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?Step by Step is a fresh, up-to-date, biblical, edifying, and well-written approach to the old but important Christian question: How can I know the will of God for my life James M. Boice With passion and clarity, wedding to sound theology, Dr. Petty argues that spiritual discernment, wisdom, and insight enable Christian to know God's will for their lives and for specific s ?Step by Step is a fresh, up-to-date, biblical, edifying, and well-written approach to the old but important Christian question: How can I know the will of God for my life James M. Boice With passion and clarity, wedding to sound theology, Dr. Petty argues that spiritual discernment, wisdom, and insight enable Christian to know God's will for their lives and for specific situations.? Bruce K. Waltke


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?Step by Step is a fresh, up-to-date, biblical, edifying, and well-written approach to the old but important Christian question: How can I know the will of God for my life James M. Boice With passion and clarity, wedding to sound theology, Dr. Petty argues that spiritual discernment, wisdom, and insight enable Christian to know God's will for their lives and for specific s ?Step by Step is a fresh, up-to-date, biblical, edifying, and well-written approach to the old but important Christian question: How can I know the will of God for my life James M. Boice With passion and clarity, wedding to sound theology, Dr. Petty argues that spiritual discernment, wisdom, and insight enable Christian to know God's will for their lives and for specific situations.? Bruce K. Waltke

30 review for Step by Step: Divine Guidance for Ordinary Christians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Luke Miller

    This is the best book that I have read on the will of God (DeYoung's book is a close second). This book is especially good, because it interacts with many of the other great books that have been written on the topic. This is a must read for every Christian on this topic!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    At least half of my lunch appointments seem to come around to: "What is God's will for my life?" In my floundering to help people with this big `God's will' question over the last few years, I have been particularly influenced by two books: Bruce Waltke, Finding the Will of God (1995) and Sinclair Ferguson, Discovering God's Will (1982). While both are fundamentally in agreement with Petty's basic approach, reading Step by Step has helped me organize their thoughts (and mine) in helpful categori At least half of my lunch appointments seem to come around to: "What is God's will for my life?" In my floundering to help people with this big `God's will' question over the last few years, I have been particularly influenced by two books: Bruce Waltke, Finding the Will of God (1995) and Sinclair Ferguson, Discovering God's Will (1982). While both are fundamentally in agreement with Petty's basic approach, reading Step by Step has helped me organize their thoughts (and mine) in helpful categories, and further distinguish them from alternative approaches. As Petty ably illustrates, the stakes are high in this venture. As we seek God's guidance, we are indeed more like `pilots in flight' than students in a library! (p. 18). Especially helpful were Petty's explanation of the `three views.' What Petty (somewhat disappointing) labels the Traditional View is certainly the most popular today among evangelicals (pp. 29-31). It holds that guidance from God involves discovering the specifics of God's particular plan for our lives through various combinations of "circumstances, spiritual promptings, inner voices, personal peace of mind, and the counsel of others" (p. 30). Guidance occurs when God reveals his plan through these means (p. 31). Petty next distinguishes the Traditional Charismatic view (pp. 32-33). The key difference between this view and the one preceding it in Petty's summary is that in the Charismatic view God communicates directly. Essentially, "each means of revelation that God used to give us the Scriptures is still available to individual Christians today" (p. 33), often with a new twist. The third view, the Wisdom view, is the one endorsed by Petty (pp.33-35). This approach contends that while God does have a specific plan for each Christian, this plan remains hidden. God generally does not lift the veil. Instead, "guidance comes... by God making us wise.... The wisdom view sees God as guiding his children mediately, not immediately....his guidance is mediated by (comes through) the illumination of our minds and hearts by the Word of God" (p. 34). Petty favors and unpacks the Wisdom view in relation to four topics: 1. the doctrine of providence, 2. the sufficiency of Scripture, 3. the doctrine of illumination, 4. the current work of the Holy Spirit (p. 35). Applying each of these criteria, it is clear that the Wisdom view in broad outline is more Biblically faithful than the proposed alternatives. The first three parts of the book (pp. 17-192) explore the theology of guidance. The fourth part (pp. 193-262) consists of a helpful case study, illustrating ways this model can be practically applied to our lives. The reader is invited to a robust confidence in the Bible alone (not the `Bible-plus'). Through it, "God guides us by progressively placing within us spiritual wisdom and understanding to know the will of God... He never leads us with a `guess the signs' model" (p. 155). This occurs as the Christian progressively consecrates herself to Christ. "The path of wisdom is a lifestyle of repentance from serving functional gods like security, safety, control," etc. (p. 179). VERY practical, wildly applicable book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    An excellent example of practical Biblical Wisdom. Petty tackles the disputed topic of how Christians are to discern God's will in life decisions. He compares three views (traditional, charismatic, and wisdom) and lands on the wisdom view as the Biblical position. The main point of the book is that God guides us through wisdom, through the Bible. He also addresses questions such as: Can I fall out of the Will of God? Can I know the specific will of God for me? Do I have freedom to make decisions? An excellent example of practical Biblical Wisdom. Petty tackles the disputed topic of how Christians are to discern God's will in life decisions. He compares three views (traditional, charismatic, and wisdom) and lands on the wisdom view as the Biblical position. The main point of the book is that God guides us through wisdom, through the Bible. He also addresses questions such as: Can I fall out of the Will of God? Can I know the specific will of God for me? Do I have freedom to make decisions? How does God Guide us? In addition he has a chapter on how to become wise. The last section of the book is very practical and I found the most helpful. He gives seven steps based on biblical principles that can guide us in making a decision. He also uses a case study of a man named Don who was contemplating making a career change. He shows how Don worked through the steps.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allen

