For many people, the acceptance of spirituality, and an understanding of the vastness of eternal life, is a mystery. In a number of cases, there is less of a willful rejection of religion and God, and more a confusion around the topic in conjunction with our often busy and distracting lives. The Spirituality Puzzle by James and Renee Rondinone seeks to grapple with what it means to form a relationship with God, through careful case study considerations.
Not only does each chapter of the four sections, outlining the path to salvation, translate what can often be overwhelming in religious text into simple words that are accessible for everyone, but it also provides bible verses for reference as a tool to contextualize the statements being made. It strikes a comparison between what is commonly believed across ages to be the defining features of a spiritual individual, what the churches say, what is realistic given the lives we lead, what the scriptures say, and how to find a cognizant balance to inform your behavior, beliefs and life.
The book is not simply a means of enlightenment, but also a stepping stone towards religious education. While outlining the reasons to cast out doubt from belief systems, it also explains certain practices – such as baptism and holy water, for instance – the origins and the importance of such, but also the implications of not having been baptized and the effect this has (or the lack thereof). The authors are quick to remind the reader of the value of interpretation over what is being said on the exterior. Given the age of the scriptures, it is important not to take every word at face-value, and to apply them into the meaning they were meant – the book helps with this.
The breadth of scripture used for reference throughout The Spirituality Puzzle is wide, which in a less thoroughly written book could make for convoluted reading. However, the authors are quick to circle back and reiterate both important and relevant information where necessary. This ensures that, like a puzzle with many pieces needed to build a bigger picture, the pieces continue to slot into place at the right time so that understanding comes as a whole, like viewing a completed puzzle.
Though dealing with weighty topics and complicated historical scripts, the tone is light and conversational, achieving an overall sense that the book and reader relationship is that of a nurturing, helpful one and not a preaching or superior one. It’s written in the first person, with anecdotes, and these make all the difference in ensuring the book is read in the way it was intended.
Pages: 185 | ASIN: B081D621D6