Awakening the Quieter Virtues
Big, colorful virtues like courage and decisiveness in crisis easily get our attention. But sometimes it's those everyday values that shape us much more profoundly.
Lost in our noisy, flashy, gaudy world are the quiet virtues that work behind the scenes--molding our character, guiding our actions, enriching our lives. Greg Spencer unfolds the beauty and nature of each, showing us how to take notice of discernment, innocence, generosity, authenticity and more.
In this book you'll discover how far from being dull these quieter virtues actually are. Though often hidden, they play a formative role in who we become and what we do.
"Readable, lively, rich with biblical wisdom and cultural awareness, Awakening the Quieter Virtues will awaken readers to a fresh reflection on how to reclaim and revitalize the ancient notion of 'virtue' in a personal and pertinent way amid the noise and haste of a media-saturated world. Greg Spencer speaks with humility, humor and clarity--exemplary virtues that model the fruits of quiet time with Scripture, with students and with the Spirit that informs this deeply practical, encouraging book."
"In the past, I've turned to the writings of Foster and Eugene Peterson for wisdom and practical help in developing these 'quieter virtues.' I'll be putting Awakening the Quieter Virtues on the shelf right next to them."
"Greg Spencer's weighty (and funny!) book shows how virtue, like still water, runs deep in ways our noisy culture--and noisy people--routinely miss. Awakening the Quieter Virtues perfectly embodies Chesterton's dictum that the loud things are usually 'small publicities,' no big deal, and that the quiet things are often 'gigantic secrets,' real treasures that when sought after will change your life. And he makes you laugh while he does it!"
"This is a wonderful book--timely, engaging and sensible beyond measure. It inspires with hope while revealing our sad reliance on busyness as a substitute for being good and faithful persons. I recommend it highly."
"Greg Spencer has written a brilliant book. Awakening the Quieter Virtues is an invitation to a deeper life with God. It leads us into the sanctuary of the soul where the noise and debris of everyday life are shut out and the love and power of God rush in. Dr. Spencer is not afraid to elevate everyday life as the proving ground of spiritual devotion. In fact, many of his illustrations arise directly from these experiences. That's what makes this book so alluring. But in drawing on our common experiences, he helps us find their deeper meaning and, in the process, discover the deeper beauty and meaning of our entire life. A must-read."
"This book would be an excellent addition to any church library. Spencer's clever insight will challenge believers to steer away from morals the world claims to be ideal and focus instead on biblical truth. Men and women, college age and older, will benefit greatly from following the guidance of this book."
"With illustrations drawn from the culture, his family, and students, Spencer puts meat on the bones of these definitions and shows how the quiet virtues help 'communicate God's beauty' and 'speak into a wild and noisy world, shouting softly.'"
"Spencer dispels many misconceptions about terms such as innocence and modesty, and gives thoughtful insights into the refreshing peacefulness, yet unmistakable power, of these seldom studied concepts. It's time to turn up the volume on the quieter virtues."
"A great choice for a discipleship group . . . The virtues discussed sadly are unknown and neglected in our culture by teens and adults."
"Highly inspirational read that shouldn't be missed by those who find themselves lost in life."
"While he is solidly moored in the foundations of evangelical theology, Spencer takes a less didactic approach and is willing to engage questions around social justice and the effect of new media on Christian behavior. Those features may make this book appeal to a wider spectrum of readers."
"Spencer writes with clarity, focus, and total sincerity, and his identification of the ills to which we are subject, and their potential remedies in these quiet virtues, comes to seem indispensable."
1 The Grinch Was Right
2 Discernment: Choosing Life or Cheering Death
The Discipline of Attentiveness
3 Innocence: Lost and Found
The Discipline of Advocacy
4 Authenticity: Our Genuine Longing
The Discipline of Real Presence
5 Modesty: It's Not a Modest Virtue
The Discipline of Timely Remembrance
6 Reverence: The Church Without Shoes
The Discipline of Astonishment
7 Contentment: Don't Care How; I Want It Now!
The Discipline of Ars Morendi
8 Generosity: Fingers, Fists and an Open Hand
The Discipline of Compassionate Imagination
9 Shouting Softly
Appendix: Definitions and Disciplines