Voices in Christian Formation is a series of posts to help introduce some of the contemporary authors and speakers we can learn from as it pertains to our Christian formation. The posts focus on critical components of our Christian formation and provide a short bibliography to investigate each topic further.
I met Gary Thomas during my days as a full-time youth worker; he was a guest speaker at our church. His book Seeking the Face of God became a constant companion for the next year of my life. During this year I made an important discovery about the place of Christian discipline, spiritual exercises and practices. Thomas helped me see through his reliance on the spiritual classics that prayer, fasting, Bible reading, etc., are not merely acts of obedience and works to please God; they are essential to our own Christian formation in becoming fully human.
Up to this point in my Christian journey, I had never heard of the likes of Francois Fenelon, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, or Francis de Sales. It was through Gary Thomas that I became acquainted with and grew fond of these spiritual ancestors. This pivotal experience probably did more to transform my outlook on Christianity, the way I view the world, and my place in it than any other experience I can recall. I owe a great debt to Gary Thomas. If you haven’t met some of the folks I mentioned above, I encourage you to find a copy of Thomas’s Seeking the Face of God right away!
Other notable books I recommend that Gary Thomas has penned: