The Eternal Current

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

This book was a great guide to a deeper walk of faith with more intimacy with Christ.  I had never read Niequist before but am already looking forward to reading more.  This is for anyone who wants a little more deep study.
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I love how this book encourages practices within a community. It gives a very practical explanation of how they formed the Practice at Willow Creek. It inspires readers to look towards possibilities of starting a similar practice in our own communities. It’s a fast easy read. I felt the information just flowing off the page. I finished the book in a few hours. I did feel like the author could have gone into a little more detail about the practices they included in the Practice. However there are plenty of books on the subject so finding deeper explanations is not at all difficult. I enjoyed this book and am interested to look into the practice to learn more. 
I received a digital copy of this book from netgalley. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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This book is about spiritual growth. Jesus didn't just ask us to believe in him and be done, but reminds us that God is present with us and invites us alongside him in kingdom work. Aaron invites us to explore various disciplines from a variety of denominations and cultures to grow our experiences with God and learn more ways to experience God. He shares his church's attempts of connecting with God by learning new practices from diverse people, historical and contemporary styles, and both inward and outward expressions of faith.
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The Eternal Current is written for a certain audience, but it is thoughtful, eloquent, and very forthright in the author's beliefs and the questioning of his beliefs.
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Niequest's journey through doubt and how practices rooted in traditions beyond the evangelical expressions he'd grown up with brought him back to faith will speak to many who believe in Jesus but are struggling with church and their lives of faith.  He joins others like Richard Foster who explore the many different strands, expressions and practices of Christianity, packaging them for current generations.
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I LOVE the Niequist family and their books, and The Eternal Current is no exception.  Aaron beautifully describes our union with Christ. And, the cover is excellent.  Thank you for allowing me to review this, and I will be recommending this book to many others!
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This book released at the perfect time! Many of us who grew up in evangelical, non-denominational churches have become interested in liturgy and traditional church practices as adults. We're tired of the "cool church" hype and the whims of celebrity pastors. We want to feel connected to brothers and sisters in Christ around the world today and those of the past. Baptism, communion, and the readings of prayers and Scripture can be an anchor to us, no matter life's circumstances, time or place. The author describes his faith journey and gives us a hopeful way forward as we journey along the eternal current. I loved this book.
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The Eternal Current has helped give words to the restlessness that I have felt in my soul for the last few years. In his work, Aaron Niequest, presents the reader with the idea that Christianity is not just an assent to a particular set of ideals or theologies. Instead Christianity is also an invitation to step into the River and feel the Current. This is done through adopting a lifestyle that is practice based instead of faith based.

Most of the examples of practices in this work are ancient Christian traditions carried out by various people of various backgrounds around the world for the thousands of years; however, Aaron gives personal insight which includes stories of his own understanding of these practices.

The book is a quick read and I consider to be a helpful resource for all Christians looking for something different. Especially those interested in spiritual formation and the possibility of a more active relationship with God and others; or those who are interested in various ancient and modern spiritual practices.
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I decided to read this book after I heard Aaron Nisquiet’s interview on Annie Downes’s podcast. Throughout this book I found the same tone that caught my attention that day, and I think the title of this book is very appropriate for this author and the subject.

A current might be strong and wild, but also consistent and peaceful. This consistency let’s us not be far from what we were meant to be, and the peace that er can’t put into words means we belong to Someone greater than us, wiser than us, and stronger, but also meek and gentle.
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I have been following The Practice Tribe at Willow Creek for quite some time. I found it fascinating that a church that is your typical contemporary church would invite a liturgical service into their midst. Aaron Niequist said that his heart grew weary of four rocks songs and a hymn on Sunday mornings. He was tired of the pep rally and yearned for his heart to be pastored.

Tucked in the pages of this book are ancient practices that makes us better worshippers. They invite us to give our whole selves to God and let him rake us over and rebuild us. Worship is meant to become a prayerful, intentional space. 

I have hundreds of highlighted notes from this book. I loved so much of me. It challenged me. One of the things Aaron said that stuck with me is that many of us have a wealth of knowledge about the river, but few of us have ever swam in it. “Contemplation becomes an attentiveness of spirit that shifts the seeker from an ordinary reality to the Kingdom of God.” 

I want to write a note about it from every single page. If you are looking to deepen your faith and think more widely about what God is doing with his kingdom around you, read it. 

