Monk Habits for Everyday People by Dennis Okholm

Monk Habits for Everyday People

In their zeal for reform, early Protestant leaders tended to throw out Saint Benedict with the holy water. That is a mistake, writes Dennis Okholm, in Monk Habits for Everyday People. While on retreat in a Benedictine abbey, the author, a professor who was raised as a Pentecostal and a Baptist, observed how the meditative and ordered life of a monk lifted Jesus' teachings off the printed page and put them into daily practice. Vital aspects of dev...

Details Monk Habits for Everyday People

TitleMonk Habits for Everyday People
Release DateDec 1st, 2007
PublisherBrazos Press
GenreSpirituality, Religion, Christian, Nonfiction, Christianity, Theology

Reviews Monk Habits for Everyday People

  • Bob Price
    I am not a monk.I have never been a monk.I don't think I will ever be a monk.But I like the TV show Monk. Monks get a very bad rap in modern culture. We tend to think of them as silent people (except when they are chanting) who are sexually repressed and of no earthly good because they are too busy pursuing the spiritual life.Not so! argues Dennis Okholm in his book Monk Habits for Everyday People. The spiritual life of the monks is exactly what ...
  • Chad
    The real attraction of Benedictine spirituality is its ordinariness. Routine. Community. Humility. Scripture. Psalms. Nothing splashy or innovative. Just the slow, steady growth in Christ in fellowship with other sinners gathered around the Word, prayer, and work. This book is a good foray into the Benedictine world.
  • Karen L.
    If you, like me did not know much about Benedictine spirituality and would like a short book on it, then this is the book for you. It wasn't anything earth shaking. It simply used the authors story of his own journey with some historic information throughout, to give you an intro sort of course into the Rule of Benedict. There was much emphasis on living in community whether it be with our family or others, so as to be able to live out the Biblic...
  • David
    The author writes from a Calvinist perspective concerning monasticism for a Protestant audience. He does a good job of describing the balance between work, prayer , study, and recreation in the Rule of St. Benedict. He also relates poverty, chastity, stability, and conversatio moralis in an understandable, popular way. His chapter on possible objections to monasticism from a Protestant view is well-thought, especially from a Calvinist perspective...
  • Steve
    This is a short introduction to Benedictine spirituality by protestant a Presbyterian minister.I found this quite helpful in many ways, not because of any sympathy for the monastic way as such, but because some of the monastic disciplines that challenge our over busy, urban, distracted, way of living.Here is a great he was a great example that I think is a genuine challenge monkey respect. I take the example of silence and quietness and the abili...
  • Adam Ross
    A captivating little book on the principles of Monastic life and how they might be applied to everyday life by everyday people. Okholm is a protestant, and as such is aware of the concerns protestants have had with monasticism (he devotes the final chapter to this subject), and so he is at pains to show that monastic life has much to offer us. Among the many insights to be gleaned from the book is his claim that monastic life, or the life of conn...
  • M. Todd Webster
    It has been a few years since I went looking for books on the Rule of St. Benedict and Benedictine spirituality. While Esther De Waal's classic Seeking God is still in print (and I am currently re-reading it), I think Dennis Okholm's Monk Habits for Everyday People has become my new first recommendation, the book I would offer someone who knows nothing about St. Benedict or why laypeople, especially Protestant laypeople, would want to hang out wi...
  • Celia
    [Review from 2010]. Okholm has written a thoughtful book on Benedictine spirituality for educated Protestant readers. With chapters on listening, poverty, obedience, humility, hospitality, stability, and balance, he gives us Protestant readers a perspective on the values of Catholic spirituality. I especially appreciate a final chapter on why the Protestant reformers, made a break from monasticism, as it can help to set Protestant perspectives on...
  • Gail Murphy
    I appreciate Okholm's perspective on Benedict through a protestant lens. His effort responds to the question: Why (or perhaps why not) Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants? My favorite quotes: "Benedictine spirituality is not glamorous. It is extraordinarily ordinary... It is a life of habits that in turn develop virtues and muscles of the soul," His distinction that Benedictines don't join an order but a community parallels family growth.
  • James
    I used this as a weekly read, with a chapter to ponder each week. I loved the chapter on Stability, as a standout characteristic of spirituality that we struggle with the 21 C. There's a little bit of a monastic idealist in me...
  • Hannah
    I would like to be able to say that I liked this book, but I'm trying to be more honest lately, and I have to say it was just okay. I think part of my "okay-ness" is due to the fact that I expected a much more "spiritual," "mystical," and maybe even romanticized view of monastic life, which was definitely not what this book gave, even though it was focused on how to apply monastic principles and practices to the "modern" life. Okholm means the Ev...
  • Tamara
    Benedictine spirituality is unfamiliar to Protestants and Catholics alike. For this reason we must equally welcome Dennis Okholm's wonderful book Monk Habits for Everyday People.As a Protestant pastor and Professor of Theology, Dennis Okholm helps to bridge the gap with excellent historical background. He unreservedly gives reasoning behind why Saint Benedict's rule is vitally important to our modern world.When I first began to explore the roots ...
  • Jeff Elliott
    Best defined as a defense of the rule of St. Benedict and his rules of order. It is sufficient but not particularly remarkable. There are a few moments when some encouraging truth comes through.Okholm is at his best in chapter 10 when quoting others on what he sees as a defense of monasticism and I see as the weakness of the modern evangelical church:Jacques Ellul-They are incapable of making a genuine revolution in our civilization because they ...
