In the Middle of This Road We Call Our Life: The Courage to Search for Something More, by James W. Jones (HarperSanFrancisco, 213 pp.; $20, hardcover). Reviewed by Randall Lehmann Sorenson, associate professor at Rosemead School of Psychology, La Mirada, California, and editor of a special issue on "Psychotherapy with Religiously Committed Patients" in The Journal of Psychology and Theology.
I'm thinking of something with a large, bushy tail, that packs nuts in its cheeks and likes to climb trees. What am I thinking of?" The pastor's question, posed to the youth assembled on the chancel steps during a children's sermon, sparked a response from one brave lad. "I know what the right answer always is, so I'll say 'Jesus,' " he muttered, "even though that sounds an awful lot like a squirrel to me."
If you read James Jones's book looking for the catechetical answers of Christendom, you'll be frustrated-not because Jones is evasive, but because he's addressing readers across a broad spectrum: "This is a book for those committed to particular religious traditions," explains Jones, "and also for those outside any specific faith who still struggle with questions about what might provide meaning, value, and fulfillment in their life."
If you're open to things being a squirrel sometimes, buy this book. Read it. Then read it again. Unlike pop psychology texts-of-the-month that are dashed off by anyone with a rustic cabin and a laptop, Jones, a professor of religion at Rutgers as well as a practicing clinical psychologist, has a long list of scholarly publications and two earned doctorates. It shows. By this I mean not that his work is stuffy or pedantic-far from it. Rather, what shows is this book's depth, the full measure of which may ...1
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