*I was a little hesitant to read this when I saw that Aaron had been on staff with Rob Bell, but I read on anyway. It was lovely discovering with him.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the thoughts and ideas in this book. I just wish more communities had gathering like The Practice. I wish more had the attitudes expressed in this passage -"Just as each member of a church is one part of the body, I wonder if each church tradition needs to be understood as one part of the bigger body of Christ. Each is absolutely critical , but each on its own is only one part of the story. Fundamentalist Christians remind us that God’s truth is profoundly important . Catholic Christians remind us that we are called to work for good in the world. Evangelical Christians remind us that we need to be saved. Episcopalian and Anglican Christians remind us to keep our hearts and minds open to all the things God is doing on earth, even things that might surprise us." This attitude would go a long way in showing those in this world the love of Christ. This summer, I visited many churches of different denominations, and it was so refreshing. The practices described in the book hit the high points of the varying denominations. Particularly, the Eucharist and confessions in the more "high" services.
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I found this to be a very thought-provoking book.  Many concepts I had already been grappling with myself, but other concepts and ideas have given me pause.  I'm sure that the ideas presented in The Eternal Current will stay with me for quite a while as I process through them to form my own opinion.  I am grateful to the author for addressing a "new" thing in some spiritual circles and causing me, and I'm sure many others, to stop and think about the way we pursue our relationship with God and how we take His message to the world.
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In a world that seems to be so polarized, I really appreciate the message that this book contains as it rallies Christians to unite and learn from one another with the intent of focusing on the eternal. This book found me at the perfect time. I needed to hear how each viewpoint and practice has its place and purpose in the Christian faith.  

*ARC provided by NetGalley
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From the first time I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. Aaron writes about his experience starting The Practice at Willow Creek. He goes into depth about his exploration of liturgy. Also what worked and didn't work in this church project. It was a solid work covered in grace. I really liked it, and already shared it with our youth pastor.
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In the introduction of The Eternal Current, Aaron Niequist sets up an analogy he will return to repeatedly throughout the book, that of God's kingdom being a River with the intent towards "healing and restoration of all things," and that we are all invited to jump in and swim. 

If I'm honest, while I appreciated the analogy at the start, I wish Niequist didn't return to that language in every chapter; it seems heavy handed to over-emphasize the analogy (we might be "lost in the religious weeds" or "trapped in one small pond," maybe we are "fully submerged," perhaps we notice "God's River of blessing and healing flows constantly").

That critique aside, Niequist has a compelling story about his journey of faith.  He grew up unable to question, believing that those outside his small faith practice were getting it wrong and weren't truly Christians. While serving at a church, disillusionment and frustration led him to examine his faith more deeply. Eventually he is able to explore what it would look like to form "a practice-based, discipleship-focused, neo-liturgical, ecumenical, Eucharistic gathering." He is encouraged to form the Practice on Sunday nights at the church where he leads worship so that he can delve deeper into relationship with others exploring their faith.

I appreciated his thoughtfulness as he explained the core framework of every gathering of the Practice and expounded on the importance of community and participation. It struck a chord with me as I recalled when I served on a hiring committee at a former church; as I learned more of the nuts and bolts of a typical staff week, particularly what took place outside of Sunday mornings, I understood the intentionality and realized that was what led to the effective, vulnerable Sunday gatherings.

From Niequist's stories, the Practice must have been a powerful, meaningful experience. The shared prayers, questions, and modeled exercises detailed in the book offer practical support for others seeking to grow similarly.

(I received a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.)
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The Practice is a service and a community that embraces the idea that “A Sunday service is not the main event but rather a training ground to help all of us become people who can live the way Jesus would if he were in our place.” Because of that we should engage in practices together that prepare us to walk in this world as followers of Jesus. Every service is centered around liturgy and practice and sends you with a charge to live out what you’ve just learned. It’s this idea of a practice based faith that Aaron Niequist writes about in his book The Eternal Current.

The book begins by walking you through Aaron’s journey and the Practice service. If you’ve had the chance to visit the practice this is a great look behind the curtain at what drives this service. If you’ve never been to the practice (which you should if you can), this a great picture of what a practice based service looks like.

The wider story of the book is focused on what Aaron calls swimming in the eternal current. We have all received an invitation to swim with Jesus in this river of faith. We are called to follow him by swimming and not just believing. For many of us this consists of keeping strictly to our way of doing and believing, but the truth is the river has been flowing for a long time and our tradition is merely a part of it. While there’s so much richness in this book, the best way for me to sum it all up is that Aaron’s vision is that we would embrace our traditions alongside the traditions of our other brothers and sisters in Christ and learn how to swim more deeply in the current. We need to move beyond the motions of Sunday worship and simply believing the truths of scripture. We need to join together and embrace Jesus’ way of living.

