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True Spirituality Paperback – 18 Mar 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ivp (18 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184474518X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844745180
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Accessible though never superficial, challenging yet simultaneously encouraging. --Steve Brady

Vaughan has done us a great service by expounding the timeless truths of 1 Corinthians and showing us their contemporary application. --Carrie Sandom

An excellent book. --Andy Gemmill

About the Author

Vaughan Roberts is Rector of St Ebbe's Church, Oxford and a popular speaker at Spring Harvest. He is also a founder member of '9.38' which encourages people to consider full-time gospel ministry, and is on the leadership team of The Proclamation Trust.

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By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 11 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've spent some time recently re-reading some of Vaughan Roberts other books ; "Distinctives", "Battles Christians Face" and "Turning Points", all of which I enjoyed. "True Spirituality" also falls into that category. It is a book which is like an extended commentary on 1 Corinthians from the New Testament, exploring that epistle and drawing conclusions for contemporary Christian behaviour from St Pauls famous letter.I felt in tune with the author throughout this book and I agree that "worship" is not really about singing hymns in a church on Sunday, but is about how you conduct your life throughout the whole week.I also agree that the Holy Spirit indeed only speaks to Christians through reading the Bible, which Roberts emphasises. Mr Roberts fits my idea of what a Christian minister should be and he talks a lot of sense. He also speaks of modern day churches being something akin to the trade union "closed shop". Many of them , in my experience ,are just that ;cold,unwelcoming places where outsiders like myself get ignored when they attend church services and in my case congregations deliberately avoid eye contact with me. I read the Bible regularly , accept Jesus as my Saviour and regularly confess my sins to Him, however I feel that churches and most Christians are anathema to me and I dont attend church services. There is something cold, false and snobbish about these "Christians" , as if they're hiding a secret. I personally think they aren't proper Christians at all and that they are under the sway of some sort of impostor deity. That's my experience of them anyway. Vaughan Roberts doesnt fall into that category in my opinion . His books are well written,genuine and easy to understand and clearly state a traditional Christian message for the 21st Century.
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Format: Paperback
This is typically what I have come to expect from this author. A book which is clear and easy to understand whilst remaining firmly scriptural. It felt like I was being given a 'frame by frame' account of 1 Corinthians and really helped me to appreciate and understand this epistle better. This book is so relevant for the church today when worship can sometimes be seen as some kind of spiritual entertainment designed to lift the spirits of the worshiper. Vaughan Roberts reminds us that it is about the way we live our lives for God. Every member of the 'body' would surely benefit from this. The book starts off by encouraging the reader to look into scripture and to seek God for the truth of how to worship Him. The author uses 1 Corinthians to define what worshipping God really entails (not just singing and not just something you do on Sundays). I don't always find bible commentaries very accessible but this book, without being light weight is comprehensible for new and experienced christians alike. Would like to have given a summary of each chapter or section in this review but don't have the book to hand as I have lent it out again!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Biblical, Pauline Spirituality presented with exegetical flair 31 Jan 2012
By Clint Walker - Published on
Format: Paperback
According to the forward, this book was born out of a specific situation in the author's life. Early on in his spiritual journey, Vaughn Roberts was told that he needed to have a specific spiritual experience to demonstrate to himself and others that he had an authentic and growing Christian faith. He asked his mentors, and he studied the Bible.What he found was there were many counterfeits of authentic spirituality. As he grew more mature in his spiritual journey he began to discover that the book of I Corinthians was a good guide for identifying healthy spirituality, and for avoided counterfeit imitations of true Christian spiritual maturity. The book Authentic Spirituality is a book spawned by this study of Vaughn Roberts.

Authentic Spirituality is, in fact, both an exegetical and topical study of I Corinthians and concept of faithful Christian spirituality, and the places where we often get off track and/or deceived about what the Christian spiritual journey is all about. Each chapter covers a specific issue, and has study questions at the end of each chapter that both cause the reader to review the text of the book and to dig deeper into the Scripture passages that each chapter summarizes.

