Sunday, July 4, 2010

Miracles, Messages and Metaphors: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Bible by Norm Carroll

Miracles, Messages and Metaphors: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Bible by Norm Carroll. Synergy Books. January 2010. ISBN #: 9780982314012

Miracles, Messages and Metaphors... I read it through in several sittings for the purposes of this review but would emphasize that this is a book to savor and meditate upon over a long span of time. Norm Carroll is a Deacon of the Catholic Church, but the Biblical focus of this text has so much to offer people of many different spiritual persuasions.

One of the sections immediately speaks of how true spirituality does not divide but unites all in a way of life that blesses and nurtures the beauty, wisdom and grace of life. While the author is not naieve about those who will disagree with what he says, he continues to focus on the context of culture and traditions that defy literal interpretations of the Bible.

Consider the place of "bloated ego" in the battle between Cain and Abel that leads to a devastating murder. How is that associated with one's obsession with retribution in capital punishment? What is left after the removal of one's object of hatred? Or perhaps one might ponder the "mixed bag" of Solomon, a leader who brutally enslaved so many to build his famous temple while leaving behind reams of writings that became celebrated "wisdom?" Who and what was served in this black and white picture? How does one learn to face all parts of one's self in order to become a truly spiritual being? Many have reflected on the dilemma of Jesus' words, "Who are my brothers and sisters?" Will one lose one's physical family after making the choice to consider all men and women one's brothers and sisters? And just how does Jesus address not only physical but also psychic and spiritual pain and celebration? Norm Carroll's answers are deeply wise and not divisive at all; at the same time he eschews any pat answers.

Miracles... is one of the most inspiring books this reviewer has read in a very long time; there is so much within that is hard to summarize. Suffice it to say that pivotal aspects of personal life are addressed with a straight-forward, honest and simple yet startlingly new approach. Whether you are new or old to the Bible, the words in this book have the ability to inspire your daily living in a refreshing, contemporary way that respects, challenges and accepts the past and promises transformation for the future!

Scholarly, fascinating and an opportunity for resurrected living, Mr. Carroll!

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