Published on August 23, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Christian Focus, 2022 | 103 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance 

by Kirsten Birkett 


About the Author 

Kirsten Birkett taught ethics, philosophy, and pastoral care at Oak Hill Theological College before moving into church ministry at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Hadley Wood, London. She now lives and writes in the north of England. She also works with us here at Books At a Glance, and we are happy to feature her wonderfully practical book on the Christian devotional exercise of journaling. 



Introduction: How This All Got Started  

  1. Write   
  2. Write Wisdom   
  3. Write Forgiveness   
  4. Write Thankfulness   
  5. Write Prayer   
  6. Write Witness   
  7. Write Bible   
  8. The Covid Diaries 2020  

Appendix: Write As the Puritans Did  


General Summary

Part pastoral theology, part personal reflections, this book takes the Puritan art of spiritual diary-keeping and suggests ways in which it can become a spiritual discipline for today. It addresses a range of topics from the Christian life, explaining their theology, and shows how journaling can go beyond the therapeutic to become training in godliness. 


Introduction: How This All Got Started

The book was written during the Sydney summer of 2019, and the setting is the introduction to each chapter. The author had been researching happiness and came across a paper on Puritan diary-keeping. This introspective practice was not an exercise in self-flagellation, but a spiritual practice to stimulate rejoicing in God. Following this example, modern journaling, often used in therapeutic counselling, can go further to help one grow in godliness. 


  1. Write

Diary-keeping has a long history and is beneficial in itself. Handwriting is best; not only enjoyable and potentially artistic, but can have cognitive benefits. Teaching children handwriting benefits their language skills more than teaching typing; it also apparently benefits emotional well-being and social ability. It helps the ability to write creatively. Handwriting uses parts of the brain controlling visual and motor skills, reasoning powers, and emotional functions. Adults usually learn better by taking handwritten notes rather than typing. Writing by hand allows processing of emotions and can help reasoning. Most journal writers still prefer handwriting; handwritten letters reveal more of the person. Handwriting conveys more information than typing; do not underestimate its power. . . .

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Christian Focus, 2022 | 103 pages

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