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A Voyage of Discovery

By Derek Thomas
October 2011 | Review by John Palmer

Synopsis

This book is designed to portray biblical spirituality as believers in the God of the Bible express it. It takes a collection of fifteen psalms, conveniently lumped together in the Hebrew canon. The collection of Psalms 120-134 all bear the same title: A Song of Ascents. Designed to go through the 14 Psalms in 14 days: Each day, spending time in one of these psalms. Read the psalm, pray over it, make notes from what you think God might be teaching you. As you read the chapter for that day, keep a journal. Donald Whitney has written: A journal is one of the best places for charting your progress in the Spiritual Disciplines and for holding yourself accountable to your goals. At the end of each psalm there are some questions to ‘stir the juices', as it were. There are no strict rules, except the need for honesty. Writing down how we respond to God's teaching can stir the affections in a way that nothing else can.

  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-742-3
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: 8.99
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Book Review

Review of:
A Voyage of Discovery: the Ups and Downs of the Christian Life
Derek W. H. Thomas
Evangelical Press
ISBN 0-85234-742-1
215 pages.

This study on the Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120-134) is a revision of �Making the Most of Your Devotional Life� by the same author. In it Derek Thomas presents a fifteen-day study course through these Psalms. Each chapter encourages the making of notes and concludes with questions. The author�s stated aim is to promote a Biblical view of discipleship. There are, he points out, many forms of spirituality which aim to focus the soul on God: his aim is to provide a distinctively Reformed one; to lift the eyes of weary travellers on the way to the New Jerusalem, to their God.

One would expect in a book by Derek Thomas to come across nothing major to disagree with; and so it proves. The book is easy to read and very helpful, especially the questions. As the chapters are of fairly uniform length, some Psalms are dealt with in more detail than others. As this material was originally preached, this implies a warning to preachers of a series on these Psalms- don�t necessarily make all your sermons the same length!

However, it is not to preachers that the author primarily writes, but to Christians. The less your eyes are fixed on your eternal home, the more you will benefit from this book. Moreover, the book rightly stresses the corporate nature of our worship and fellowship as God�s pilgrim people The more you see salvation as an individual blessing, and neglect the corporate aspect, the more you need to read it. Finally, if you expect that the life of the faithful Christian should be one of untroubled serenity, the message of this book is definitely for you.

John Palmer,
Tredegar

3 stars.

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