Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby is a late 20th century classic in Evangelical spirituality. There are seven million copies in circulation and it has been translated into 45 languages. Soon the publisher will release a revised edition with both Blackaby and his son as co-authors. Largeparts have been re-written (the publisher says about 70 percent) and there are seven new chapters. Many of the stories and illustrations have been replaced by more recent events to make it a more contemporary. The original was published in 1991, but actually included a lot of material from earlier years because it represented a compilation of decades of teaching and preaching by Blackaby, a Canadian Baptist pastor and seminary president.
As I read the new revision, I found the familiar outline and the basic, sensible, clearly organized material. Many of Blackaby's original, personal stories are retained. There is a reason why this is a classic. It is a very straight-forward textbook on what it means to live as an ordinary, middle class Christian in today's world. It is a clearly-stated journey into contemporary Evangelical spirituality. It knows nothing about social justice or environmental stewardship. It makes no attempt to deal with the complexities of a the postmodern mind. It includes many small indicators that assume a certain kind of middle class lifestyle. But, it is not hostile to new generations of Christians who see social action as an essential ingredient in faithful living. It is foundational to those concerns. Used with other resources, it still provide an essential piece in the development of discipleship with both new Christians and those who may have never built a spiritual foundation for their lives.