reading this book, I've labored at worship time, having a preconceived
notion on what private worship looks like. Then, I discovered this book
and read it. This would be one of the five most influential books on my
In the first chapter, Thomas introduced the concept of spiritual temperaments -- some might consider it psychological, but I don't. He closed that chapter with a description of the nine temperaments he noticed. The following nine chapters each look at one of the temperaments, giving Biblical examples and ways to develop it, weaknesses of that temperament, and a six question quiz on how strong you are on that temperament. The final chapter encourages you to compare the scores on the tests, and gives some admonitions, such as not judging those with a different temperament.
Thomas does an excellent job of dealing with each temperament. He admits he's stronger at some than others, and tries to give a fair and accurate view of each one.
Allow me to tell a story how this book has positively impacted my life. I started reading this book as my wife and I were planning on a vacation. She always wants to get away from the city for our trip, while I'm not as excited about it. As I read this book, though, I had a hunch she was strong on the naturalist temperament (wanting to get into nature) and had some leanings to the ascetic temperament (wanting structure and solitude). So I realized her desire to get away was connected to her worship temperament, and as a result I was more prepared to encourage that kind of getting away.
I recommend this book to every Christian to understand yourself. I also believe this will help you understand your wife and possible your children (not having any kids doesn't make it easy for you to understand them). I also believe a pastor or church leader may benefit from this book to help the services be varied enough to help any temperament worship.
Allow me to add some thoughts focused on apologetics. One might assume that the activist and intellectual temperaments are the ones best suited for defending the faith. But is it possible that each temperament is capable of defending the faith in a style directed by the temperament?
If you've read this book, what temperaments are your strongest? Mine are intellectual, enthusiast, sensate, activist, and traditional in that order.