romans: Strengthened by gospel proclamation
c. Colossians: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
d. Hebrews: God has spoken
e. 1 Peter: The living and enduring word of God
f. 1 John: The word of God abides in you
g. Revelation: Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches

4. Calvin's theology of revelation: Faith hearing the word of Christ
a. Theological foundations
b. Christ's one covenant
c. One people of God
d. One Word of God
e. Summary

5. Issues in spirituality: Sanctify them in your truth; your word is truth
a. Words and images, faith and sight
b. Sacred times, places, objects and actions
c. Sacred times, places objects and actions today?
d. The power of words
e. Summary

6. Examples of spirituality: They have kept your word
a. Corporate spirituality of the Word in the early church
b. Word and Spirit in Puritan-Quaker debate
c. Richard Baxter on meditation

Conclusion: The unfolding of your words gives light
a. Meditation

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