Christ-Shaped Character: Choosing Love, Faith and Hope, by Helen Cepero, Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Books, 2014. 181 pp. $14.50; ISBN 978-0-8308-3582-9.
Reviewed by Bruce Flanders, Director, Mabee Library, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe, KS.
This readable and well-organized book provides instruction and inspiration to those who wish to more closely pattern their lives after the model provided by Christ, as illuminated in Scripture. Cepero, a previously-published author, adjunct instructor, and retreat leader describes nine spiritual disciplines using illustrations from her life experiences, as well as relevant Scriptural passages, and provides useful interpretation and suggestions for application. The book is organized into three sections, each containing three chapters: Part One: Choosing Love (Choosing Life, Compassionate Hospitality, and Forgiving as We Are Forgiven); Part Two: Choosing Faith (Following Jesus, Embracing Vulnerability, and Living with Integrity); and Part Three: Choosing Hope (Paying Attention, Seeing Blessing, and Trusting Christ). The illustrations are memorable and poignant, and the suggestions for practical application, including various forms of prayer, are scripturally sound and valuable. Each chapter ends with a summary: thus, while this book will be profitable to the individual reader, it has been formatted in a manner that enhances its value to book clubs and small groups. Suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter lead the reader to additional resources. This book is written in a non-technical fashion, and will thus be appropriate for public and academic library collections. Highly recommended.