Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Cultivation of Christian Character by J Oswald Sanders

I often find that books written a generation ago about Christian living are much deeper and forceful than books written today. Such is the case with this one. It was originally published in 1965 and is as pertinent today as it was then.

Sanders wrote this book for people who truly desire a closer walk with God and to be more like Christ yet struggle greatly. He was quick to note that spiritual maturity must be learned and it is not easy. One cannot maintain a level of maturity without effort. Sanders included much about the diligence required for developing Christian character and the strategic opposition of the devil.

There are two sections in the book I found particularly insightful. One was about being filled with the Spirit. “The clear teaching of Scripture is that we are filled with the Spirit when our human spirit is mastered and controlled by the Holy Spirit.” (488/1297) That's a bit different than what we hear from flashy preachers today.

The other section was on Christ in me and I in Christ. His explanation of this concept was very enlightening for me. He used a great illustration of his wife sitting near him while he was working intently at his desk. While concentrating on his work, he was always aware of his wife's presence. He explains, “we can consciously be enjoying fellowship with the indwelling Christ while fully engaged in our daily work.” (591/1297)

This is a good book for Christians yearning to live consecrated lives. Clear teaching and encouragement are included in it. It may be a small book but it is very powerful. (Sanders frequently used the KJV and some modern readers might not like that.)

My rating: 4/5 stars.

J Oswald Sanders (1902-1992) authored more than forty books on Christian living. His book, Spiritual Leadership, has sold over a million copies. He left a promising law practice in his native New Zealand to serve as an instructor and administrator at the Bible College of New Zealand. He later became the general director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (then the China Inland Mission) in the 1950s and 1960s.

Moody Publishers, 160 pages.

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

1 comment:

Gina @ Hott Books said...

Thanks Joan! I've added this to my TBR list. It's definitely something I'll read.
BTW - I completely agree with you. I've been feeling that many of today's non-fiction Christian books are too secular and don't portray God as He is in the Bible. There is just too much of a worldview. I'm reading Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy (and Grace Livingston Hill) and and just feeling a bit "put-out" with the new stuff.