The Gift of Won­der: Cre­ative Prac­tices for De­light­ing in God

Chris­tine Aroney-sine

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction - MELISSA WUSKE

In­ter­var­sity Press (MARCH) Soft­cover $16 (224pp) 978-0-8308-4653-5

Chris­tine Aroney-sine’s The Gift of Won­der in­vites child­like joy back into faith through cre­ative prac­tices.

“I grew up with a se­ri­ous, worka­holic type of God,” Aroney-sine be­gins. Many Chris­tians can re­late. For them, the book has two ques­tions: What do you en­joy about God? And what about you gives God joy? Some peo­ple are stumped by th­ese ques­tions, but the book in­cludes an­swers from oth­ers who bring forth themes of play, cre­ativ­ity, and cu­rios­ity. Do such el­e­ments be­long in the con­text of se­ri­ous re­li­gion? The book an­swers with a re­sound­ing “yes.”

A blend of Aroney-sine’s story of spir­i­tual dis­cov­ery, stud­ies of other peo­ple of faith, and bib­li­cal pas­sages that show that won­der is at the heart of the Chris­tian faith, the book ex­am­ines themes like rest, grat­i­tude, and na­ture. It pro­vides ac­ces­si­ble cre­ative prac­tices for in­creas­ing the depth and breadth of faith. Th­ese prac­tices are largely de­signed to be be­tween an in­di­vid­ual and God, but some con­sider how faith im­pacts oth­ers, too. Some have roots in cen­turies-old prac­tices like the prayer of ex­a­men; oth­ers are in­spired by less re­li­gious sources, like Alice’s words from Lewis Car­roll’s clas­sic.

The book is a per­fect blend of the philo­soph­i­cal and prac­ti­cal, and both ap­proaches are shown to be vi­tal. In or­der to un­der­stand the gift of won­der, it says, Chris­tians need to dras­ti­cally change their mind­sets about faith. The book in­cludes ways to cul­ti­vate a sense of won­der along­side other peo­ple of faith, too.

The Gift of Won­der is warm and invit­ing, thought­ful and sin­cere. Its calm, per­sis­tent play­ful­ness chips away at the too-se­ri­ous fa­cades of faith, un­cov­er­ing a joy­ful faith that is re­fresh­ing and deep. Its tools and ex­er­cises will help Chris­tians more fully em­brace God by div­ing into child­like won­der.

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