Sunday, March 1, 2015

A review of God's Battle Plan for the Mind by David W. Saxton

A review of God's Battle Plan for the Mind by David W. Saxton

Publisher's description:

"During the seventeenth century, English Puritan pastors often encouraged their congregations in the spiritual discipline of meditating on God and His Word. Today, however, much of evangelicalism is either ignorant of or turned off to the idea of meditation. In God’s Battle Plan for the Mind, pastor David Saxton seeks to convince God’s people of the absolute necessity for personal meditation and motivate them to begin this work themselves. But he has not done this alone. Rather, he has labored through numerous Puritan works in order to bring together the best of their insights on meditation. Standing on the shoulders of these giants, Saxton teaches us how to meditate on divine truth and gives valuable guidance about how to rightly pattern our thinking throughout the day. With the rich experiential theology of the Puritans, this book lays out a course for enjoying true meditation on God’s Word."

When many Christians think about meditation they either avoid it because of it's modern day association with mysticism and eastern religions, or embrace it in a way that is more associated to those false practices than it is to faithful and true biblical meditation.  

Until I read this book, I had no idea how ignorant I was in this area.  I was also surprised to learn how central biblical meditation was to Puritan faith and practice.  Along with the ministry of the Word, meditation on Scripture was considered a vital part of spiritual growth, especially when for most Christians in their day (and ours too), there were so many tasks and responsibilities that made it hard to have a vibrant, daily walk with God.  If that was true then, how much more now in our modern age with all of the endless distractions that permeate our lives?  Other than the ordinary means of grace such as preaching and sacrament how can we grow in grace in the midst of our busyness?  The author of this book is attempting to show us how, and he does it thoroughly and helpfully.  You want practical theology?  You got it here!

In this short book (160 pages) David Saxton gives us the historical background of the Puritan practice of biblical meditation, then walks us through what it is, how to do it, why to do it, and what the rewards are for those who do it.  

In brief, Saxton affirms how vital biblical meditation is for our sanctification and growth.  He also challenges us to look at our own lives and see how much we allow the distractions and entertainments of this world to distract and weaken us in our walks with the Lord. Putting into practice what we read here is the antidote to the spirit of this age that we breathe in all day, every day.  This helps us not only to worship as we go through our days, but to remember that we are strangers and pilgrims upon this earth, as we journey to our heavenly city.

Throughout this book I was reminded once more how much we benefit from anytime spent with the Puritans, either reading their works, or in this case, learning about what they believed and practiced.  Just reading the many quotes from Puritans on this subject gives you a depth of theology and doxology not often present in our day.  Theirs are voices we need to hear.

Thank you David Saxton for teaching me the blessed art of biblical meditation! Get this book and put what you read in it's pages into practice! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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