Nouwen’s Way of the Heart captures the depth of the human soul. Nouwen humbly walks the reader through the timeless truths of spirituality and silence bridging the lessons of the desert fathers into our contemporary world. Nouwen discusses our need to sit and suffer in silence allowing us to die to our self. It is through silence we begin to take notice of others in our lives. It is through silence we are confronted head on with our greatest fears. It is through silence words which bring life are birthed. The book can be read in one to two settings as it is less than 100 pages. For what the book lacks in word count it makes up for in depth. It is worth multiple reads and it prefect for anyone who is tired of living life out of control at 100mph.
An excerpt reads: ‘There is seldom a period in which we do not know what to do, and we move through life in such a distracted way that we do not even take the time and rest to wonder if any of the things we think, say, or do are worth thinking, saying, or doing.’
Till We Have Faces: A myth retold C.S Lewis 4 of 5 stars
Lewis’ Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. The story is placed in a barbaric kingdom surrounded by Greek influence about 200 years before Christ in a fictitious kingdom named Glome. Here the main character Orual retells the story of her life as a complaint against the Gods for stealing away her only love in life. Throughout the book Oraul struggles with the concept of what love really means and looks like. It is difficult not to say to much to not give away the plot, but the book ends with a beautiful realization after Oraul has spent literally her entire life building her case against the gods. It is one of Lewis’ greatest masterpieces as he reaches into the hearts desire to love and be loved fully and completely.
LOVE WINS Rob Bell 3 of 5 stars
From John Piper tweeting ‘Good-bye Rob Bell’ to the cover of Time magazine Bell’s Love Wins has stirred much controversy in the past year since its release. I had read the book upon the release because I appreciate most of Bell’s works and two so I could critically comment on the controversy stirring over the book. A year ago I gave the book a 4 of 5 stars but upon reading it again it loses a star. Bell loses a star because of the way he approaches the topic. He says a lot about the topic but never makes a clear statement on what he has concluded on the topic of Heaven, Hell, and the fate of every person who ever lived. He leaves a lot of things open, while dropping bombshells on what many people have believed to be the unwavering truth on heaven and hell. He does not provide the framework for the reader to fully recover. It could be argued though that this is his point. His goal is to raise questions no one is asking to begin a conversation so we might better understand what we truly believe.
Now Bell does do some beautiful things in his book, things that, if the reader allows, will challenge one’s perspective on the purpose of his’ or her’s life right here, right now, today. Bell’s book is not as much about making a statement concerning the eternal realities of heaven and hell rather his goal is to challenge readers to think about their own life by asking how they are either contributing to creating heaven or hell on earth right now. For those who say Bell is a universalist, has one misread the book by reading too far between the lines or by pulling quotations out of context or two has not read the book. Does Bell ponder thoughts related to universalism? Yes. But does he make any definitive universalistic claims? No. Does Bell ever claim that hell does not exist? No. Does He claim all people will end up in Heaven? No. Does he ponder these things, yes but below are a few excerpts from his book concerning the heart of what he is truly claiming:
‘There’s a heaven now, somewhere else. There’s a heaven here, sometime else. And then there’s Jesus invitation to heaven here and now, in this moment, in this place.’
‘Love demands freedom. It always has, and it always will. We are free to resist, reject, and rebel against God’s ways for us. We can have all the hell we want.’
‘There is hell now, and there is hell later, and Jesus teaches us to take both seriously.’
I hope you give it a shot. Order Love Wins here.