Monday, July 09, 2012

BookPastor >> "Rest" (Siang-Yang Tan)

We have often told one another that we live in such a busy world. We have not enough time and too much to do. We love our families but we still are not able to spend enough time with them. The reason is most likely our inability to appropriately be at rest. Our hearts are often way too restless for our own good.


TITLE: Rest: Experiencing God's Peace in a Restless World
AUTHOR: Siang-Yang Tan
PUBLISHER: Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2000, (228 pages).

This book is written by one who is a professor, a pastor, as well as a licensed psychologist. As a professor, Tan brings together a wealth of scholarship resources surrounding what spiritual rest entails. He describes rest as "a state of peace, contentment, serenity, refreshment, stillness, tranquility, or calm." Some of the qualities of rest includes a quieted heart, a "sober awareness" of God's presence, an ability to know the limits of self, to enjoy nature, to reflect, trust, and not rush through life. Like a skilled surgeon, Tan approaches rest from many angles, namely, physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual.

In Part Two, Tan shines as an experienced pastor who hones his scholarship with a shepherd's heart. Through Psalm 23, readers are urged to begin with "Shepherd-Centeredness" to draw near and abide with the Source of True Rest: God. True rest requires a "Spirit-filled surrender" that helps one to move away from self toward others.In solitude and silence, Tan brings together many of the teachings from spiritual masters like Dallas Willard, Jan Johnson, Doug Gregg, Henri Nouwen, and A.W.Tozer to guide readers toward developing a state of sensing God. We are also reminded on the need to cultivate simplicity in living. Sabbath is a crucial part of rest. As a trained psychologist, we note how Tan shines in his exposition on sleep. Cultivating a spiritual community and serving one another are also other nuances surrounding rest. Tan does not stop at the present state. He points readers to an eternal rest

There are so many gems and helpful practical tips on how to rest. In one book, we are given a taste of the many different ways in which rest can be cultivated, developed, and practised. Tan has done all the hard work for us in bringing together a wealth of resources at our own disposal. With this book, we need not ask how then do we rest. We will not be telling ourselves "we need to rest," or "we have to rest." Instead, we will be saying, "Wow! I want to rest."

Rating: 5 stars of 5.


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