We need a retrieval of spiritual theology. Spiritual theology attends to the cause and effect and affections of Christian theology. When theology is done in spirit and in truth, we are affected in heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love grows larger, and our living grows more congruent with the ways of Jesus. Doxology rockets from theology. The Puritans called this experimental/experiential theology, others have called it affectionate theology, and many others have stuck with calling it spiritual theology.

A way we recall this emphasis in our spirituality is by reading those who taught it and sought to live it. We have a rich legacy throughout the Church’s history of those who experienced God in spirit and in truth.

Here are 22 texts (books and short works) to consider reading for growing in spiritual theology in 2022. I tried to assemble texts that span throughout church history. A lot more could be added, but it’s better to begin somewhere. I’ve also included some modern works.

  1. The Psalms (consider Dane Ortlund’s spiritual commentary on the Psalms, In The Lord I Take Refuge)
  2. Confessions by St. Augustine
  3. On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil the Great
  4. Confession of Saint Patrick of Ireland
  5. On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux
  6. A Compendium of Theology by Thomas Aquinas
  7. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  8. A Simple Way to Pray by Martin Luther
  9. A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin
  10. The Glory of Christ by John Owen
  11. Meditation by Thomas Watson
  12. The Excellency of Christ by Jonathan Edwards
  13. All of Grace by C.H. Spurgeon
  14. The Wonderful Works of God by Herman Bavinck
  15. True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer
  16. Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
  17. Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson
  18. Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
  19. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper
  20. Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves
  21. Do You Believe? by Paul Tripp
  22. Humble Calvinism by J.A. Medders