The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture


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Discussion around the bestseller The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher has led many people to want to know more about Benedictine principles.

In an age where we might email a friend in Africa, Skype a co-worker in Brazil, and teleconference with people in different time zones–all in one day–the sheer speed of life can be dizzying. Like children stumbling off a merry-go-round, says Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, we are grasping for something to anchor our lives in a sea of constant change.

In The Wisdom of Stability, Wilson-Hartgrove illuminates the biblical and monastic understanding of why staying in one place is both a virtue and good for you. “For the Christian tradition,” he writes, “the heart’s true home is a life rooted in the love of God.” When we cultivate an inner stability of heart – by rooting ourselves in the places where we live, engaging the people we are with, and by the simple rhythms of tending to body and soul – true growth can happen. The Wisdom of Stability is a must-read for pastors, leaders, and anyone seeking an authentic path of Christian transformation.

​​“In whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.” –Abba Anthony

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557256232
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 164
Sales rank: 908,815
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a leader of the new monastic movement and co-founded the Rutba House community in Durham, North Carolina. An associate minister at St. John’s Baptist Church in Durham, he also directs the School for Conversion, a partnership among new monastic communities for alternative theological education. His other books include Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, New Monasticism, and God’s Economy.


Durham, NC

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The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Real4Truth More than 1 year ago
In the midst of our dizziness in a hustle and bustle hypermobile culture and the inevitable emptiness, loneliness, and self-soothing destructive addictions that ensue, Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove's The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith In A Mobile Culture offers a countercultural, wisdom laden, honest, thought-and-heart provoking book that offers the timely remedy of, "The Wisdom of Stability." Jonathan, a leader of the new monastic movement: Captivated me by his stories and metaphors; Convicted me of my tendencies to hide from life changing/enhancing community; Challenged my Type-A driven individualistic and narcissistic mindset and; Catapulted me to take root where I am and embrace the wisdom of stability, rest and a Christ Loving and World Changing community. Jonathan doesn't candy coat stability and writes about the tensions that can exist between the "midday demons" of "ambition" and "boredom" as well as the pride of "vainglory" that tries to sneak in; to live in stability solely for the recognition and the gaze of the other. But ultimately the long hard work/play of true authentic community and a rhythm of prayer and vocation will foster a liberative practice of stability that can change the world. I felt like I was reading from a young Henri Nouwen. His ability to weave sacred stories, metaphors, and his own life stories as well as the stories of the wise monks and saints of old was refreshing and enlightening. I will end with a quote from Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, "Over and again for those who have practiced it, stability is a tree rooted in the earth, a monk seated in his cell with feet planted on the ground, a house built on a firm foundation, a ship anchored in the storm tossed sea." The Wisdom of Stability is a must read!!!
TedWitham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Our culture encourages us to ask ourselves, ¿Where would you rather be?¿ Although we in Australia are not as mobile as the US, the home of this book¿s author, the pressure is on us to move on: to upsize or downsize our house, or to change our jobs, to get another qualification, to improve our situation somehow. Even clergy are subject to this pressure, rarely staying eight or nine years in one ministry position, and often much less. Wilson-Hartgrove, a Baptist pastor, aims to persuade us of the ancient wisdom of stability. The Wisdom of Stability leads the reader through the development of this quaint idea of putting our roots down like the well-watered tree of Psalm 1. Moving on from Scripture, he introduces us to the desert fathers and mothers, to Benedict of Nursia, who invented the promise of stability, and to more recent spiritual writers. Each promotes stability as a better way to live.Living in stability is more than theory. Wilson-Hartgrove is part of the ¿new monastic¿ movement which re-interprets the virtues of monasticism for contemporary living. He has himself taken the decision to stay long-term in Walltown, a depressed and dangerous suburb of Durham, North Carolina, and to raise his family there. In little ¿Front Porch¿ vignettes he describes the fruits he has already experienced as a result of committing to that place: friends and their support, and above all, the willingness to see conflict through to reconciliation instead of running away from it. The book abounds with examples of others who are trying to live in stability. Wilson-Hartgrove is not advocating that we practise stability by following him to a needy area. He is insisting on the depths we will know if we stay where we are, knowing that God has placed us here.The light touch that characterises this book may have endeared it particularly to this reviewer whose tradition is Franciscan. In any case, I was persuaded that promising stability, even if only to oneself, leads to a more authentic way of Christian living.
markwmcintire More than 1 year ago
I have never been disappointed with Wilson-Hartgrove and this book, Stability, is another excellent call to investing in community to bless all who live near you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kat Erickson More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book and it was a quick read. He discusses the need for investing in community, emphasizing that relationships take time.
hermitbear More than 1 year ago
A book about the spiritual practice of stability, blending insights from the New Monastic movement with the ancient wisdom of Christianity's 1700 years of monastic tradition. A calm and beautiful book, it feels like it could have been written by Annie Dillard or Barbara Brown Taylor. Highly recommended for those of us trying to live out God's calling on our lives in the midst of a mobile and unstable world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago