Soulmaking--Alan Jones

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Mostly--a dreadful muddle. While the book claims to be a propounding of the faith of the desert fathers, it is, in fact, and endless rumination on the conjunction between psychotherapy and religion--elementally a revelation of what happens when good Christians become inextricably lost in their modernist and postmodernist paradigms.

Spirituality is the central purport of this work. Unfortunately the author lives entirely in the world of his head. His heart has long since been taken in thrall by a mind that has been cultured by the works of Jung and Freud.

The main problem with the book is not so much what it teaches as that everything the author touches is semi-obscured by prose that is thick as a London pea-fog. Occasionally, as yesterday's entry reveals, there is a sparkling, wonderful, insightful revelation--something that really spotlights an important aspect of our spiritualilty. These are unfortunately entirely too infrequent, and each time they occur, the Author choses to explicate them at such length that by the time one has finished the phrase "beating a dead horse" has suddenly got a picture to put next to it in the dictionary.

I suppose the author speaks to a certain kind of very intellectual, very rarified faith. He speaks largely to people whose faith is lived in their heads. He spends much of the book contradicting himself--at one point being "horrified and disgusted" by the dogmatic faith of fundamentalist interpreters of the Bible who have no notion of the expansiveness of God. Then later we are told that he doesn't judge these spiritual pinheads who have no notion of the God before whom they stand because it would damage his own standing with God.

The overall effect is that one comes to believe that Mr. Jones really has his heart in the right place. He does understand what it means to be Christian. He understands a good many of the trials we all face. The problem is that he is foundationally incapable of sharing that understanding with a person in a normal walk of lilfe.

I hope I do not need to say--NOT recommended.

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"fiath" -- Latin for "let there believe."




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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 14, 2004 6:55 AM.

Prayer Requests--The Feast of the Triumph of the Most Holy Cross was the previous entry in this blog.

A Modest Proposal is the next entry in this blog.

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