Some time ago I read and reviewed The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith. This first book serves as Volume 1 of Smith’s Apprentice Series on spiritual formation. Today I finished the second volume, titled, The Good and Beautiful Life.
The emphasis of the first book in this series was that spiritual formation begins when one has the correct view of God. If we don’t have the proper concept of God in our minds, our ability to relate to Him will be diminished. The Good and Beautiful Life picks up from that thought and carries it forward by challenging readers to have the proper view of how to live life in the Kingdom of God. Smith’s work is a simple survey of the Sermon on the Mount that describes how Jesus intended for his followers to live in the Kingdom. In practical and simple ways, the author takes on contemporary issues such as anger, lust, lying, avarice, and enemies. As with his previous monograph, Smith explains the false narratives disciples of Jesus face and provides the correct narrative for disciples to embrace. Each chapter concludes with corresponding “soul training” exercises that the reader can use to help apply the teaching from the chapter.
As I’ve written before, James Bryan Smith is a fresh, powerful voice on the topic of spiritual formation. Those who desire to enhance their relationship with Christ and to live more fully in the Kingdom will benefit from this masterpiece.