This is an older book, having been initially published in 2003. The expanded edition was released in 2015. My comments on the book are not so much a review as my take away after having read it.
Benner emphasizes the essential nature of surrender to spiritual formation. The surrender God wants is for us to surrender to His love.
Benner notes that evangelical Christians talk about a “personal” relationship with God yet few can speak to actually experiencing God in that relationship. The experience is crucial, he says. “It is the experience of love that is transformational.” (29) “Authentic spiritual journey must grow from direct, personal experience of God.” (31) Knowing God is not just believing certain things about Him. Benner asks whether God's love is just an idea or a persistent personal experience. Being deeply loved by God is our core identity. God's love is to be personal and experiential, not merely objective knowledge.
He covers many issues we might have with respect to experiencing God's love, such as fear. We might not believe God's will is truly for what is best for us, a key to surrender. We must be vulnerable, requiring self awareness.
Benner challenges us to go beyond mere belief to a contemplative, experiential knowing of God's love.
David G. Benner (PhD, York University) is an internationally known depth psychologist, transformational coach and author whose life passion has been helping people walk the human path in a deeply spiritual way and the spiritual path in a deeply human way.
InterVarsity Press, 128 pages.