Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Review: STIR by Mindy Caliguire

STIR: Spiritual Transformation in Relationships by Cindy Caliguire examines three stages of spiritual development in the life of a Christian and how different levels of relationships play a role in helping people move to the next level of spiritual maturity.  Caliguire often refers back to in house spiritual growth research done at her home church of Willow Creek Church near Chicago.  She looks at the growth stages of learning
together, journeying together, and following together and what a person needs in each level, as well as what is needed to move to the next level of maturity.  However, where many spiritual growth books can be taken to be nothing more than "me and Jesus and nobody else matters," Caliguire adds the vital element of the need for us to be in relationships with other believers to help each other move from learners to become people who help disciple others.

STIR is a helpful resource in adding to the spiritual growth conversation.  Aside from just being philosophical in nature, Caliguire gives some helpful and practical tools to implement in spiritual relationships.  There is a lot of positive things that can be taken away from this book.  However, I struggle with giving it a final "rating."  Much of the content would lead me to give it four stars.  But from some of the authors quoted (such as Dallas Willard, someone I cannot necessarily endorse), and many of the spiritual direction resources recommended at the end of the book leave me wanting to give the book two stars.  I was excited to explore some of the recommended resources she provides, but just a few clicks online left me browsing through resources that promote Buddhism.  This is a concern that plagues far too many spiritual development books and resources for some reason.  All I can say is that STIR ends up being a helpful book, but one that will require much caution and discernment in exploring its resources.  So, I guess I will split the difference and give it three stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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