A Rule for the Mind

I once downloaded a training schedule for completing a triathlon.

It involved a certain number of workouts on a certain number of days, with increasing intensity and duration as the event drew near. It called for cross-training in swimming, biking and running, which make up a triathlon. Along with the workouts, it built in days of rest and suggested dietary regimens.

If I followed the plan, I was assured of being ready for the competition. But I had to follow the plan. I had to subscribe to a set of practices that would enable me to achieve what I desired.

This makes perfect sense to us for physical achievement. It even makes sense in plotting our career goals and financial goals.

It is less common to think of it in terms of our spiritual lives, much less how our relationship with Christ calls us to develop our minds.

But this is the nature of an ancient spiritual practice called a "rule," which can be traced back to the founding of Benedictine monasticism. Penned at the beginning of the sixth century, Benedict wished to write a rule that would help guide monks to holiness. By "rule," he intended a guide for optimal spiritual formation. Click here to continue reading this post and to view the blog archive.

Daily Headline News

ISIS and the Lonely Young American

Even though the Islamic State's ideology is explicitly at odds with the West, the group is making a relentless effort to recruit Westerners into its ranks, eager to exploit them for their outsize propaganda value. (Callimachi, The New York Times)


Year before court ruling, pop culture shaped same-sex marriage debate

The Supreme Court on Friday legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. But years before that 5-4 decision, film and TV helped spur Americans' acceptance of gays and lesbians. (Collins & Blake, Los Angeles Times)


Public's Shift on Same-Sex Marriage Was Swift, Broad

Perhaps the single most important factor in changing minds: Gays, lesbians and bisexuals came out of the closet. (Leubsdorf & Nelson, The Wall Street Journal)


A Scientific Ethical Divide Between China and West

The rush to the front ranks of science may come at a price: Some experts worry that medical researchers in China are stepping over ethical boundaries long accepted in the West. (Tatlow, The New York Times)


The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

The "nones" are the fastest-growing religious group of our day. Nearly one in four Americans now identify themselves as having no religious affiliation. James Emery White's book The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated explores exactly who the "nones" are, what caused this dramatic shift in today's culture, and most importantly how churches can reach these people.

Ed Setzer, president of LifeWay Research, had this to say about the book:

In an era of increasing complexity and religious apathy, James Emery White has written a book that is helpful, informative, challenging, and timely. Those who care about communicating the gospel in this complex culture and think the church must regroup and re-engage should read "The Rise of the Nones."

Happy reading!
Click here to see this product and more.