Gary Thomas’s book Sacred Marriage has helped many Christians realize their need for re-prioritizing their expectations regarding the purpose of marriage. Thomas argues that marriage is a spiritual discipline. It is not about making us happy; it is about sanctification. If you have not read this book and you are interested in doing so let us give you three ways to enter (please leave us a comment so that we know when you have entered via one or more of these methods):
(1) Comment here telling us why you’d like to read this book.
(2) Mention this blog post through social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter (again, please let us know that you have done this because we may not find it on our own).
(3) If you have a blog of your own, write a post redirecting others this way.
You can enter more than once by using these various methods. On January 31st, 2011, we will choose someone’s name as the winner.
Adjunct professor Gary Thomas was on the Family Life Today radio show where he discussed the place of pleasure in the Christian life.
If you would like to listen you can access the broadcast here.
By Gary Thomas with Chris Comp
Gary Thomas has been leading the DMin course, The Pursuit of God: An Historical and ContemporaryLook at Christian Spiritual Formation, for Western Seminary at the Menucha Conference Center the last few days. Gary is an award-winning author and speaker, whose books have been translated into eleven languages and include the bestselling Sacred Marriage, Sacred Pathways and the Gold Medallion Award-winning Authentic Faith. He holds a master’s degree from Regent College and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Western Seminary. He has spoken in six different countries and across the United States.
What writing projects are you working on in these days?
I’ve just finished updating “seeking the face of God”. This was my first book and I was encouraged to see how timeless it is, a reflection of my work with classical
writers. I’m also finishing a book that explores spiritual and physical fitness in which I am looking at gluttony and sloth. I have a core conviction that the soul and the body should line up when it comes to our disciplines. The body can help or hinder our service to God, so we must take both seriously.
How were you introduced to the classical writers?
I was blessed to have a fifth grade teacher who introduced me to CS Lewis. It started me on a journey of reading books that endure. At various points this has been reinforced in my life. My Pastor got me on to reading Bonheoffer and Brother Lawrence. At Regent (in Vancouver, B.C. ) my exposure to the classics really expanded.
You’re adding a church role to your life. How will this change things?
It’s too early to tell. I am excited about becoming part of a team for really the first time. All I know is that when I ministered in Houston, God began to give me a heart for this place and these people. I’m really going out of a sense of obedience. I will be a writer in residence and occasionally preach.
What contemporary writers are impacting you?
First person who comes to mind, is Klaus Bockmuehl. And yes he is dead. He died just a few years ago, but he ingrained in me the necessary maintenance of both intellectual excellence and spiritual passion. Others who reinforced this include, JI Packer, John Piper, and Wayne Grudem.
Where do you see publishing going?
Last year for the first time, over half of the American population did not read a single book. Our culture is choosing to be illiterate. Fewer and fewer people are taking the sustained time necessary to read. People who say, I don’t like to read, is like a fat person saying I don’t like to exercise. Those who are physicians to the soul must exhort people to read.
This article was adapted with permission from the D.Min program newsletter.
Sovann P. of Oregon has won our most recent book contest. He will have a copy of Gary Thomas’ Pure Pleasure sent his way. Congrats!
It is time for another book contest! This time we will be giving away a copy of Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good? by Gary Thomas (Amazon.com). In this book Thomas explores how we can cultivate pleasure in our lives learning how to find balance in it. If you are interested in winning this book there are two primary means of entering:
(1. Post a link to this post on your Facebook, MySpace, personal blog, or other social media then send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know where you posted it.
(2. If you are connected to us on Twitter you will see this blog post being tweeted by @WesternSeminary. If you RT or tweet a link to this post mentioning @WesternSeminary we will add an entry each time.
We will determine a winner on Monday, March 31st.