Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation

Overview

"Saints are made by good conversions."

In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin—the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well.

In this age of false starts and stunted ...

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Overview

"Saints are made by good conversions."

In this challenging and provocative book, Gordon T. Smith contends that a chief cause of spiritual immaturity in the evangelical church is an inadequate theology of conversion. Conversion, he says, involves more than a release from the consequences of sin—the goal is spiritual transformation. But there is little transformation without a complete and authentic conversion. The key is beginning well.

In this age of false starts and stunted growth, maturing Christians need help reflecting on and interpreting their own religious experience. Christian leaders need to rethink the way that conversions happen. Beginning Well is a catalyst toward this end. Surveying Scripture, spiritual autobiographies and a broad range of theologies of conversion (Protestant and Catholic, Reformed and Wesleyan), the author seeks to foster in the Christian community a dynamic language of conversion that leads to spiritual transformation and mature Christian living. In the process he moves us from a short-sighted "minimalist" view to one that recognizes seven elements necessary for good conversions.

This book—a stirring call to rethink the relationship between conversion and transformation—is a must read for pastors, evangelists, spiritual directors, seminary professors and others who are concerned about the nurture and development of Christian converts, and the nature of authentic religious experience.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830822973
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 8/17/2001
  • Pages: 239
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon T. Smith (PhD, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University) is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as professor of systematic and spiritual theology. He is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, BC. He is the author of many books, including Courage and Calling, Called to Be Saints and The Voice of Jesus.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. Thinking About Conversion
2. The Community of Faith & the Language of Conversion
3. Autobiography: The Church's Experience of Conversion
4. The Evangelical Experience: A Historical Perspective
5. Models of Conversion in the New Testament
6. Elements of a Christian Conversion
7. Four Internal Actions of the Christian Convert: Intellectual, Penitential, Affective & Volitional
8. Three Elements That Support & Enable: The Sacramental, the Charismatic & the Communal
9. Growing Up Christian: Conversion & Second-Generation Christians
10. The Rhythms of Grace
Indexes

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