IMAGINATION-EMBRACING A THEOLOGY OF WONDER

Personal life and Holiness

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This book was first published in 1986.  However, its subject matter is as relevant today as when it was written.  The author considers that the imagination is central to the image of God in man.  She follows C.S.Lewis in his view that it is ‘the organ of meaning’.  Corrie Ten Boom said that we can never use our imagination too much.  Most Christians live as though we ought to use our imagination as little as possible.  Imagination is a way of seeing life- or ways of seeing life.  This involves a change of our way of seeing.  We muddle along in predictable patterns.  Imagination helps us to see that any life, no matter how ordinary, is extraordinary with God.  In our day we are not taught how to use our imagination and the result is the chronic boredom so evident in the western society.  This book opens up this subject, stretching us beyond the usual ways of thinking.  The author worked for Christianity Today and for Zondervan and was at the time of writing a professional opera singer.  She is also a committed Christian.  The Christian faith and life is full of mystery, but to live and move in that mystery with God will of necessity engage us in our imaginations.  We are constantly quantifying life, structuring it, organizing it and this results in the inevitably of predictability.  We are bounded by facts and reason.  The ability to see life in terms of image and metaphor is stultified.  The dwarfing of imagination is nourished by TV and video games so that children are having grave difficulty in games of ‘make believe’.  The reading of books is different to the watching of images on the screen. Our imagination is not engaged with the latter, the movement is already patent as we watch.  With reading, the words can only take on life for us as our imagination causes them to dance and become filled with meaning.  The use of imagination is able to turn the mundane drudgery of life into that which is filled with interest.  All these elements and many more are considered in this well written and provocative book.  It is still available on the second hand market and there is no doubt that a thoughtful reading of it and some serious measure of obedience to its challenge to ‘use your imagination’ will bring us to a fuller appreciation of the largesse of God and the wonder of His workings. 

 

Last modified: May 14, 2012

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