While Aaron’s words aren’t necessarily new or revolutionary, he joins a long history of other pastors and authors who are making the same call to swim in the Eternal Current. The great thing is that his book comes with the experience of living out what he writes, and you too, if you are in the Chicago area can go and experience the practice as well. I hope that you will pick up this book and take the challenge to swim in the Eternal Current. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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I jumped at the chance to read a review copy of The Eternal Current written by Aaron Niequist. It did take me a while to read in the end but that’s only because I misplaced my Kindle for a while. I really think there is so much for us in Northern Ireland to learn from in these pages and also from the experience of The Practice community which Aaron has led and developed over a number of years. 

Having followed online the development of The Practice, under the auspices of Willow Creek Community Church, the theme of God’s eternal current was already familiar. The book expands upon the idea that Christ’s invitation to swim in the current is for us all, no matter who we are and the ways in which we may be hesitating. He asks us to join him in the deep waters of his grace and love, to not just dip our toes or wade knee deep but to swim with him. 

It challenges us to assess where exactly we are right now as individuals and also as faith communities. If we’re just standing on the shores of the eternal current, we are missing out on so much as is the rest of the world because as Aaron explains, faith is not only about theological belief but about how we can participate in God’s Kingdom in practice, here and now for the sake of the world. 

‘Through Christ, we get to join the redemption and restoration of all things.’

This book encourages us to be brave and to look beyond the boundaries of our own church walls and denominations, to not be afraid to learn from the historic practices of the church that have been set aside, to re-engage with spiritual disciplines that will hopefully help us to swim closer to Christ and join him in the work of the Kingdom here. 

There is much of Aaron’s personal spiritual journey and of The Practice community that would surely resonate here at home in Northern Ireland, where there are also deep religious divisions and suspicions. 

A book such as this can help us find the courage to swim further into the eternal current without fear and to be more open. I would recommend this book to anyone who might want to explore new ways of pushing deeper into faith, of practising, not just believing. There are also lots of other books and resources mentioned that can be investigated and which sound interesting. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea though, as we like to say but I for one give it a loud round of applause.
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The Eternal Current
How a Practice-Based Faith Can Save Us from Drowning
by Aaron Niequist
WaterBrook & Multnomah
Christian , Religion & Spirituality
Pub Date 07 Aug 2018
I am reviewing a copy of The Eternal Current through WaterBrook and Netgalley:

We are reminded in this book that staying centered on the Kingdom keeps us in the current as well as having a practice based approach allowing us to stay in the current.  We are reminded too that we are not going to stay in the current if we have empowerment only on Sundays, we are reminded too that the Community keeps us in the current.

In this book we are encouraged too learn how to build God's Children.  We are reminded too that we need to understand where God already is.  We are encouraged to meet God in centered prayer.

I give The Eternal Current four out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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“What are the practices – ancient and new – that form us into Christlikeness for the sake of the world?”

The Kingdom of God is like a river – an eternal current running through history, according to Aaron Niequist. Through his search for a relationship with God that was relevant to life today, Aaron studied history and found ways to bring the focus of church back to God instead of on worship or a sermon. Aaron explores this idea of a practice-focused church in The Eternal Current.

Aaron Niequist is married to Shauna Niequist, who has written several books. I’ve enjoyed Bread and Wine, Cold Tangerines, Present Over Perfect and Savor. When I saw her husband was writing a book, I applied to be on the launch team. I received a copy of the book before it was published in exchange for a fair review. The book was just released Aug. 7, 2018.

I really enjoyed reading Aaron’s view on The Church and how it would be more helpful if Christians focused on all being part of the Kingdom of God rather than being part of a certain denomination. Being a convert to Catholicism from Protestantism, I saw a lot of points in his book that I studied on my own more than a decade ago. One point he made was that the church didn’t put the sermon as the focus of its services until recent history – it was all focused on the Eucharist/communion. Also, he talks about how a church service should be a place where believers gather to learn and focus and then go out into their main mission – the rest of the week. This is rather than using church as a place to attract non-believers.

I wish Aaron had put more of the facts and history of what he learned in the book instead of just referencing the books he read. He also takes a chapter to focus on diversity, rather than focus on seeing each person as a person with unique experiences who adds value to the discussion. I would still highly recommend this book to any Christian who is looking to find a good practical way of engaging the world, but finding a solid way to join other believers in coming together as part of one kingdom. Resources for the book can be found at Aaron Niequist’s Web site.
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This book was incredible. It was challenging, well written, practical and all around refreshing. As a church leader, I appreciated Niequest's transparency, wisdom and practicality. Too often, I read books about things like spiritual disciplines and practices that are very profound but not at all practical in terms of implementing or introducing to a congregation.
In this book though, the profound partners with the practical. Niequest's walk through the Practice community was very helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a spiritual breath of fresh air or a deepening of their spiritual life. I also particularly recommend to church leaders,
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