    Excellent comparison and contrast of the three main views on biblical guidance. I learned that my belief on the subject was wrong. Wisdom from the Scriptures through which the Holy Spirit speaks is what should be my guide when making decisions. Neither the discerning of events or signs to determine a "specific will" for my life nor charismatic phenomena are biblically sound approaches to guidance. It was comforting to know that I am still on God's "Plan A" for my life, not Plan B, C, D,...Z, eve Excellent comparison and contrast of the three main views on biblical guidance. I learned that my belief on the subject was wrong. Wisdom from the Scriptures through which the Holy Spirit speaks is what should be my guide when making decisions. Neither the discerning of events or signs to determine a "specific will" for my life nor charismatic phenomena are biblically sound approaches to guidance. It was comforting to know that I am still on God's "Plan A" for my life, not Plan B, C, D,...Z, even though I made poor choices in the past and continue to sin now, God is working through those things and means for those things to happen for my good and His glory. As Christ conforms us to Himself and renews our minds to be like His, we grow in wisdom.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I think this book is an appropriate read for our season of life. I'm one chapter in, so far, so good ... Now that I've finished it, I will be recommending it to anyone who is seriously seeking to know God's will for their lives ... which, let's be honest, is many of us! It is a nice balance of theological truth (dispelling many of the Christian myths about "God's will") and practical step-by-step tools to use in making wise decisions. It is quite worth reading! And it's even better to know the a I think this book is an appropriate read for our season of life. I'm one chapter in, so far, so good ... Now that I've finished it, I will be recommending it to anyone who is seriously seeking to know God's will for their lives ... which, let's be honest, is many of us! It is a nice balance of theological truth (dispelling many of the Christian myths about "God's will") and practical step-by-step tools to use in making wise decisions. It is quite worth reading! And it's even better to know the author personally -- he was my landlord when I first moved to Philadelphia and I went to church with Jim and his wife, Marsha. They truly embody this wisdom that he writes about so well here!

  6. 5 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    This is a heck of a book. Both reassuring (you can't fail your way out of God's "plan A" for your life) and challenging (God will grant you wisdom if you ask for it), this book encompasses the best advice I've been given on making decisions. I was impressed with all the different options and arguments it brought up and dealt with, and the professional yet encouraging manner it dealt with those things. Very cool. Big review shout out to Mike for suggesting the book and letting me borrow his copy. This is a heck of a book. Both reassuring (you can't fail your way out of God's "plan A" for your life) and challenging (God will grant you wisdom if you ask for it), this book encompasses the best advice I've been given on making decisions. I was impressed with all the different options and arguments it brought up and dealt with, and the professional yet encouraging manner it dealt with those things. Very cool. Big review shout out to Mike for suggesting the book and letting me borrow his copy. (He read it "before he stopped highlighting". It was like Mike pointing certain things out.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Noel Burke

    This book provided great insight into how God's sovereign will impacts our lives. What do you say to someone who tells you that Jesus told them to do this or that? Is that Biblical? Does God care or direct my decisions of career, marriage, home, car, etc.? This book provides a great understanding of the different schools of thought and then takes what Scripture says to provide a clear picture of how God uses providence to always direct, yet allows autonomy of decision for the above mentioned thi This book provided great insight into how God's sovereign will impacts our lives. What do you say to someone who tells you that Jesus told them to do this or that? Is that Biblical? Does God care or direct my decisions of career, marriage, home, car, etc.? This book provides a great understanding of the different schools of thought and then takes what Scripture says to provide a clear picture of how God uses providence to always direct, yet allows autonomy of decision for the above mentioned things. A great model is used with three categories for decision making. A very good book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sreju

    One of the most important books I've ever read. Changed my whole way of thinking about knowing God's will for your life. We make decisions every day, and the wisdom on decision-making in this book is something I still think about all the time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Step by Step: Divine Guidance for Ordinary Christians (Resources for Changing Lives) by James C. Petty (1999)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abbieread

    can't rate yet, still reading, but wow....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I had to read this for my Bib. Docs. class so I wasn't really interested in it. It is however an easy read and is great for those in the Biblical career or just seeking some guidance.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Good book on finding the will of God for your life. I haven't read Friesen's book, Decision Making and the Will of God, for a long time, but it appeared to be pretty much the same good stuff.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Neal

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vawter

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Canavan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Kleven

  19. 5 out of 5

    Agnes Pratiwi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Corrie Kamakawiwoole

  21. 4 out of 5

    Todd Schrock

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Crenshaw

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steve Young

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nate

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monica English

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Hanson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Oliphint

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

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