Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal, By Richard F. Lovelace alt

Dynamics of Spiritual Life

An Evangelical Theology of Renewal

Expanded Edition

by Richard F. Lovelace
Foreword by Timothy Keller

Dynamics of Spiritual Life
  • Length: 456 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: January 28, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5493
  • ISBN: 9780830854936

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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 forewordby 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."

Mark Noll, research professor of history at Regent College, coeditor of Evangelicals: Who They Have Been, Are Now, and Could Be

"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."

From the foreword by Timothy Keller

"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."

Diane J. Chandler, associate professor of Christian formation and leadership at Regent University, author of Christian Spiritual Formation

"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."

Thomas S. Kidd, Vardaman Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University

"Lovelace's insights about the ebb and flow of faith in the Western world will stretch your thinking and test your conclusions!"

Jan Johnson, author of When the Soul Listens and Meeting God in Scripture

"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."

Ray Ortlund, Renewal Ministries, Nashville, Tennessee

"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."

James Choung, vice president of strategy and innovation for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, coauthor of Longing for Revival


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



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Richard F. Lovelace

Richard F. Lovelace (ThD, Princeton) was emeritus professor of church history at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. His books include The American Pietism of Cotton Mather and Renewal as a Way of Life: A Guidebook for Spiritual Growth.