“The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations” by Mary Schaller

The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Walking alongside People Who Believe DifferentlyThe 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations: Walking alongside People Who Believe Differently by Mary Schaller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book seems to have a straightforward title. Based on the ministry of Y’shua, this work seeks to identify the primary arts of spiritual conversations, which are summarized in nine points: (i) the art of noticing, (ii) the art of praying, (iii) the art of listening, (iv) the art of asking questions, (v) the art of loving, (vi) the art of welcoming, (vii) the art of facilitating, (viii) the art of serving together, and (ix) the art of sharing. From there, the book seeks to mature the ongoing spiritual conversations in one’s life within two final chapters. This book finds itself meeting the need of teaching others how to maintain spiritual conversations without condemnation or judgement, as well as how to benefit both parties instead of causing pain or problem. The purpose of this book is not a single venture into helping talk about the things of G-d without problem, but also to a larger aspect: how to make and build disciples. After all, the Great Commission is not about evangelism, but rather about discipleship. It is not how many “souls are saved,” but rather how many grow closer to HaShem, that matter. This book aims to help remedy the problem by helping make spiritual conversations casual and in-awkward, giving readers the ability to make the spiritual not only part of the spiritual realm, but here and now.

The author’s voice, specifically in this case both their voices, balance one another. While one of the authors throws facts at the reader, the other helps translate the content into digestible chunks that helps the readers understand the purpose of the information. The authors tackle the challenge of recent views that evangelism belongs only to the professionals and helps teach how spiritual conversations are still a necessity of the average believer. This is beneficial in a way that it equips the readers to engage spiritual conversations, but dangerous in that if a reader grasps the notion but doesn’t bother to actually read the material, and then progresses to do the very things that are taught not to do in the material. Such is not the fault of the others, other than the readability of the text can be a little…dreary or boring. The verbiage used is metaphor-rich and will engage many, but does not, unfortunately, engage me as well as I had hoped.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post.

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