Manual A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

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Groups Ministry. Women's Ministry. Young Adult Ministry. Student Ministry. Originally published in at the beginning of the Enlightenment, when rational criticism of religious belief was at its peak, William Law's A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life succeeded in inspiring the most cynical men of the age with its arguments in favor of a spiritual life. Law's challenge of conventional piety and emphasis on Christian perfection directly influenced literary critic Samuel Johnson and historian Edward Gibbon, as well as Cardinal John Henry Newman.

More than simply a set of rules to live by, Law's book examines what it means to lead a Christian life and criticizes the perversion of Christian tenets by secular and spiritual establishments. His thoughts on prayer, personal holiness, stewardship, pride and humility, and service to the poor will resonate with contemporary readers.

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Law finds a spark of piety in a reader's mind, he will soon kindle it into a flame. Sale: product. Regular Price:. Bulk Discount. John Wesley called it one of three books that accounted for his first "explicit resolve to be all devoted to God. Proclaiming that God does not merely forgive our disobedience, but directly calls us to obedience and to a life completely centered in him, he chides, "If you will here stop and ask yourself why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but because you never thoroughly intended it.

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William Law - A Serious Call To A Devout And Holy Life

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  • After Law describes the intensity with which Christians ought to devote themselves to holy and devout living, he prescribes the primary method for that living: daily prayer—prayer at formal times during the day and continuous prayer throughout the day. He explains that Christians must prayer in all circumstances, primarily because the act of prayer cultivates affections toward God. Prayer, however, takes time. And many Christians do not think that prayer is worth the time that it takes—at least the unhurried, contemplative, intentional prayers that Law prescribes.

    Although prayer is time consuming, Law does not give any indication that people who are unusually busy are exempt from lengthy times of prayer. He does indicate that those who are free from the obligations to work for a living should devote themselves to prayer all the more.

    Prayer and meditation are those methods of improving devotion that all Christians are responsible to faithfully and thoughtfully pursue. Law follows these methods of piety by explaining that without humility, they are useless. He teaches that the most difficult part of being humble is that the world teaches the exact opposite of humility, and because people are afraid of what others think about them, humility is hindered by fear.

    He persuades Christians to stop being afraid what unbelievers will think if they demonstrate true, Christ-like humility. Finally, Law concludes that devoted, holy living takes into consideration other people. This book calls Christians to radically holy living, and it has made this call for centuries.

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    I was surprised to read that this book affected John Newton. There were points in my reading that I felt that Law was developing a plan for holy living that is impossible to pursue, and without the energies of Christ, it is impossible to pursue. However, his explanations and illustrations helped me greatly. I especially appreciated the fictional characters he utilized to serve as examples throughout the book.

    His teaching makes me want to perceive God more biblically and respond to the perception more deeply.

    William Law

    Aug 17, Tyler Eason rated it really liked it. This is a helpful and convicting book. While he writes from a unique and often aberrant theological perspective Christian perfectionism , Law gives practical steps to take on the path of holiness that are relevant for believers in every walk of life. Jan 08, Nemo added it Shelves: christianity. William Law in this work reminds me of Leo Tolstoy in his late writings. Both of them write with a limpid style, both make moral arguments that are undeniably logical and rational, both make severe and incisive criticisms of Christendom, and not surprisingly, both were excommunicated.

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    If a Christian reader tries to see things through Law's eyes, he would find himself in a dream world, where people, himself included, live in a way that defies logic and reason, either sleepwalking through the day William Law in this work reminds me of Leo Tolstoy in his late writings. If a Christian reader tries to see things through Law's eyes, he would find himself in a dream world, where people, himself included, live in a way that defies logic and reason, either sleepwalking through the day never knowing where they were going, or habitually engaging in various kinds of activities that are beneficial to none but harmful to all.

    Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

    The reader is then perhaps confronted with an uncomfortable choice: Either Law is a crackbrained writer, or something is seriously wrong with my way of life. If that is the case, the condescending and sarcastic, though urbanely controlled, tone in the introduction written by the Reverend Charles Bigg, DD is quite understandable. To judge for yourself, read an excerpt of "Serious Call"at Nemo's Library. It is representative of Law's writing and ideas.

    Oct 22, Gregory rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Christians. Recommended to Gregory by: Discovered it in the Classics. Shelves: favorites. A must read classic. The author has a passion for Christ that is most uncommon for this modern age. With line upon line and precept upon precept, he lays down a solid, biblical foundation for understanding the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Once you take the time to carefully read this book, you will see that the work of sanctification in the believer belongs alone to the person of the Holy Spirit.

    More emphasis is placed on the power of the finished work of Christ than on the struggling Chr A must read classic. More emphasis is placed on the power of the finished work of Christ than on the struggling Christian's own will power to persevere.