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This book was a little too intense for me. I found it difficult to read due to so much content and references. If you’re going read this book, I’d recommend taking it very slow so you can process everything being said.

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In his thought-provoking book "Gratitude: Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being," Cornelius Plantinga delves into the profound impact of gratitude on our lives. Drawing from biblical wisdom, psychological research, and personal anecdotes, Plantinga makes a compelling case for cultivating a grateful disposition.

Plantinga begins by exploring the nature of gratitude, distinguishing between fleeting moments of thankfulness and a deeply ingrained attitude of gratitude. He highlights the characteristics of genuinely grateful individuals, such as feeling grateful with greater intensity, frequency, and breadth. Plantinga then examines the myriad benefits of gratitude, ranging from improved physical health and better sleep to increased resilience, happiness, and stronger relationships.

Throughout the book, Plantinga grounds his insights in scriptural truths, demonstrating how gratitude is central to the Christian faith. He explores biblical themes of thankfulness and provides numerous verses that underscore the importance of expressing gratitude to God for His abundant blessings.

While Plantinga acknowledges the suffering and challenges we face, he encourages readers to view them through the lens of God's provision and care. By embracing gratitude, he argues, we can experience greater joy, generosity, and contentment, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

One of the book's strengths is its practical application. Plantinga offers concrete suggestions for cultivating gratitude, such as keeping a gratitude journal or regularly expressing thanks to others. He also addresses common obstacles to gratitude and provides guidance for overcoming them.

"Gratitude" is a timely and much-needed message in a world often consumed by negativity and entitlement. Plantinga's engaging writing style, coupled with his pastoral sensitivity and theological depth, makes this book accessible and impactful for readers from all walks of life.

Whether you're seeking to deepen your spiritual life, improve your well-being, or simply gain a fresh perspective on the power of thankfulness, "Gratitude" is a must-read. Plantinga's insights will challenge and inspire you to make gratitude a central part of your daily life, transforming your relationships with God, others, and yourself in the process.

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GRATITUDE: WHY GIVING THANKS IS THE KEY TO OUR WELL-BEING by Cornelius Plantinga is an extended pastoral treatment of how important it is to cultivate the virtue of gratitude. It is a sermon, a homily that presupposes openness to the Christian worldview. The author works back and forth between entertaining, inspirational stories and Biblical explications, to good purpose. Readers want to stay for the ride, experiencing constant reinforcement not just that gratitude is good for us on the human level, but more importantly that “God is the ultimate source of all good gifts.” He grapples with the problem of evil and the enormous human suffering in this world, by referring readers to Jesus’ death on the Cross. While we cannot answer how a loving God allows so much pain, Plantinga offers the assurance that Jesus led the way, “showing it is safe for us to trust the God we often do not understand.” I am grateful to the author for this book which provided me quiet bedtime reading for several nights. I would not have wanted to read it any faster. There are informative endnotes amounting to suggestions for further reading.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being
by Cornelius Plantinga
Pub Date 06 Feb 2024
Baker Academic & Brazos Press,Brazos Press

I have been given a copy of Gratitude by Baker Academic and Netgalley to review.

How do we express gratitude? Where does it come from? How does it benefit us? What effect does it have on us?

Cornelius Plantinga explores these questions and more in his book Gratitude. Celebrating the role of gratitude in our lives, Plantinga makes the case that it is the very key to understanding our relationships with one another, the world around us, and God.

Through theologically informed and pastorally sensitive exploration of gratitude, Plantinga goes deeper than mindfulness and positive psychology. According to him, being grateful to God is not only our righteous duty but also the best predictor of our wellbeing. Gratitude makes us more faithful, joyful, generous, healthy, and content.

It's easy to focus on the suffering, fear, and worries around us, but Plantinga places them in the context of provision, abundance, and delight, empowering readers to give thanks with deep joy.

