Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality, By David G. Benner

Surrender to Love

Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality

The Spiritual Journey

Expanded Edition

by David G. Benner
Foreword by M. Basil Pennington

Surrender to Love
  • Length: 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: September 24, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 4611
  • ISBN: 9780830846115

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Surrender to the Only Perfectly Trustworthy Love

In our self-reliant era, most of us recoil from the concept of surrendering to a power or authority outside ourselves. But surrender need not be seen as threatening, especially when the One to whom we surrender is the epitome of goodness and love.

God doesn't want his people to respond to him out of fear or obligation. Rather, he invites us to enter into an authentic relationship of intimacy and devotion. And so God calls us to move beyond mere obedience—by surrendering to love.

In this profound book, David G. Benner explores the twin themes of love and surrender as the heart of Christian spirituality. Through careful examination of Scripture and reflection on the Christian tradition, Benner shows how God bids us to trust fully in his perfect love. God is love, and he intends for you to live in his love. Surrender to Love will lead you to an unexpected place, where yieldedness to God frees you to become who he created you to be.

This expanded edition, one of three titles in The Spiritual Journey trilogy, includes:

  • A new epilogue
  • An experiential guide with questions for individual reflection, as well as
  • Questions for group discussion.

"Surrender to Love by David Benner is one of my favorite spiritual books, so much so that it is an assigned text in our Transforming Community experience. With the addition of an excellent study guide, it becomes an even more effective tool for spiritual transformation."

Ruth Haley Barton, founder, Transforming Center, author of Life Together in Christ

"If love makes the world go around then it's clear why the world isn't doing very well. The tragic reality is that most people don't know what real love looks like, and so they spend a lifetime living with a superficial caricature of the real thing. David Benner shows us that our willingness to cultivate an intimate love relationship with God is directly related to our ability to experience a rich and meaningful love relationship with another person. If you're tired of substitutes and want to go for the real thing, if you are ready to experience deep levels of companionship and connection, then Surrender to Love is for you."

Gary J. Oliver, PhD, executive director, The Center for Relationship Enrichment, and professor of psychology and practical theology, John Brown University

"I receive many books to review. This is one of the most beautiful, powerful and insightful books I have ever read. Dr. Benner shares his lived experience in a way that opens for the reader the possibility of a true transformation."

M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, abbot, Abbey of Blessed Mary of Saint Joseph, author of Centering Prayer

"The message, the intention, the reality of God-in-Christ is love. The simplicity and profundity of this truth has been written about and taught on over and over through the ages, but rarely so clearly and helpfully as in Dr. David Benner's classic, Surrender to Love. As I journey alongside others in their lives with God, and as I myself continue to learn the ways of God, Surrender to Love is an invaluable reminder of the depth and power of what it means to experience and abandon oneself to the fullness of Love. This newest edition does what I had not thought possible after recommending this book to others for nearly a decade—it makes encounter and surrender even more accessible to all who come thirsty to these waters. With the heart of a mystic and the mind of a scholar, Benner gently leads the reader not just to an understanding but to an experience of the strongest force in the universe: love. This book is nothing less than an experience of vulnerable authenticity that, if you let it, will lead you to surrender to, and true union with, God. If you are tired of reading the message of self-improvement cloaked in spiritual language, Surrender to Love will take you deep into the heart of real transformation in Christ. If you've picked up this book wondering what it's about or are longing for an experience of Love in the deepest parts of you, don't put it down. Instead, accept the invitation to learn the ways of love from a soul who has walked those paths before you and will lead you tenderly to the very places you long to go."

Tara M. Owens, spiritual director, Anam Cara Ministries, senior editor, Conversations Journal, author, Embracing the Body

"When it comes to love, ours is a culture of many words but not much wisdom. Surrender to Love invited me into deeper places of entrusting myself to the healing depths of God's love. What could be better? What could be more life-giving? I?ve often encouraged friends to read this little book. I extend the same invitation to you."

Alan Fadling, executive director, The Leadership Institute, author, An Unhurried Life

"My favorite David G. Benner books are his trilogy: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself and Desiring God's Will—and my preferred among these favorites is Surrender to Love. It was written in a very brief period of time and its long shelf life attests to the author's burst of inspiration. It is about the difference between white-knuckled obedience versus warm-hearted surrender in our attempts to live God's love."

Gary W. Moon, director, Martin Family Institute and Dallas Willard Center, Westmont College, author of Apprenticeship with Jesus


Foreword by M. Basil Pennington
Preface: Surrender, Love and Spirituality
1. It All Begins with Love
2. Love and Fear
3. Surrender and Obedience
4. Transformed by Love
5. Becoming Love
Epilogue: Surrender and the Spiritual Journey

Appendix: For Reflection and Discussion
A Five-Session Discussion Guide to Surrender to Love
A One-Session Discussion Guide to Surrender to Love
About the Author
Books by David G. Benner


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David G. Benner

David G. Benner (PhD, York University) is an internationally known depth psychologist, author, and wisdom teacher whose life's work has been directed toward facilitating human unfolding through a journey of awakening and transformation. He is the founding director, teacher, and mentor of Cascadia Living Wisdom. He has authored many books, including The Spiritual Journey trilogy: Surrender to Love, The Gift of Being Yourself, and Desiring God's Will.