Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation by Robert J. Morgan

Morgan reminds us that biblical meditation is an ancient practice that has fallen by the wayside. Reclaiming the practice can reduce anxiety and stress, increase our inner peace, he says, and draw us into a closer relationship with the Lord.

He distinguishes biblical meditation from modern meditation. “Biblical meditation is the powerful practice of pondering, personalizing, and practicing Scripture.” (x) He explains why biblical meditation is good for us and gives plenty of instruction on how it is done. He has good suggestions on choosing a passage and personalizing it. He includes stories from others to show how the practice has worked in their lives.

I know that Paul told us we need to renew our minds. Morgan shows how meditation helps us do that. Contemplating a specific passage during a life event helps us align our thinking with God's. Meditation also helps us obey Paul's command to set our minds on things above. He has also included some practical tips, like recording a passage and playing it back several times during the day or making a song out of a passage.

He ends the book with a Ten Day Meditation Guide. He has chosen ten Scripture verses to go with each chapter. Each day includes the passage, prompts for personalizing and space for journaling. After that are twenty-eight more passages listed for possible meditation.

Morgan includes reference to a website where readers can sign up for a free preview and study guide.

There is only one statement in the book with which I took issue. “Remember that every verse has only one correct interpretation,” Morgan writes. “We have to study the Bible to determine the meaning intended by the author of the passage.” (55) Since God inspired the human authors, I think many of them did not know the actual interpretation of what they were writing, especially when it was prophecy. Morgan does note that a passage may have several applications. While I think we must be very careful in interpreting Scripture, I don't think we can limit it's interpretation to a single “correct” one. Trying to find the “correct” interpretation of a passage may take a lifetime and may limit the practice of meditation and the resulting transformational work.

I recommend this book to those who want to understand and begin practicing biblical meditation. You'll find a clear explanation of the spiritual discipline and great practical ideas to get you on your way.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Robert J. Morgan is the teaching pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for 35 years. He is a best-selling author of more than 35 books. He writes for Turning Points Magazine and has many articles published in leading Christian periodicals. He and his wife have three daughters and fourteen grandchildren.

Thomas Nelson, 192 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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