One disturbing trend I have found in my long study of Spiritual Formation and discipleship is how quickly these ideas can be reduced to a listing of spiritual disciplines or a discussion on spirituality that seems very foreign and inaccessible.
Then someone like Ruth Haley Barton comes along and Spiritual Formation moves away from what normally gets presented. In its place is a life with Jesus that seems absolutely necessary for a truly Christian life. The practice of solitude and silence may be foreign to many people, but Barton explains why it is essential to her life and to every serious Christian.
I don’t know how she does it but her writing is always accessible, down to earth, and doable. She explains through personal experience and quality research, why solitude and silence are so needed. When you read this book, you are left with a glimpse into an inviting world of closeness with God. Solitude and silence may be awkward at first but Barton shows the reader why that awkwardness is worth it in the end.
If your exposure to Christian Spiritual Formation has left you feeling dry or guilty, give this book a try. You will be grateful you did.