Dynamics of Spiritual Life
In this classic work of spiritual theology, historian Richard Lovelace presents a history of spiritual renewals in light of biblical models. Drawing from the best of different Protestant traditions, Dynamics of Spiritual Life lays out a comprehensive approach to the renewal of the church.
In the first half of the book, Lovelace surveys awakening movements since the Reformation, particularly emphasizing Jonathan Edwards's theology of renewal. He then goes deeper into specific elements of such movements and their significance for both doctrinal reformation and spiritual renewal.
Lovelace examines such practical issues as renewal of the local congregation, ways revivals go wrong, prospects for closing the "sanctification gap," the historical role of evangelical movements in promoting both unity and division, and Christian approaches to the arts. With scholarly and pastoral insight, he offers a powerful vision of renewal that can unify various models across traditions, combining individual and corporate spirituality, social activism, and evangelism.
For over forty years, this well-loved book has helped Christians understand the spiritual movement they are a part of and guided leaders in planting and pastoring churches. This expanded edition features a new foreword by Timothy Keller.
"Richard Lovelace's Dynamics of Spiritual Life was a rare kind of book when it was first published in 1979—biblically balanced, theologically sober, historically well informed, and pastorally inspiring. Since the need for such a book is now even greater, this expanded edition is a godsend. In our age so fixated on stones that cannot satisfy, Lovelace points us to the bread of heaven."
"To say that my time studying with Richard Lovelace was seminal to my thinking and way of doing ministry is an understatement. Anyone who knows my ministry and reads this book will say, 'So that's where Keller got all this stuff!' Dynamics of Spiritual Life is still one of my top recommended resources for pastors and lay leaders to study so they can more effectively foster gospel renewal. . . . . I'm glad this book is appearing in a new edition, continuing to equip readers who long for renewal in their churches, their communities, and their lives."
"Richard F. Lovelace traces the ingredients of revival movements: earnest confession, focused prayer, biblical holiness, and passionate obedience. As his expanded edition of Dynamics of Spiritual Life attests, both individual and corporate renewal reflect a rich history that is ours to reclaim today for kingdom advance. Refusing to separate individual and corporate church renewal from mission in and to the world, including social engagement, Lovelace's timeless treasure invites us to follow Christ afresh through the power of the Holy Spirit. Veni Creator Spiritus."
"Richard F. Lovelace is a rare Christian scholar who combines deep historical insight with urgent passion for renewal in the contemporary church. I am delighted that his landmark book Dynamics of Spiritual Life will be available to inspire a new generation of readers."
"Lovelace's insights about the ebb and flow of faith in the Western world will stretch your thinking and test your conclusions!"
"Dynamics of Spiritual Life by Richard Lovelace has made a unique contribution to my ministry. No one else clarified for me the convictions that can guide a church into a revival-ready condition. The genius of this book is not that Lovelace invents new strategies for pastoring but that he shows us, in practical ways, how the gospel is the power of God for our ongoing salvation."
"This is a classic work, a go-to primer that lays out a solid framework for revival. And while the book shows bountiful evidence of thorough scholarship, Lovelace's passion for holistic renewal and revival comes through loud and clear. If you're interested in renewal in our day, this book is a must-read."
Foreword by Timothy Keller
Part I. Dynamics of Renewal
1. Jonathan Edwards and the Jesus Movement
2. Biblical Models of Cyclical and Continuous Renewal
3. Preconditions of Continuous Renewal
4. Primary Elements of Continuous Renewal
5. Secondary Elements of Renewal
Part II. Renewal in the Church
6. The Renewal of the Local Congregation
7. The Sanctification Gap
8. How Revivals Go Wrong
9. Live Orthodoxy
10. Unitive Evangelicalism
11. The Evangelical Muse
12. The Spiritual Roots of Christian Social Concern
13. Prospects for Renewal