19 December 2007

Possibly the single most provocative book on Christianity that I've yet read

Lost Christianity: A Journey of Rediscovery
Jacob Needleman
Tarcher, 2003

This book challenges the reader to re-think almost everything they understand about "lost" Christianity. Needleman does not present another work on Gnosticism, Christian contemplation, esoteric teachings, or hidden gospels; instead he indicates that a change of heart (an almost ontological change, and not merely one in thought and emotion) is necessary for even the most rudimentary Christian teachings to take root and become REAL in a person's lived experience.

Professor Needleman's writing is superb, with insightful (DEEPLY insightful) comments abounding (in some places, I flagged one or two sentences per paragraph, which is rare). The only "drawback" is that it is up to the reader to find the spiritual guidance necessary to maintain the Question, to develop the unity of purpose needed to realize the Christian gospel (or any other wisdom teachings, for that matter). At least I have a clearer notion of what I am seeking and of what I need to make my Buddhist and Christian spiritual practices REAL.

I am definitely going to reread this book. Highly, highly recommended.

(This review was originally written April 28, 2006.)

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