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‘Chance to Dance…Risking a Spiritually Mature Life'

By W. Robert McClelland. CBP Press, St Louis, Missouri; 1986


I'm a fan for books that break new ground. The back cover of this one reads: “The central theme of this book is that institutionalised religion, a good and necessary scaffold in the early building of the spiritual life, needs to be dismantled during mid-life for the sake of the spiritual life it was intended to serve.


This dismantling calls forth the resistance of religions authorities. It requires of us a courage to risk anxiety and the uncertainty of birthing a spiritually mature life. The biblical perspectives opened here, the author believes, offer such courage and permission to risk the journey. We are called to risk living the miracle we call life.”


It probably helps to know that McClelland, minister, teacher, writer, has himself been through a mid-life ‘burn out' and speaks from experience – and experience is for him an important ingredient in working out a worthwhile theology (let's drink to that).


There's a new take on a lot of familiar things: miracles (essentially intrusions – not necessarily supernatural; restlessness (‘a sign of God's presence'); life in the ‘Kingdom' (more often than not its ‘crazy'); perfection (‘my perfection is to be measured by the potential of my being. I am to be who I am. Jesus is calling me to be me, ad no one else'); sin, conscience, etc (Clearly the Pharisee is not a bad guy lurking behind a handlebar moustache. But the Pharisee is so focussed on being good that he misses the scenery and the natives along the way. His trouble is that he has an overdeveloped conscience and has trouble getting close to people.')


Fresh, thoughtful and entertaining. Great stuff.

Murray Jansen

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