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The Disciplines of the Christian Life

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Must Read!
This book is a phenomenal call to true discipleship. Very convicting and motivating at the same time.
Review by / (Posted on 11/18/2013)
I gave this to a young man on an ereader for his 16th birthday...In his words, this book was 'Awesome Reading.'
Review by / (Posted on 10/24/2012)
Great resource....
The Disciplines of the Christian Life

I was pretty excited when I found out I would have a chance to review a book written by Eric Liddell!
I had listened to “A Boy’s War” by David Michell and was interested to hear more about this fine man.

For those who don’t know Eric Liddell was the well-known Olympic athlete of the 20th century who wouldn’t run on Sunday (Chariots of Fire for you movie people – I haven’t watched any but remember playing the music for my piano lessons growing up. LOL!) who became a missionary to China.

Although I have some doctrinal differences with Mr. Liddell I still feel his writing would be most beneficial for any Christian to read.

Another review has mentioned infant baptism – but we have to remember that the church in his day often did baptism for the whole family and infant baptism was sort of like what most people call baby dedication today. It was understood that it was not an issue of salvation, unlike what maybe practiced by other beliefs – in other words they did not believe if the baby was not baptized and it died it would go to hell. They simply did it as a testimony of which direction their family was taking – as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Coming from and Armenian perspective I would say that Mr. Liddell is probably what we would call somewhat Keswickian (spelling?) in his views on sanctification.

I like how Mr. Liddell gives us a model of how to disciple new believers. He encourages Bible reading, prayer, and basic doctrine as well as continual study of God’s word and gives a working plan to follow. All believers would benefit from this plan and those seeking to disciple others would benefit from this book.

Many people skip the prefaces to books – don’t skip this one! It is very interesting to know how this book was “discovered” and preserved as well as telling you some choice tidbits about Eric Liddell’s life.

A few choice gems to wet your appetite:

The power in some is the defeated attitude in which we face them…remember God expects us to overcome.
Keep God first. Trust Him absolutely.
Fear makes you fail. When you feel that way…ask why?
God asks faithfulness. Consequences can be left to Him.
Be not afraid only believe.
Stop/surrender to God – He will help you overcome.

Obedience to God’s will is the secret to spiritual knowledge and insight. It is not willingness to know but willingness to do -- to obey that brings enlightenment, certainty concerning God’s truth….if I know something is true am I prepared to follow it even though it is contrary to what I want? …following truth leads to God because truth is of God….Obedience is the secret of being conscious that God guides you personally…Every Christian should lead a God-guided life….the Christian who hasn’t a sense of guidance in his life is missing something vital.

A prayer for victorious attitude at for all times

Father, I pray that no circumstances however bitter or however long-drawn out may cause me to break thy law -- the law of love to thee and to my neighbor. That I may not become resentful, have hurt feelings, hate, or become embittered by life’s experiences but that in and through all I may see Thy guiding hand and have a heart full of gratitude for Thy daily mercy, daily love, daily power, and daily presence,
Help me in the day when I need it most, to remember that all things work together for good to them that love God.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this audio book as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. For more information about this and other Christian audio books visit
Review by / (Posted on 9/5/2012)
a resource that i will return to time and time again
I started listening to this book yesterday at work. When I got home, and got comfortable, I found myself wishing that I had the recording at home. I missed hearing the story of his life (I hadn't gotten any further than the first chapter.)

This book starts off full of intrigue and history and then launches into a treasure chest of, well, advice on how to live a Christian life.

After listening to the entire audiobook I now have to have the hard copy of the book.

This is truly a keeper. A resource to go back to time and time again.
Review by / (Posted on 8/22/2012)
The basics of Christianity delivered with passion.
As I was reading Eric Liddell’s book, The Disciplines of the Christian Life, I kept having the same recurring thought: this is what we need! I didn’t realize it, but I was longing for a short, yet comprehensive “basics for discipleship” manual.

I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with growing numbers of people trusting Jesus for salvation and then being given a jumbled, mis-fire of information about what the Christian life looks like, if given any information at all. Little did I know that this book I was seeking was written over 60 years ago by the gold-medal-winning Olympian and was only published recently. It makes sense that this missing piece of a book would be written by a missionary. I can imagine Liddell ministering in China, leading people to Christ, and then sitting down with them to go through this book. The reason it will work on a practical level is because it has already been field-tested!

I don’t mean to marginalize this book in the least by calling it a “manual.” It is so beautifully written, and all through it is the passion of man who literally gave his life for his faith and those to which God had called him. Many books focused on Christian disciplines seem to flirt with legalism. Not so here. Liddell’s passion for Jesus and a Spirit-led life is far too contagious.

The majority of the book is a twelve-month “devotional” guide that takes the reader through a variety of subjects that Liddell considered to be “the basics.” Admittedly, it is a little weird to listen to an audio recording of a devotional guide. I would love to get my hands on a copy of the print version to really take in the layout. Unfortunately, Amazon and seem to be having trouble keeping any in stock.

The subjects Liddell has chosen range from the arrangement of the Bible, to the life of Christ, to communion, to the profile of a healthy Christian marriage. He never dwells too long on a subject, but briskly moves through them as if on a 400-meter sprint. These are the distilled basics, and we can go deeper later, he seems to say. This interesting pacing along with the book’s interesting publication history make for a book that is both timely and timeless: rooted in the timeless truths of Scripture and historical Christianity, but seemly written for the fast-paced world of the 21st Century. This book is literally a modern classic.

As you listen, I pray Liddell’s passion for Jesus inspires you as it did me. One last thing, this book is narrated in an arresting Scottish accent, so you can imagine it is being read by Liddell himself. What a great touch!

Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
Review by / (Posted on 7/11/2012)
Solid Christian Disciplines From An Amazing Man
The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell is some of the writings of Eric Lindell while he was a missionary in China from 1925 to 1945. Although most famous for being a gold medal winning athlete who refused to compete on Sundays, as featured in the feature film “Chariots of Fire”, he spend a large portion of his life as a missionary in China. His Christian writings in China were thought to have been lost but were later found and published in this book 40 years after his death.

The preface of this book focused on Eric Lindell and his life and it was fascinating to learn the story not represented in the film and what happened in the rest of his life. In particular he love for God and his missionary work in China.

The actual content of the book focuses on principles that should be evident in a Christian’s life such as love and good stewardship of what God has given them. It has a reasonably sound theology with just a few differences to what I believe.

The narration was very good as the narrator used a Scottish accent to simulate the way the author most likely would have read the book himself. Also the way in which the book was read gave the book a steady pace and made it easier to follow.

This book is probably more interesting for the author’s life story than the content of his writings but the actual writings were quite solid as well.

This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at
Review by / (Posted on 7/4/2012)
Eric Must Have Been An Extremely Disciplined Man
Being the great athlete that he was, I'm sure Eric was an extremely disciplined man. I was really drawn in to the book at the beginning with its fascinating introduction to Eric, but as the book progressed I was disappointed with its lack of depth. It's quite general, and seems geared for people new to the faith. I'm sure that there is so much more I could learn from this great man of God.

Once the gripping introduction was ended and the heart of the book began I found it hard to stay focused on the material. The content is good, it's just mostly things that I had already heard before, being the kind of man he was - you'd expect some really deep, thought-provoking challenges, not mostly generalities.

Not a book that you need to stay away from/time-waster, not a must-read either. This is just my opinion though, it's quite possible Eric's style will really connect with you. I wish it did with me.

The narration is top-notch.

This review was submitted on behalf of christianaudio's reviewers' program.

More of my christianaudio reviews are available at
Review by / (Posted on 7/3/2012)
magnificent audio worthy of such a theological treatise
This book was published forty years after the death of the author, Eric Liddell, who had died unexpectedly from a brain tumor in a Japanese prison camp, only months before what would have been his release, leaving behind not just his wife and kids, but those still in the camp who had come to rely on him for encouragement and strength every day. 

Liddell is best known for his refusal to race in the Olympics on a Sunday, as portrayed in "Chariots of Fire." After his role winning the gold in the Olympics, he left is position as an athlete for his country and followed his call to become a China-based missionary. While in China, he published a couple pamphlets and wrote a draft of a manuscript to be published. The audio edition being reviewed here is the reading of that manuscript that was eventually discovered and published. 

In the manuscript, the goals were listed as (i) define the knowledge a Christian should have, (ii) apply the knowledge, and (iii) integrate the knowledge into everyday living. As part of this task to accomplish, Liddell listed the disciplines of a Christian life, which include a daily devotional time, face and replace the unChristlike parts of our lives, continually ponder material, and learn the art of living a Christian life. 

Simon Vance is quite a popular narrator, appearing in several Christian audiobooks. Vance does an amazing job narrated the text. Maintaining a convincing, if not truly authentic, Scottish accent and tone for the text, Vance pairs his magnificent effort with a varied pace that matches a heartfelt sermon from an indebted shepherd. Excellent marks, all around.

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Review by / (Posted on 7/1/2012)
Basic Theology of Eric Liddell
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

Many people know Eric Liddell from the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire. What many people don't know is he also gave up the life of an athlete to be an overseas missionary.

In the short, The Disciplines of the Christian Life, Liddell presents a fundamental (not to be confused with fundamentalist) theology and encouragements for basic spiritual disciplines. I was impressed with his knowledge of biblical scholarship and historical-critical methodologies. At the same time, I found myself tuning out a lot while listening to the book. That may have been because there was a lot on my mind or because I can't really say there was much in the book I hadn't heard elsewhere.

I don't have any complaints about it, and it's probably a good introductory resource to theology and how God relates to the world. I enjoyed some of the preface history of Liddell. Simon Vance's (the narrator) Scottish accent was also a nice change from many audiobooks. It was an understandable accent (some Scottish accents are incomprehensible to non-Scots) and brought a bit of authenticity to the work, as Liddell was Scottish.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Review by / (Posted on 6/21/2012)
Nice Little Book
Eric Liddell was the Olympic track champion who, in 1924, refused to race on a Sunday, but who later set a world record in the 400m. His life inspired the movie “Chariots of Fire.” Liddell was also a passionate follower of Jesus Christ who served as a missionary in China until his death during World War II.

In The Disciplines of the Christian Life, Liddell shares some of the basic knowledge and practices that should be present in the life of a believer in order for that person to grow.

On the positive side, it is a simple joy to read the thoughts of this believer who let go of so much worldly fame to take the gospel to China. Liddell does a fine job of offering wise counsel and simple theology for converts to easily grasp. He even cautions well against taking his disciplines so seriously as to become legalistic about them.

Like any work, Liddell’s doctrine will not fit with every Christian. For example, Liddell teaches infant baptism, which will not fit well with some denominations. I also would have liked greater clarity from the author in his discussion of the fact that man is made in God’s image or in the doctrine of the atonement. However, this work is short and Liddell is not attempting to be Wayne Grudem, and so I certainly believe that discerning readers will find much in the book to enjoy.

I would happily recommend The Disciplines of the Christian Life to anyone who is fascinated by Liddell’s story or who would find it inspiring to see how a missionary to China in the early twentieth century taught his converts to follow God. Believers who wish to be challenged to grow and to be committed to their growth also will benefit from this book.

As part of their reviewers program, I listened to the excellent audio version of this work produced by Simon Vance did an outstanding job reading this short text, even using a sweet accent in the process.
Review by / (Posted on 6/17/2012)

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