Forward: by Dallas Willard (read here)
By: Keith Meyer Publisher: InterVarsity Press 2010; 220 pages
I am rapidly approaching the end of my reading year having almost completed sixty-five books; Whole Life Transformation will sit atop the best reads of this year for me easily making it into my Top Ten List. It is difficult for me to speak of this book without using superlatives that sound like book review sound byte clichés, so I won’t do that. Instead, I will simply say this is one of the most valuable books for the North American contemporary Protestant evangelical church I have read over the past several years.
There is some bias involved in my great admiration of this book because there has been a connection with my own spiritual journey and that of the author Keith Meyer. That is also part of the charm of this book; Meyer has been willing to share, with openness and vulnerability, his journey leading to Whole Life Transformation. Another wonderful and welcome element of this transformation story is not only the invitation to witness a life transformed through Keith’s journey, but the invitation to participate and engage in your own life transformation. Meyer provides tips and direction gleaned from the ancient spiritual practices that assist persons longing for a deep relationship with God to reorient their life and realign their priorities for listening for, hearing from, and responding to the Triune God.
The flow of the book itself follows a parallel story line for the most part. One story-line follows the breakdown of the gospel message in the contemporary church. Dr. Meyer refers to this as a “reduced gospel” and describes the fruit born of this “less than good news” with real experience and statistics. The second story-line is the biographical link of Meyer’s spiritual journey, both personal and professional. These parallel stories lay the foundation for the book with a call to awareness that whole life transformation is the Good News; it is time for us to storm the doors of its invitation.
The second half continues with the parallel story as Dr. Keith describes his experience as the practical examples for his outline of tips and practices. These described disciplines are the building blocks of spiritual formation and have been used as discipleship tools for millennia …they work. In some examples there are modern spins on these ancient practices, but for the most part there has been no need to reinvent the wheel. These intentional steps are outlined in the chapters six: Church as a Catching Force; seven: Training for a Trust that Obeys; and eight: Ruling in a Kingdom Life (Chapters seven and eight are probably my favorites in the book).
I don’t want to give away the book with quotes or too much description and I don’t want to gloss up my review with cheap superlatives, so I’ll end where I began. If you are reading this review, you should probably be reading this book. You will be affirmed, and you will be challenged… it doesn’t matter what stage of life or mile-marker you’re at in your spiritual formation. This book will benefit you. I hope you’ll take the time to add it to your reading list. Thank you Keith for sharing your experience and writing this book, Whole Life Transformation.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Intervarsity Press to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”