This is my first post in my new series, go read the intro.
Read This, Not That
My Review – Godly Man | Must Read | $9.52 | 232 pages +50
My Review – Spiritual Disciplines | Put it on the list | $9.65 | 304 pages
Ease of reading –
Well, I guess first off I should point out that the books aren’t exactly rivals. Godly Man is, like the title says, for men. Due to this focus, there are things men should do, whereas Spiritual Disciplines are for all, but all explicitly Biblical disciplines for Christian practice. This means that they do take different perspectives. However, there is a great deal of overlap (hence the comparison) such as – reading the Bible, stewardship/giving, learning, serving/ministry, prayer, worship, and evangelism.
Where they differ are in chapters like Fatherhood, Marriage, Friendship, and Work for Godly Man, and Fasting, Silence & Solitude, and Journaling for Spiritual Disciplines. These difference are one of the reasons I rate chose Godly Man as the better option. Though all disciplines in each book are both Biblical and practical, I find Godly Man to be more helpful in practice. It gives much more guidance for men and their day-to-day lives.
The other reason I recommend Godly Man is the way it is written. This includes its actual layout and divisions, but mostly his style of writing. Hughes’ writing is much more personal and pastoral in nature. An older man who was leading a Bible study I was a part of earlier this year commented that finishing the Spiritual Disciplines book is a discipline in and of itself. This reason alone is strong enough for me to say pick up this book first. People who don’t often read, or are completely disinclined to read, likely will not make it through Spiritual Disciplines. Alternatively, anyone can make it through Godly Man. It is written more clearly, while also being shorter, yet broken into more chapters (17 disciplines compared to 10).
For those inclined to read and that are just starting to get interested in disciplines, Spiritual Disciplines is still worth the read, especially with some of the disciplines lost in American Christianity but common of the ancient and global church. Spiritual Disciplines, in this sense, can been seen as something like a “Disciplines 201” book.