Of making many books on living the "spiritual life" there is no end (to paraphrase Ecclesiastes 12:12), and so one more is not surprising. The twist, however, is that this is a book on Benedictine spirituality written by a Presbyterian pastor and professor of theology. What is also surprising is that this book sold out at the annual meetings of both the Evangelical Theological Society and the American Academy of Religion this past November, which shows a definite interest in a title such as, Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants. Obviously aware of the raised eyebrows this book would cause in Reformed circles, Dennis Okholm's first chapter answers the question on everyone's mind: "What's a Good (Protestant Evangelical) Boy Doin' in a Monastery?"
Its spirituality has enriched my Christian life so much so that, as I tell my Benedictine friends, I am glad to be their evangelist to my Protestant brothers and sisters. That's the reason for this book....I hope to entice Protestant readers (especially those like me whose pedigree includes Baptist and conservative evangelical strains), and others who care to join the circle....In sharing the wealth, then, this book will hopefully serve as an apologia to my Protestant brothers and sisters who often understandably have misconceptions about monasticism, as well as objections to Roman Catholicism more generally. (19-20)
Patricia Anders (MA, MFA, Chapman University) is managing editor of Modern Reformation magazine.
Issue: "Beyond Nostalgia: The Risk of Orthodoxy" Sept./Oct. 2008 Vol. 17 No. 5 Page number(s): 47-48
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