Looked over a copy of Discovering Our Spiritual Identity: Practices for the Beloved by Trevor Hudson this week. New from InterVarsity Press, this will be a good addition to your recommended list if you’re looking for ways to “live out…[your] spiritual identity as God’s beloved.”
There are a number of aspects to really love about Discovering Our Spiritual Identity. First, as Dallas Willard puts it in the forward, “Trevor Hudson states with utter simplicity and clarity the profound truths of Jesus Christ, about how we can live well and beautifully, no matter what our circumstances.” If you’re like me and you’re looking for “easy to wrap your mind around”…you’ll appreciate the simplicity here.
Second, the practical exercises included in each chapter are the kind of holy experiment that can be done alone and then discussed with a group of fellow travelers. Alternatively, they can be used as a kind of journal entry that will allow healthy interaction with the content. Discovering Our Spiritual Identity is much more than a reading assignment. It really is a set of 16 very practical steps that can be taken in a spiritual journey.
Third, each chapter concludes with a set of questions appropriate for a group or interaction with a spiritual director or partner. While this would be a challenging interaction for some small groups (there is no leaders guide and the subject matter will require a level of maturity not always found in every group), many groups will find it just the thing to help them take essential next steps in spiritual growth.
I can imagine that many, many of the participants in our congregations would greatly benefit from interacting with the ideas and practices in this book. Beginning with drawing a new picture of God and continuing on through sections on spiritual friendship, solitude and silence, and offering encouraging words, this is a workbook experience that has the potential to powerfully impact and redirect spiritual status quo.
If there is a concern about the book it is simply that without a leader’s guide it’s application will be limited to individuals/groups that have the required level of maturity. At the same time, there will be many will find in Discovering Our Spiritual Identity a trajectory altering experience.