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Practicing the Monastic Disciplines

Finding Deep Spirituality in a Shallow World

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In Practicing the Monastic Disciplines, authors Sam Hamstra Jr. and Samuel Cocar recover the wisdom of the Christian desert and make it more available and accessible to contemporary Christians.

Believing that moderns like themselves often flail in their Christian lives, the authors discover in the desert Christians of late antiquity a clear map for growing in Christlikeness, as well as an effective set of tools (or weapons) for combating temptation.

This ancient set of insights sees its completion in the spiritual theology of Evagrius Ponticus, a monastic theologian who expertly assessed the maladies and corresponding remedies of Christian discipleship. Evagrius and his comrades offer modern Christians a coherent framework for spiritual formation and growth, one which treats seriously both the frailties of human nature and the potential for sanctification.

This strand of patristic spirituality guides us toward glorifying God through both training our bodies and ordering our interior lives.

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Praise for Practicing the Monastic Disciplines

“I recommend Practicing the Monastic Disciplines for all of us ‘looking for ways to rest in the gracious provision of the Lord.’ Carefully, with much patience, Hamstra and Cocar lead us through desert spirituality and all it has to offer for such a time as ours. In the process, we learn how to follow Jesus all over again, from within and from without.”
David Fitch, author of Faithful Presence

About the Authors

Samuel Cocar (MDiv, Northern Seminary) was born in Chicago and has served in various settings as a pastor, chaplain, and educator. His academic interests include ancient history, spiritual formation, and the intersection of politics and religion. Samuel currently resides in southeastern Wisconsin with his wife, Valerie, and two daughters.

Sam Hamstra Jr. is a retired pastor and professor of church history. He is also the author of several books, including What’s Love Got to Do with It?, and editor of One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Tome 1: John Nevin’s Writings on Ecclesiology (1844-1849) and One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Tome 2: John Nevin’s Writings on Ecclesiology (1851-1858).

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