The author begins his book by writing:
You are not finished yet. You are “in the making.” You have the capacity to learn, mature, think, change, and grow. You also have the freedom to stagnate, regress, regress, constrict, and lose your way. Which road will you take?
As a believer, I find this statement to be true - we can all grow or die, depending on the choices we make. The book provides tools for each believer to evaluate his or own life - either as an individual, as part of a small group, or as part of a larger group worshiping together. Or, a church or parachurch group may chose to wrap-up a year long study using all three approaches.
The book is divided into 4 Parts, 52 Chapters, plus a number of supplemental sessions to allow the individual or groups to evaluate their growth through the year. Each chapter includes a suggested reading, a devotional or contemplative reading designed to bring that passage alive to the contemporary reader. The chapter ends with a series of questions to encourage the individual or group to dig deeper into the topics covered in the current chapters. Similarly, each quarter (13 chapters) concludes with a series of questions to evaluate individual and group growth.
Though the book is challenging and worth the time spent working through the studies, I am bothered by the author’s suggestion that the same book could be rewritten for groups of “Jews, Muslims, and others.” Such a task could only be done fairly by alternate authors with their hears firmly rooted in those traditions. For a Christian to attempt to write a devotional for those of other traditions would seem to stretch both the Christian’s commitment and other’s belief systems as well.
Read with care and used to critically examine one’s personal belief system, the book has values for Christians coming from a variety of backgrounds. Merely giving the book a cursory reading would seem to be unfair to the author and the book’s purpose.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.