We live by the script we have been given. Where the script does not match the heart and mind of Jesus, it needs to be revised. "Transformation (spiritual formation) can be described as editing out that which is not Christ and revising that which is." (10) Viola describes ten specific areas where many of us need revising.
We need to revise how we recognize the Lord's voice. We need to revise our claims of "God told me..." Viola notes that such language was used only following supernatural events.
Similarly, we need to revise our use of "Let me pray about it." We really mean "No." Our "spiritual conversation style" needs to be revised.
Viola says we need to revise our gospel message and put back in what is missing (he names five elements). Viola addresses the semantics of expressing the felt-presence of God. "The secret to spiritual formation," he says, "is to be conscious of God's presence as much as possible." (78)
He shares his observations on the phenomenon of being "captured by the same spirit you oppose." He talks about God;s role in unexpected endings. He shares his experiences and thoughts about the gifts of the Spirit and the needed restoration of His pure and undefiled work. He suggests that Christ will come to us in a way we do not expect. We cannot cling to the Lord we know now, that has been revealed to us today. "Jesus is richer larger, and more glorious than any of us could ever imagine." (138)
This book seemed a bit disjointed to me. It is almost as if Viola has collected essays on various issues of concern to him and placed them together in this book. The book is in hardcover and I think it would have been more appropriate to have been a less expensive paperback.
See Viola's website: http://www.frankviola.com/
I received a copy of this book from David C Cook for the purpose of this review.
David C Cook, 175 pages, hardcover, $16.99: