Habits for Our Holiness by Philip Nation reveals its central thesis and the value of the spiritual disciplines addressed in it right on the cover, that is the disciples are to be habits that contribute to our holiness. The book’s overall structure in organizing and addressing the disciplines is also found on the book’s cover in that the first section addresses disciplines which deal with individual spiritual growth, the second corporate disciples, and the last section missionally oriented disciplines.
The first chapter makes clear that true pursuit of spiritual disciplines can only occur within a covenant relationship with God and not as an effort to earn God’s approval. Chapters two through five address the disciples that grow us up those being worship, Bible study, prayer, and fasting. Chapter six through nine deal with the disciplines that draw us together fellowship, rest, simplicity, and servanthood. Chapters ten through twelve address the disciplines that send us out on mission submission, spiritual leadership, and disciple-making. As you read through the book it will become clear that the order of the disciplines is an important part of the book as each discipline is interconnected with and dependent upon other disciplines.
There is not shortage of books on spiritual disciplines. However many of them would prove to be daunting for a new or immature Christian. I think Philip Nation’s book would be readily accessible for a believer of any level of spiritual maturity. I think Nation finds a right balance between being descriptive and prescriptive. I would say one weakness is that if a reader wanted to study the individual disciplines to a greater extent they would have no idea where to start, so a suggested further reading might be helpful in future editions. Right now if someone asked what book I would recommend for a new believer to read in order to understand the disciplines this would be one of the first ones on the list.
Disclosure: I received this book free from from the publisher for providing this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html