Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Book
Theology is "the doctrine of living unto God," wrote the Puritan theologian William Ames. Unfortunately, post-Enlightenment theology has tended to divorce "doctrine" from "living unto God." And to the degree that this split has been deepened and perpetuated, both theology and spirituality have been impoverished.
Spiritual Theology is a rare book. In it, Simon Chan surveys the little-explored landscape where systematic theology and godly praxis meet, highlighting the connections between Christian doctrine and Christian living and drawing out the spiritual implications of particular aspects of systematic theology. Allowing rational formulations to drop into the background, he brings the mystery of the faith to the fore.
Chan begins with the principal doctrines of God, sin, salvation and the church. He then progresses to a reflective consideration of the practice of the spiritual life, from prayer to spiritual direction. Unabashedly evangelical and truly ecumenical, Chan grounds his exploration in the sources of the Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox traditions. His work is well abreast of contemporary theological currents and crossculturally conversant from an Asian perspective.
Spiritual Theology is a book for those who care deeply about theology and spirituality, and strive to integrate the two. It is well worth careful reflection and prayerful reading.
Part One: The Theological Principles of Spiritual Theology
1. Christian Spiritual Theology: Its Nature and Criteria
2. The Christian Doctrine of God as the Foundation of Christian Spirituality
3. Sin and Human Nature
4. Salvation and the Life of Spiritual Progress
5. The Church as the Community of Saints
Part Two: The Practice of the Spiritual Life
6. The Theology and Life of Prayer
7. Spiritual Exercises Focusing on God and Self
8. Spiritual Exercises Focusing on the Word
9. Spiritual Exercises Focusing on the World
10. The Rule of Life
11. The Discernment of Spirits
12. The Art of Spiritual Direction
Index of Persons
Index of Subjects