According to William J. Clark Jr. and William J. Clark Sr., a father—son team, “It is a challenging walk God calls us to, but we can experience a peace within that is unknown to those who aren’t always sure where to step along the way.” This bold statement puts the authors’ teachings into motion, and readers find themselves under the tutelage of the Clarks, who promise to improve their spiritual listening skills and help them better understand God’s calling and ultimately our place in the universe.
The book is broken down into three sections that each concern the purpose of “discipleship,” or as the Clarks define it, “learning how to glorify God by intentionally cultivating your personal relationship with Christ through the ability to hear His Spirit…seeking to teach you what is God’s will.” Though it is not immediately clear how the Clarks came to be such experts in this field, the opening section gives the reader the assurance that the co-authors fully comprehend their teachings and practices. They pose honest questions and provide honest answers, never sugar-coating their responses as many religious guides tend to do.
The second portion of the book deals with the notion of going beyond biblical teachings to better understand the lessons and ultimate goals with the help of a human teacher. This section of the book is repetitive in nature and frequently poses questions for which the authors fail to provide complete answers. There are numerous occasions when the authors delve into subjects such as the role of the human teacher in the process of discipleship, only to repeat themselves by stating that the “personal relationship enables the human teacher to assist a disciple of Christ in recognizing the voice of the Spirit of his / her Master, Christ.” The authors fail to give readers a firm understanding of just how to attain such a level of spirituality.
The Clarks claim to have combined formal theological education and experience in bringing people closer to God—but nowhere in the book do they provide their educational credentials or define their respective roles in the Church. Ultimately, though, they manage to overcome the flaws of the book’s second section and succeed in providing clear practices and teachings that readers may find useful.
The authors’ complete lessons are not provided in their entirety here; A Disciple’s Heart is only one volume in the Clarks’ series of lesson plans, titled the “Keys to Understanding Life Series.”