I give Gratitude five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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Always Be Thankful and Grateful

The author explains what gratitude is and states that there’s a big difference between occasionally feeling grateful and having a grateful disposition. He states that in a seminar on gratitude at Calvin University in July 2017, psychologist Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet explained to participants that people with a grateful disposition possess four tendencies, which are:
1. Feeling grateful with higher intensity than others
2. Experiencing gratitude with greater frequency
3. Being grateful for a wider array of good things
4. Experiencing gratitude with greater density—that is, having a thicker group of people to whom they are grateful for

He discusses various forms of gratitude, some benefits of being grateful, to include physical benefits. He states that in addition to lower blood pressure and healthier hearts, grateful people enjoy an eye-opening number of other benefits, such as:
1. They experience less depression and anxiety.
2. They sleep longer and better and awaken more refreshed.
3. They have lower levels of systemic inflammation.
4. They have higher levels of happiness and satisfaction with their lives.
5. They are less prone to materialism.
6. They are less prone to workplace burnout.
7. They are more resilient after traumatic events.
8. They are more patient.
9. They are more “prosocial”— more benevolent, more supportive of others.
10. They form and maintain strong relationships more consistently.

The author quotes biblical scriptures as to why we should always be grateful and give thanks to God for all that we have and all that God has done for us.
Very nice read. I enjoyed the fact that the author provided numerous biblical verses on giving thanks and being grateful. Highly recommend.

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I found this book to be such a timely and encouraging message, especially today when our world seems to be so focused on themselves. I have a tendency to be a glass half empty type of person, and at times I struggle to keep my eyes on Christ and off of myself. Cornelius Plantinga's uplifting call for gratitude, contentment, and joy is exactly the message we need to hear today. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and thankfulness is a fitting response for grateful people.

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If you are picking up Cornelius Plantinga's "Gratitude: Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being" expecting it to be some feel-good, greeting card reading experience you might want to think again.

Don't get me wrong. There's lots to feel good about here, however, Plantinga's "Gratitude" is far more than simply a feel-good, inspirational experience. It's an engaging and compelling tapestry of science meets theology, a gentle exegetical exploration of gratitude's Biblical foundations along with extensive research around gratitude. In other words, "Gratitude" doesn't drown us in toxic positivity but does, in fact, weave together a theologically based argument for gratitude at all times and in all things.

This might sound one and the same. It's not.

Plantinga explores the definition of gratitude, where gratitude comes from, why we need gratitude, and how gratitude changes our lives. In ultimately affirming the role of gratitude in our lives, Plantinga makes the case that gratitude is truly the essential ingredient in understanding our relationships with one another and with God.

"Gratitude" reads like a work of pastoral care, a theologically rooted book that clearly and concisely instructs gratefulness to God as righteous duty AND as the single best predictor of our well-being. Gratitude, Plantinga explains, turns us into more faithful, joyful, healthy, and content human beings.

I always appreciated "Gratitude," though I also can't deny there are times I'm in disagreement with Plantinga about how to and the implications of living into it. While Plantinga for the most part avoids toxic positivity, there are moments in "Gratitude" when I felt it dancing on the line of prosperity theology and when I'd have preferred an approach emphasizing "look for God" instead of "look for good."

Again, there's a difference.

Modest quibbles aside, "Gratitude" is a valuable primer on a central Biblical concept that is often overly simplified and not fully understood. Plantinga makes it all accessible and gently guides us down the road toward a more gratitude filled life.

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A great primer on gratitude and how it should be displayed in our lives. Would be a great resource for a small group or bible study. Plantinga's wisdom is much appreciated!

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Another book on gratitude, one might ask? Do we really need it? What more is there to say? To be honest, I had all these thoughts on starting to read Plantinga's book. It didn't take long for me to realise that this book brings something different and important in the discussion around the topic of gratitude.

Plantinga explores the Biblical roots, the psychological and physiological implications of gratitude. In doing so, he provides excellent Biblical exegesis, the results of research studies and examples of the grateful. We all want to be humbler and healthier don't we? Well, Plantinga provides a case that in becoming a grateful person we can become both. And one of the other wonderful elements of being grateful is that it feeds on itself. The grateful are generous and generosity feeds generosity both within the giver and receiver. It's quite magical.

Plantinga starts by exploring what gratitude is, how we get it, what blocks us from being grateful, and what happens to us if we are grateful. The second half of the book moves into exploring the Biblical themes surrounding gratitude, think how many verses mention 'thankfulness', 'give thanks,' and celebrating gratefulness. He ends the book with some wonderful examples of gifts that we can be thankful for.

This book exceeded my expectations and I'd encourage people to read it as being a grateful person is the best way to live irrespective of one's circumstances.

I feel very blessed to have received an early ebook copy from Brazos via Net Galley with no expectation of a positive review.

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