Essay: ’To Gaze on the Beauty of the Lord’: The Evangelical Resistance and Retrieval of Contemplation, by Tom Schwanda

This essay by Tom Schwanda appears in Embracing Contemplation: Reclaiming a Christian Spiritual Practice which according to the publisher “offers a distinctly evangelical consideration of the benefits of contemplation.”

In their introduction to the volume, the book’s editors write that Schwanda’s essay

. . . introduces the reader to criticisms of contemplation and spiritual formation that have arisen in popular-level online discourse. Unraveling these criticisms, and showing how they are not based on actual views held by evangelicals, Schwanda continues by giving four features of what might be called classical evangelical statements of contemplation. Turning to figures from both Reformed and Wesleyan camps, Schwanda outlines the views of Jonathan Edwards, Susanna Anthony, Sarah Jones, and Francis Asbury on the nature and task of contemplation, revealing a deep vein of contemplation in the very foundation of evangelical spirituality.

Citation:
“’To Gaze on the Beauty of the Lord’:  The Evangelical Resistance and Retrieval of Contemplation” in Embracing Contemplation: Reclaiming a Christian Spiritual Practice, edited by Kyle C. Strobel and John H. Coe, 95–117. Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 2019.

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