Becoming Spiritually Intelligent

Nine Paths toward Your Most Loving Self

Becoming Spiritually Intelligent

Nine Paths toward Your Most Loving Self

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Available August 13, 2024

What is spiritual intelligence? How do you gain it? And what if it looks a lot like love?

This first-of-its-kind guide to spiritual intelligence--rooted in attachment theory, Christian formation, and the science of spirituality--helps us develop healthy attachments, grow into our most secure selves, and love others in the way God loves. With the care of a pastor and the rigor of a researcher, Paul M. Burns gives us practical ways to develop our spiritual intelligence: the capacity to love God, ourselves, and others. Becoming a spiritually intelligent person means cultivating an attachment to God, learning self-differentiation, and nurturing empathy. Burns outlines nine paths toward "lovingness," such as the path of sensing God's nearness and the path of self-regulation.

Understanding the human psyche--a word that derives from the Greek for "soul"--can help us grow in Christlike love. How do our earliest attachments shape our sense of who God is? How might stories from Scripture resonate anew when we read them through the lens of attachment theory and brain science? Each chapter offers a spiritual intelligence practice, reflection questions, and a prayer to help us translate emotional and spiritual insights into everyday life.

Your most loving self is the you who feels secure. The bad news is that you can't love well when you're feeling threatened--and you can't rid yourself of such insecurity overnight. The good news is that, over time and with practice, you can discover deeper levels of attachment to God, self-differentiation, and empathy for others. Reminiscent of the work of Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton, and Ronald Rolheiser, Becoming Spiritually Intelligent is an authoritative guide to emotional health, relational intimacy, and spiritual growth.


"Dr. Paul M. Burns has written a must-read book for anyone who values and desires authentic character development and spiritual growth. His excellent integration of the concepts of emotional intelligence, attachment theory, trauma-informed faith, and Christian spiritual formation will guide you through a transformative experience of significant healing and growth. Read this book--and learn from one of the best."

--Kenneth Logan, psychologist, professor, and director of integration, George Fox University Graduate School of Clinical Psychology 

"If you're on a journey toward lasting transformation, Paul M. Burns's book is a guiding star. With a Christ-centered compass and insights from modern neuroscience, he skillfully blends God's timeless wisdom, captivating stories, and practical exercises, making spiritual growth enjoyable, accessible, and doable. I highly recommend it!"

--Kim Avery, life coach and author of The Prayer Powered Entrepreneur

"One day you and your children will be glad you took Becoming Spiritually Intelligent to heart. Paul M. Burns introduces a tested way to motivate and measure growth based on attachment--the strongest force in the human brain and heart."

--Dr. Jim Wilder, author, coach, and neurotheologian

"Dr. Paul M. Burns tenderly describes the source of so much dysfunction in our society and in our selves: insecurity. His remedy? A simple, powerful, and transformational path beyond insecurity and into deep and real relationships with those who matter most: God, others, and self. For anyone who has even a hint of a desire for the abundant life Christ offers, this book is a needed companion for walking the path to becoming your most loving self." 

--Chad Hall, president of Coach Approach Ministries 

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506497211
  • eBook ISBN 9781506497228
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 191
  • Publication Date August 13, 2024