Recommended Reading

Read “Prayer” by Timothy Keller and/or “The Great Omission” by Dallas Willard, then complete a 1,500-word reflection paper (one per book). By reflection paper, we are not so much interested in your synopsis of a book. Think through and process what the author is writing. Speak to your initial reactions of their thoughts. Compare and contrast their claims with your own experiences. The intent of the paper is to give you space to practice and work through what someone else is preaching.fff

In your reflection paper on “Prayer” by Keller include your thoughts and responses to the following prompts:

  • Reflect on how you defined prayer before you read this book and how you would define prayer afterward. Speak to how you agree and/or disagree with Keller’s definition of prayer.
  • Speak to three things that you disagreed with and three things that you agreed with Keller on in this book.
  • Reflect on Keller’s ideas in chapter 9 about what prayer is, what prayer requires, what prayer gives, and where prayer takes us. Speak to what you resonate with, what is new to you what is natural for you, and what is difficult for you.
  • Reflect on Keller’s chapter “Daily Prayer.” Speak what practices you want to incorporate into your prayer life.
  • Summarize what you are learning and doing in your prayer life.

In your reflection paper on “The Great Omission” by Willard include your thoughts and responses to the following prompts:

  • Reflect on how you defined disciple before you read this book and how you would define prayer afterward. Speak to the pros and cons of the use of language in calling people Christians or disciples. What do the different words imply, mean, and demand?
  • In Chapter 2, Willard gives a few points on “Why Discipleship.” Summarize these points. Then reflect on this question: If you were speaking to someone who has not yet decided to give their life to Jesus how would you explain these four points to them? Would you give these same points?
  • Willard speaks about the difference between wanting to be more like Jesus versus making a plan to become more like Jesus. He writes extensively on the ideas of effort, planning, and practices. What are the pros and cons of a Christianity that has an emphasis on effort? Consider the ideas of effort versus earning.
  • React to Willard’s thoughts on spiritual life and spiritual formation. Define in your own words what spiritual formation is, how it happens, and what it does.
  • In the last third of the book, Willard speaks about spiritual disciplines. Write about what you learned about different disciplines. Speak to a discipline that is new or unfamiliar to you. Talk about how you can incorporate it into your life. What are the benefits? What would it look like on a practical level? What challenges will there be?

Reflection papers due Thursday May 9, 2019.

2 Spiritual Life Credits available per book.

Email slattendance@northwestu.edu for more information.