Divine Guidance and the Decisions You Make

Book Cover.How Then Should We ChooseI spoke in chapel at Biola University on the subject of divine guidance recently. Some have asked for a suggested reading list on this topic. On issues of divine guidance and decision making, I recommend the following three books, suggest reading them in the following order, and urge you to read the Friesen book if you read only one:

Each of these is linked to Amazon for your convenience. Much of the Waltke book is available at this link on Google. For a convenient outline of Friesen’s view, click here. This overview of Friesen’s position will give you a good idea of the approach he takes. But to really understand the position, you’ll have to consult his book. I encourage this because his careful study of the scriptural material on this topic has done the most to shape my view and practice.

A new book compares three approaches, presented and defended by their respective proponents: How Then Should We Choose? Three Views on God’s Will and Decision Making (Kregel, 2009). Garry Friesen is a contributor, along with Henry and Richard Blackaby, and Gordon T. Smith.

About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

6 Responses to Divine Guidance and the Decisions You Make

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    I believe this translates approximately as follows: “Yes, Alex, [actually] sometimes it is extremely difficult to overcome laziness.”


  2. Paul says:

    I would agree entirely that the Word of God is the primary tool for discerning God’s will. At the end of the day, the “Book” is the guide and the Spirit would only comport with it. After all, God does not speak out of both sides of his mouth! Where “non-discursive processes from the Spirit” (to quote Kevin DeYoung) may occur, I wonder about Philippians 3:15, ”And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” It is not stated how God will make clear what Paul intimates but he’s confident that God will reveal what is necessary. Moreover, the selection of the “twelfth” apostle in Acts 1 has always intrigued me. Casting lots? Like flipping coins? (But see Proverbs 16:11).

    Just thinking….


  3. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Paul,

    Friesen takes the view, as I do, that the primary tool of divine guidance used by the Holy Spirit is the word of God revealed (what we call the Bible, Old and New Testaments). The question is, what does the Bible reveal about the leading of the Holy Spirit? What would you say are the key passages to be considered?



  4. Paul says:

    I read Friesen’s book when it first came out and found it immensely helpful. However, I did not find much on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. While God’s Word is clearly the baseline for gleaning God’s will for our lives and the Spirit never guides contra to it, how might the more subjective side of discerning God’s will be nurtured?
    P.S. I’m not charismatic (in typical parlance)


  5. Gavrilin says:

    Да,aleks,побороть лень, действительно иногда очень сложно..


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