Simple Spirituality

Simple Spirituality by Christopher Heuertz is a book about experiencing God in unexpected places. The chapters focus on five particular practices that Heuertz identifies as necessary for blazing the trail of the Christian life. These are humility, community, simplicity, submission, submission and brokenness.

This is no academic book. At 152 pages, one could consume it in a single sitting or a couple of lazy afternoons. What makes the book especially readable are Heuertz’s firsthand stories. As director of Word Made Flesh, a Christian organization living among the poorest and vulnerable communities in the world, Heuertz takes the reader from his experiences working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to Peru, from brothels to slums to dumps. Heuertz has a global Christianity in mind.

I most appreciate his observation that spiritual disciplines confront head-on the false gods of our day. Humility confronts pride and arrogance. Community confronts individualism and independence. Simplicity confronts intemperance and excess. Submission confronts power and control. Brokenness confronts triumphalism, defiance and resistance.

Perhaps the strongest chapter is the one on community, helped in part by the stories the author utilizes to illustrate the many facets of community. One story that especially struck me was about a traveler in Tibet. The traveler finds himself caught in a sudden snowstorm. He stumbles upon a body covered in the snow and just barely alive. He insists to his guide that they must help the freezing man. The guide refuses and leaves him. As night falls, the traveler, carrying the freezing man, finally approaches the village. He finds the guide frozen to death just outside the village. The guide hadn’t made it. The traveler survived only by the body heat generated by the freezing man he had carried. “No one can live without the help of others, and in helping others, we receive help ourselves,” he concludes.

Simple Spirituality is a great entry point to the issues of Christian spirituality and spiritual disciplines–the things we do that make us Christians, that make belief easier. If you read this and like it, I recommend continuing on with Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline and Dallas Willard’s Spirit of the Disciplines.


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s