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a fresh take on the book of I Corinthians with a very clear focus. It is also wise in how it connects issues in the early church with challenges that our churches and our church cultures face today. I think it would be a great book to use in a Bible Study at some point. As a pastor, I also think it would be a helpful guide for a preaching series on I Corinthians.

a copy has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Great for Small Groups/Sunday School 23 Nov 2011
By Jacob Sweeney - Published on
Format: Paperback
I believe that it is providential that the Early Church saw a diverse set of churches. Sometimes we think that the days of the apostles were the golden age of the church. It wasn't. There were the legalistic Galatians, the syncretistic Colossians, the self-righteous and prejudiced Romans. It can be easy to identify certain letters and churches to the prevailing patterns of culture. That is what Vaughan Roberts is doing in his latest book, Authentic Church.

He has noticed striking similarities between the Corinthian church and the church among Western cultures:

The buzzwords that had such currency in Corinth still appear frequently in book blurbs and conference brochures today. We value exactly the same qualities and yet we often have very inadequate understandings of them (15).

Paul challenged this thinking in his first letter to the Corinthians. Roberts will follow by giving an expository treatment of the book with twenty-first century application.

He has broken up his treatment of the letter into eight chapters to deal with the eight prevailing issues among the Corinthians. Chapter 1 focuses on 1.1-2.16 and Paul's famous treatment of wordly wisdom and the "foolishness" of the cross. Both Paul and Roberts argue that the cross in central to Christianity and must remain so. The pressure of culture must not lead us to diminish its importance. Chapter 2 deals with 3.1-4.21. The subject is leadership. The Corinthians were divided over their leaders. They had developed factions based on who they believed was the stronger, more significant leader. Paul is clear: what sets a leader apart in the church is not what sets them apart in the world. They are to be faithful, godly men, not flashy. This is an important chapter for contemporary, American Christians. We're drawn to and desire the flashy. Yet, we're astonished when the flashy is found to be unfaithful.

Chapter 3 focuses on 5.1-6.20. Not only did the Corinthians feel a bit ashamed of the crucifixion and un-flashy leaders. They were also notoriously promiscuous. It seems that there were two family members sleeping together and the church (generally) was okay with it! Before we criticize them, we need to recognize that the contemporary church puts up with a tremendous amount of sinful behavior among its congregants. Church discipline is needed as much as ever today. Just as Paul will call the Corinthians to holiness, so we too must call our people to holy living, not promiscuity. Chapter 4 concerns 7.1-40. This is a well-known chapter on marriage and singleness. Roberts helpfully puts these two against asceticism. Some, it seems, approach this subject with that idea in mind. But, it's not Paul's idea. Marriage is a gift and a protection for those who "burn". Likewise, singleness is a gift, an opportunity to serve the Lord unhindered. A correct perception of both allows us to simultaneously affirm them as good gifts.

Chapter 5 is about "spiritual concern, not unfettered freedom" found in 8.1-10.31. Whether we are debating issues of "sacrificial meat" or "personal rights" or "spirituality" the over-arching idea is "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (10.31). That is, ultimately, the controlling goal of the Christian life. Chapter 6 focuses on 11.1-34. Here, Paul discusses the role of men and women in marriage and sin arising in the church because of the Lord's Supper. Roberts sees these two things as an issue of gender difference not social divisions. Both marriage and the Lord's Supper are unifying and life-giving institutions. It's important that we protect them and not use them as a means of dividing the people of God.

Chapter 7 is about 12.1-14.40 and the presence and practice of spiritual gifts. Roberts see three controlling factors: the love for fellow believers, the supremacy of Scripture and the sovereignty of God. Love keeps us from saying that our gifts are better or more important; Scripture prevents us from valuing the temporary and charismatic over the revealed; God's sovereignty keeps us from saying that something can not happen any longer. As in the chapter on marriage, these are contentious issues. Many have split over spiritual gifts. However, with these guiding principles, faith, hope and love can abound.

Finally, Roberts deals with 15.1-58 and Paul's dealing with the resurrection of Christ. This is an incredibly important passage in the New Testament. Paul is clear that without Jesus' resurrection, we have no hope. Roberts also wants us to see that Paul is not giving us a picture of a future bodiless existence. Instead, Christ resurrection secures ours. We will live into eternity as embodied creatures.

Roberts has written an incredibly helpful study of 1 Corinthians. Each chapter ends with questions which provide reflection. These questions transform a study into a great resource for small groups and/or sunday schools. Each chapter is well written and easy to understand, so it could prove an excellent resource for lay-people or group study.
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