Reviewed by Leo R. Van Dolsen, retired Seventh-day Adventist minister and editor.

Christian meditation concentrates on the revealed Word of God and includes the full use of the capacity of the mind. It differs from the meditation of Eastern religions in which the attention is on the repetition of a single word and special emphasis is given to one's posture and breathing. A more important difference is that in Eastern meditation people are primarily engaged in a search for their "true selves." But in Christian meditation they are in search of their Maker.

Meditation is important because Christians need to "be still" in prayer and contemplation in order to escape the constant cacophony of noise that surrounds them and come into close communion with God.

In this volume meditation includes self-examination, careful thinking on spiritual things, quiet reflection, insight, illumination, and thoughtful application. The author defines it as "a duty before God which is inextricably united to the hearing, receiving, remembering, and recalling of the truth; to the work of the Spirit in the heart and mind; to the obeying of the gospel; to trust in God; and to loving and serving Him, in Christ's name."

How does this differ from what most Christians already practice to some degree? The author gives a more direct, organized, systematic approach, listing nine specific steps to assist in achieving a formal fixed-time meditation. Toon likes to begin with Bible study, feeling that the fruit of such meditation is prayer.

The book contains a valuable, although slightly overdrawn, discussion of meditation in the Bible. There is also a brief survey of the methods of meditation practiced by Catholics, Reformers, and Puritans. Toon emphasizes the importance of the sanctified imagination, suggesting that we let the mind dwell on scenes of Christ's life and ministry.

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Reviewed by Leo R. Van Dolsen, retired Seventh-day Adventist minister and editor.

March 1989

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