Between the Lines: A Conversation with David Benner – Part 5

This is the last in a five-part interview with Dr. David Benner – author of the recent Brazos book Spirituality and the Awakening Self: The Sacred Journey of Transformation.

In Part 1, Dr. Benner discussed his purpose for writing Spirituality and the Awakening Self.
In Part 2, he talked about Christian mysticism and what it has to offer for one’s journey of transformation.
In Part 3, he discussed the role of community in that journey.
In Part 4, we asked David about the “first rule of care” for others.


Finally, please comment on the understanding of the spiritual journey as primarily involving growth in Christ-likeness.

If Christ-likeness is not reduced to behavior but involves taking on both the mind and heart of Christ – not just the behavior of Jesus – this describes exactly what I think the journey involves.  But it cannot simply be a matter of conformity.  We must understand that the Christ-in-me will always look different from the Christ-in-you.

Also, we need to be clear to distinguish this from a journey of increasing sinless perfection.  Nor is taking on the heart and mind of Christ the same as adopting a set of beliefs.  Taking on the heart and mind of Christ involves experiencing and responding to one’s self, the world and God through the heart and mind of God.  This is what it means to become the new creature in Christ that we are called to be.


For more information on Dr. David G. Benner and Spirituality and the Awakening Self, check out the Book Club page on

Check out original posts from Dr. Benner, an excerpt from the book, and articles by Tony Jones, Jana Riess, and others.

The Weekly Hit List: April 6, 2012

The April issue of our newsletter “Border Crossings” was just sent out.

You can read it here. To sign up, click here.

Two Brazos books were selected among the finalists for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards:

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was selected in the “Religion” category.

Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy was selected in the “Body, Mind & Spirit” category.

See the full list of finalists here.


Several blogs have given attention to Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. Many have been linking to the terrific interview with Smith by Frank Viola on the “Beyond Evangelical” blog. If you haven’t read this interview yet, check it out here.

Here are some blogs that have posted on The Bible Made Impossible:

“I Call You Friend” Blog

“Can’t Catch My Breath” Blog

“Court Can Write” Blog

 Quick Hits:

Peter Enns’s The Evolution of Adam was reviewed on the “Falling Off a Cliff Backwards” blog.

Brian Walsh’s Kicking at the Darkness was mentioned in a Vancouver Sun article.

Many great posts came from David Benner’s Spirituality and the Awakening Self being a part of the Patheos Book Club. Be sure to check out Tony Jones’s post (he’s giving away a copy of the book!).

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was reviewed on the “Ends & Means” blog.

Harold Cameron reviewed Samuel Well’s Be Not Afraid on his blog.

The Weekly Hit List – September 30, 2011

Roger Olson has continued his interaction with The Bible Made Impossible on his blog this week:
Part 1
Addendum to Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Also, Joel Willitts at the Euangelion blog has begun to post about Smith’s book. Check it out here.

Today is the last day that Lee C. Camp’s book Who Is My Enemy? is featured on the Patheos.comBook Club.Within this past week, there have been several new highlights – including:

Lee’s response to Jason Byassee.

A wonderful post by Scot McKnight (with great discussion in the comments section).

Also, The Tennessean wrote a great article on Camp and Who Is My Enemy?

Winners of the Who Is My Enemy? Giveaway!

Congratulations to Dan Brubacher, Jason Gardner, Allyne Smith, William McReynolds, and Jeremy Scott! Each of you will receive a free copy of Lee C. Camp’s important and thought-provoking book.

Thank you to all who participated – especially those who took part in our Twitter promotion. Check here next week for our next Brazos Blog giveaway!


The Weekly Hit List – September 23, 2011

Roger Olson previews his interaction with The Bible Made Impossible on his Patheos blog. We look forward to his coming posts!

The “New Testament Interpretation” blog recently featured The Bible Made Impossible. Check it out here.

If you haven’t checked out where Who Is My Enemy?is featured in their Book Club, well then you simply are missing out.

New to the discussion is David Swartz’s thoughtful review of Camp’s book. Check it out here.

Don’t forget about our current giveaway. Five lucky winners will receive a copy of Lee C. Camp’s much-discussed book Who Is My Enemy?.

To enter, fill the out the entry form here.

Patheos Book Club: Who Is My Enemy?

Lee C. Camp’s Who Is My Enemy? is featured as a Patheos Book Club Selection now through September 30th.

Click through to find out more about this exceptional new book, read an excerpt, view author videos, and read Camp’s article on Just War and jihad. Also, check out the roundtable discussion articles with Greg Garrett and Jason Byassee (with more to come next week!).

Also, the first of the three videos with Camp is embedded below: 

The Weekly Hit List – September 9, 2011

For our first installment of The Weekly Hitlist, we have a lot of ground to cover. We have several recent releases that have made an impact on online discussions and that have been featured on various websites.

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith has gotten some much-deserved attention.

The Huffington Post gave the book a positive review last month and just yesterday Volf wrote a piece entitled, “Did 9/11 Make Us Morally ‘Better’?”.

For those of you who read Christianity Today, look for a review in the September issue!

Scot McKnight ran a series of posts on The Bible Made Impossible:
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Scot then responded to some of the harsh critiques posed at the book.

The book inspired another interesting discussion at First Things:
Peter Leithart’s review
Christian Smith’s response

As we mentioned in a previous post, Lee C. Camp wrote a piece for’s ‘Remembering 9/11’ series entitled “Is Christian Just War Just Like Jihad?”

You can catch Lee on this Sunday’s episode of Darkwood Brew.

Finally, last week USA Today ran a piece on John Polkinghorne entitled, “Why Certainty about God is Overrated”.

Don’t forget to sign up for The Brazos Blog Sweepstakes where you could win not only these titles from Volf, Smith and Camp, but also our 16-volume Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.

Lee C. Camp Featured on

John Wright Photography

Brazos author Lee C. Camp, whose recent book Who Is My Enemy? just released last week, contributed to the ‘Remembering 9/11’ feature on  It is called “Is Christian Just War Just Like Jihad?” and explores several themes of Who Is My Enemy. In it, Camp writes:

“When it comes to questions of war and peace, is American Christianity more like Muhammad or Jesus?

Since 9/11, such a question has seemed outrageous to many Americans. But perhaps the offense is grounded in some unhelpful assumptions.

Here in the Bible Belt, many argue that Islam is inherently war-mongering and oppressive, and that it is waging a “holy war” against anyone that refuses to embrace Muhammad.  Others around the country assert that all religions are inherently concerned with the same ethical core, pursuing “love” and “peace.”

Both these stereotypes are deeply problematic, and their assertions ironic.”

You can read Dr. Camp’s feature in its entirety here.

“Is Christian Just War Just Like Jihad” is a part of a much larger feature of Lee C. Camp on Who Is My Enemy? will be a featured book in the Sept. 16-30th Patheos Book Club. Starting on the 16th, Patheos will begin hosting all kinds of new content connected to Camp and Who Is My Enemy? – including videos, interviews and excerpts. So be on the lookout for that!

Finally, Lee Camp will be interviewed on the popular web-television series “Darkwood Brew” this Sunday at 6 pm EST. Look for it here.

We are very excited that Who Is My Enemy? has released and believe that it will contribute in significant ways to the growing conversation of how Christianity should understand and relate to Islam. For more information on Lee C. Camp and Who Is My Enemy? click here.

Make sure to enter The Brazos Blog Sweepstakes where you can win a copy of Lee C. Camp’s Who Is My Enemy? The grand prize winner will also get all 16 volumes of The Brazos Theological Commentaries on the Bible!