Book Review: The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life

As a spiritual director, I draw upon all the resources in my toolbox to help people look for where God is working in their lives. One of those resources is a book I read while in graduate school: Robert Webber’s The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life. It changed the way I think about spirituality and in many ways changed how I approach my personal spiritual practices by helping me to see that true Christian spirituality is not just “spiritual” but is an embodied spirituality that takes seriously both the spiritual and the physical.

Webber posits that Christian spirituality is contemplation of and participation in the story of God. He says that “God’s embrace is the passionate outworking of God’s vision to reunite us to himself and re-direct our lives to fulfill his original purpose for us and for the world” (page 17).

Through engagement with the Bible, church history, and culture, Webber argues that Christian spirituality is both an internal and external practice. Our contemplation of God leads us to active participation in God’s story of this world and God’s plan for humanity. This book is a call to action for Christians to engage with God and the world.

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