The Way to Love

The Way To Love
Reimagining Christian Spiritual Growth as the Hopeful Path of Virtue
Matt Boswell
2018- September
Cascade Books

"Love people." An oft-proclaimed rallying cry for Christians, but what does it look like, in practice, to love? We may believe that love is "the greatest" (1 Cor 13:13). Love may be our destination. But do we know how to get there? This book addresses essential questions about the Christian life. What is a true, compelling, and helpful Christian understanding of love? What is spiritual growth supposed to do to us or for us (or for others, through us)? How can we speak of grace and personal initiative in one theological vision? How do we go beyond a spirituality that is either too privatized and insular or too activist without the undergirding character needed to sustain such activism? How do we ensure love is not simply a principle we hold or a slogan we applaud but a powerful force that perpetually grows in us and ripples out to others in concrete, transformative ways? This book is a guide to love. Drawing on virtue ethics, psychology, theology, and spirituality, it offers a love-centered, hopeful vision of the Christian spiritual life. The story in which God invites us to live is about a journey of love, toward love. Is this your story?

"Focusing on virtue and using the tools of positive psychology, Boswell opens the door to a commonsense, practical, and step-by-step approach to spiritual development via the five 'Christian virtues' of gratitude, self-care, justice, kindness, and hope. Boswell's book is a fine addition to the Christian spiritual tradition and the literature of virtue ethics as well." --Lisa Fullam, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University

"Readers of The Way to Love will be inspired by Boswell's expansive, hopeful, and compassionate vision, but they will also be guided and supported in their efforts to develop practical programs of formation . . . Much more than a 'how to' book, this is a work of deep pastoral wisdom that gives us the 'why' and 'what for' and 'with whom' of Christian spiritual growth." --Arthur G. Holder, Graduate Theological Union

"A timely reminder of the importance of virtue, which is always the first quality jettisoned when the Church begins to flounder. Read this prophetic book. Study it in your church. Discuss it with your friends. Absorb its message of hope, love, and justice. And be made new!" --Phil Gulley, author of If The Church Were Christian

"Explosive with insights and energetic writing, The Way to Love challenges the platitudes of tradition and our times on hope and love. Using examples from contemporary Christian life, it is well grounded in wide-ranging and deep theology as well as in positive psychology. Boswell promotes a refreshing, uplifting revisioning of the power of hope and love to transform our daily lives and our world." --Edward Vacek, S.J., author of Love, Human and Divine: The Heart of Christian Ethics

Matt Boswell is the pastor of Camas Friends Church, a Quaker meeting in Camas, Washington. He has a PhD in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and has taught courses on Christian spirituality, virtue ethics, and social justice.


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