Christian devotional basics/essentials

Ashley Qin

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, everyone, could you give me some help? I am trying to write a title to express that something is a must-read and very important for Christians in their spiritual devotionals, and the title has a character limit.

A. Christian devotional essentials
B. Christian devotional basics

Which one is correct and natural? Should I use of structure, essentials of Christian devotional?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    I like "The essentials of Christian devotion" or "Christian devotion: the essentials." You don't want to use "devotional," in my opinion; it's not as powerful.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I like "The essentials of Christian devotion" or "Christian devotion: the essentials." You don't want to use "devotional," in my opinion; it's not as powerful.
    But the issue isn't Christian devotion, it's specifically Christian devotionals.

    I think either "Christian devotional essentials" or "Christian devotional basics" would be fine.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I would avoid the use of "devotional" as a noun. It's really only an adjective.
    OED does list the noun (A devotional composition; a form of prayer or worship) but marks it obsolete and rare.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I would avoid the use of "devotional" as a noun. It's really only an adjective.
    OED does list the noun (A devotional composition; a form of prayer or worship) but marks it obsolete and rare.
    I have to disagree with you on that. It may be less common in BE, but if you go to Amazon and search for "devotionals" you'll see a wide variety of book titles that use it as a noun. ("Devotions" is also sometimes used.)
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    To Ashley Qin: My betters have confirmed that "devotionals" is the subject and can freely be used as a noun. But I'm curious: would you mind giving us here a short list of the essentials of Christian devotionals? It would help me give you an answer to your question. Because I still don't embrace the phrase "devotional essentials" -- I think there is something better available.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    It’s religious jargon I was unaware of until now, but I notice that Wikipedia has an article on the subject.

    Daily devotional - Wikipedia

    Daily devotionals are publications which provide a specific spiritual reading for each calendar day. Popular daily devotional booklets include The Upper Room, Our Daily Bread, Portals of Prayer, and The Word Among Us. ...... Traditionally daily devotionals came in the format of a book, with one reading passage for each day. With the advent of online content, daily devotionals come in multiple formats including blogs, websites, and emails. .........
     
    Last edited:

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Thanks, but I'm not asking for a definition of devotional, I'm asking Ashley for the essentials he's putting into his thesis on devotionals.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Thanks, but I'm not asking for a definition of devotional, I'm asking Ashley for the essentials he's putting into his thesis on devotionals.
    I wasn’t actually responding to your post, coiffe - it was a general comment. The word appears to have different meanings so we definitely need more context. :)
     

    Ashley Qin

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Hello Coiffe, my sentence is the description of some sermons including how the Lord returns, the mystery of rapture, etc.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Sorry ripper, my bad.

    Ashley, can you list any other details that you are discussing? Because actually I don't think that the mysteries of the Rapture or even revelations of the Day of the Lord would properly be called "essentials" in daily devotionals. This is actually the reason I asked the question. It might be that your choice of the word "devotional" is not the correct choice.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi Ashley,

    The reason I ask about the details on this, as I mentioned before, is that I'm not sure that you have the word that you want for your title. According to one dictionary I use, "devotional" as a noun means "a short religious service," and if this is what you mean, then you can use the title "Christian devotional essentials." But is that what you mean? Because most Christians, when they use the word "devotional" as a noun, are actually referring either to "daily devotions" or "devotional reading" such as Ripper described above from Wikipedia. The essentials of either one of these would be quite different from the essentials of a short religious sermon.

    I decided to ask you about this after you mentioned the rapture, because the goal of devotional reading, for example, is not only to study a Biblical passage closely, but essentially to think about sins to avoid, virtues to pursue, promises to rest in and of course God to worship. Daily devotions, on the other hand, generally refers to time spent reading God's Word, praying, and perhaps singing with the goal of drawing near to God. Many Christians also include journaling, which can mean just putting down a few comments on what they have read; or it may include even deeper thoughts on their relationship with God.

    So you see, the terminology is a bit tricky, and I wonder what you are really referring to. Because the rapture would not normally be a subject in either devotional reading or daily devotions. But if you're using the word "devotional" to mean a short religious sermon, then I can see how it might be appropriate. But even in that sense of the word, if you're discussing the "essentials" (your topic) of short sermons, it strikes me as slightly odd to be bringing in the rapture, which is actually tangential (not essential) to the core truths and principles of the Christian faith. Again, I'm speaking this way because your title is about the "essentials," the "basics."

    This is why I asked you the question -- to make sure you're choosing the correct terminology, so that we can answer you appropriately.
     
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