Into the Rockies and the Wyoming Desert

Spiritual Practice Books

Glancing at my little pile, I thought it best to take what looked like the hardest title next. Hardest, because it seemed more focused on religious thought-traditions than I might enjoy and, also, it's the thickest book in the stack.

So this morning I pulled out Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality. I planned to breeze through the Prologue and Chapter 1.

Let's just say I was pressed into a motionless place, my back up against the Rockies and my soul stretched thin across the high desert country of Western Wyoming.

As you might guess, I didn't make it past the prologue.

This is a beautiful book. Woven with sights of Glacier Trails and mountain bluebells, slowed with surprising statements about Calvinism and Puritanism, it will not yield to a quick reading. Of that I am sure.

Of all the quotes next to which I put my little "I love this" dots in the margin, this one seems to capture the main theme, as I understand it so far...

"Calvinism was, in part, the product of a landscape of desire—hardened by affliction, toughened by geography, yet driven by the earth's wild beauty to a God of matchless splendor."

I find myself now piqued with a desire of my own: that this book will continue in the fashion it began. That it will keep its promises and remain as beautiful and thoughtful as the Prologue that opened the conversation about the twin experiences of desire and the "weaning of desire."

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Blogger David Rupert said...

Hey. That's my old territory! Lived in Western Wyoming for 20 years.

Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I see some wonderful things in Calvinism,a gift to the church. And so much look forward to learning more through this book, even if it's just through your review of it.

Blogger Shannon Milholland said...

I have never heard of this book but my husband and I find ourselves ministering in a staunchly Calvanistic church during this particular season of life. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like a great one!

Anonymous shrinkthecamel said...

It's interesting to think of Calvinism as a product of geography and weather. But there you have it. Makes me wonder what Christianity would have been like if Jesus had landed in the Carribean or the Fiji Islands or something. (The Calvinists would still have taken it to harsh New England, though.)

Blogger Beth Covalt said...

Thank you for introducing me to this book. I rushed to the library for a copy and am following along with you. I am in a made rush to catch up tonight, almost to chapter 4. Fantastic!


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