  • Stephen Hicks
    I feel like I've done my fair share of reading concerning monasticism. I'm not expert of course, but many of the principles of monastic life and the virtues of that lifestyle are familiar to me. That being said this book was an introduction to Benedictine Monasticism and its potential application to the life of the everyday evangelical. Okholm does a nice job laying out the foundation for Benedictine spirituality and pointing out the deep intenti...
  • Adam Shields
    Short review: Okholm, an oblate (someone that attempts to live the life of a Benedictine outside the monastery), an Evangelical and a theology professor attempts to bridge the gap between the monastery and the evangelical world. This is a good book on spiritual growth and exactly why spiritual growth is not a quick fix (follow these five steps) type of process. Okholm focuses on 7 virtues that he sees in Benedictine spirituality that he thinks ar...
  • Emily Schatz
    There were things I really liked about this book and things I liked less. I think what I liked most was actually Benedict, and the way Okholm brings his Rule and monasteries to life. He also does a good job of explaining the heart of the Benedictine vows, how they connect with basic Christian teachings or things that Protestants already agree with. My main point of departure is with Okholm's posture towards his own historical situation, and towar...
  • Ephrem Arcement
    Unlike other Protestants who have written on Benedictine spirituality, Dennis Okholm's book is written specifically to a Protestant audience (mainly of the evangelical persuasion) relating monasticism's world to specifically Protestant concerns. What is exciting about this book is its potential to serve as an effective ecumenical source for a shared spirituality. Okholm's book not only affirms the gift that monasticism is to the church and world ...
  • Adam
    "The disciplines of monastic spirituality refocus our attention on what is really going on around us, even when we are just flipping burgers. Monastic disciplines plunge us deeper into the reality of everyday life because we go deeper into God's reality."Okholm defends monastic principles, critiques arguments against monasticism, and suggests that monastic practices (or at least monastic-style practices) can be useful for all Christians, even eva...
  • Phil
    This is a re-read for me on the occasion of finding a copy at a decent price. Dennis Okholm writes as a Presbyterian pastor who also is a Benedictine oblate. Okholm'smain aim in this little book is to expose Protestants to Benedictine wisdom and how that wisdom can be applied in our daily lives. Writing very much in the tradition of Kathleen Norris, Okholm writes eloquently and attractively about his experience as a Benedictine oblate. Well worth...
  • Rachel Kopel
    This book was in a Christmas package today and thank goodness I opened it last since I started reading it immediately. Sarah sent it for me to take on my retreat next week to Prince of Peace Abbey and I do need to save some of it to read then. But it so *speaks to my condition*It was fun to read on retreat at the Abbey. The author could have used a good editor, but I am glad that I read it and enjoyed hearing of his experiences, some of which par...
  • Michael
    This was required reading for a Men's Spirituality retreat for my Certificate in Christian Spiritual Formation course. I found the conversational and humor laced style very easy to read. And Dennis Okholm gave the best introduction to Benedictine spirituality and the rule that I have come across. Whether you are wondering about becoming an Oblate or simply curious about monasticism as a Protestant, this book is an excellent intro!
  • Sarah
    This was one of those books that I kept putting off reading because I didn't want it to be done. It is very well written, and I love the perspective on Benedictine spirituality for protestants. Okholm did an excellent job of capturing the spirit and beauty of the Benedictine tradition and laying it out in such a way that it would make sense to those who are not familiar with this sort of thing.
  • Tim
    Okholm's book Monk Habits for Everyday People opens the monastic life up to Protestant observation and hopefully edification. A little bit of memoir, but mostly relates the habits of faith, including hospitality and stability, while quoting extensively from monastic and other sources. A gentle and wise book.
  • Diana Glyer
    It's rare to find find a book that does so many things so well. It is interesting, personal, and engaging. It is thoughtful and well-written. And it is full to the brim with spiritual insights. Read a bit each day, sip it alongside your morning cup of coffee, savor each insight, and you'll find your life just gets better and better. A delight.
  • K
    A contemporary Protestant theologian explains and expresses sincere appreciation for the Rule of Saint Benedict. The characteristics of community living for modern Benedictine nuns and monks also have sound applications in the family or Christian community.
  • Christopher
    Read this pretty quickly, and have since read it part of the way through again. Like the author says (I seem to remember) this is a book that you'll get the most out of by reflecting on the chapter contents in light of your own (Christian) lifestyle and practice.
  • R.K. Goff
    I don't know if this counts as a hugely life-style-altering book, but I'm giving it five stars anyways. It was delightful to read. It was informative. It was thought provoking. And I will buy it and re-read it over and over.
  • Rob Ross
    This book provides excellent resources for spiritual formation. The author provides information and insight into the Benedictine monastic life. This in turn allows those from a protestant evangelical perspective opportunities to adapt the lifestyle of the Benedictines to everyday life.
  • Candace Simar
    This book fascinated me to the very end. As a non-Catholic, I had never before considered I might learn from monastic traditions. You have to read it! Dennis Okholm is a Protestant who affiliates with a Benedictine Monastery--not what you might expect.