Thoughts on Thomas A Kempis' Imitation

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arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
What are your thoughts on The Imitation of Christ by A Kempis? I can't recall where but, some called it, or the followers in the tradition of A Kempis, a 'Theology of Glory.' Would that be mistaken?
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
There are some issues with Thomas à Kempis. But I have to confess, I've read The Imitation of Christ multiple times over the years and can't help but love it. It breaths of a simple, child-like faith in Christ. I feel about Thomas à Kempis what I do about George Müller; though I can see his errors, I can't help but love the honest simplicity of their walk with God.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
There are some issues with Thomas à Kempis. But I have to confess, I've read The Imitation of Christ multiple times over the years and can't help but love it. It breaths of a simple, child-like faith in Christ. I feel about Thomas à Kempis what I do about George Müller; though I can see his errors, I can't help but love the honest simplicity of their walk with God.
What sort of errors?
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
What sort of errors?
There is a moralism that pervades the book. There is no clear delineation of justification by faith apart from the works of the Law. But then, there is also no denial of it. So, if you can recognize Thomas for who he is (a 15th century monk) and understand the context in which he is writing, you will hopefully still find much that is profitable.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I think it also right to say that there is an ascetic tendency in Thomas (if that is the right word to use). By that I mean that he would have the Christian regard himself as altogether bad. While we ought to deprecate our sin and remaining corruption, we must not forget that in Christ we are new creatures. So there is another thing of which to be mindful.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I read him every year, the first 2 books. The last book is on Communion, so avoid that one. It is some wonderful writing.
 

BottleOfTears

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your thoughts on The Imitation of Christ by A Kempis? I can't recall where but, some called it, or the followers in the tradition of A Kempis, a 'Theology of Glory.' Would that be mistaken?
It would be quite surprising. Many Reformed people have been very positive about A Kempis and the Modern Devotion. Are you aware of the book Sweet Communion? It traces the connections between A Kempis and Bernard of Clairvaux into the Dutch Second Reformation. Many of them reprinted The Imitation, sometimes editing it to "reform it" as it were. They also wrote their own books around similar themes.

Calling it a theology of glory is strange, do you definitely not remember any context for where you read that?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It would be quite surprising. Many Reformed people have been very positive about A Kempis and the Modern Devotion. Are you aware of the book Sweet Communion? It traces the connections between A Kempis and Bernard of Clairvaux into the Dutch Second Reformation. Many of them reprinted The Imitation, sometimes editing it to "reform it" as it were. They also wrote their own books around similar themes.

Calling it a theology of glory is strange, do you definitely not remember any context for where you read that?
I think it was an article written by a Lutheran...
 
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