I remember the first time I read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and being enthralled by his vision of another word outside of our own that seemed a lot like our own. The war that rages all around us is one that is that is very real. It is present both here in our own lives and yet also in the spiritual realm. Some people think that imagination is only for kids, artists, or even for fans of science fiction. I remember playing in highly competitive sports such as football, and other sports including at a high level on the varsity golf team. It takes imagination to envision your golf ball going where you want it. It also takes skill. But before every shot I took I would in my pre-shot routine take a mental picture of how the shot was going to take shape. As Baggar Vance said in the movie the Legend of Bagger Vance, “No shot just goes out there. You have to see the field.” By seeing the field, Bagger meant seeing the shot and focusing on one shot at a time. Many people today discount the place of imagination. They can’t see the field. They don’t know the war that is waging all around them. They are numb to life and focus only on their circumstances. Imagination though is what bridges our thinking and feeling, allowing us to do everything form planning a weekend getaway to remembering what we ate for breakfast, and seeing the field when we play golf. This is why I greatly enjoyed the new book Imagination Redeemed: Glorifying God With A Neglected Part Of Your Mind by Gene Veith and Mathew Ristuccia.
Imagination Redeemed seeks to uncover the place of imagination in the Christian life by helping Christians understand who God is, what His Word teaches and how they should live in the world today. This book is a call to embrace this forgotten part of the mind as a gift from God designed to bolster faith, hope, and love in His people.
This book is unique in that it has two authors. Gene Veith focuses on the literature and art aspect of the book while Matthew Ristuccia focuses on the biblical explanation. This book is not only unique in that it provides insight into literature and the arts but in how Matthew handles the text with a view to understanding Ezekiel’s visions which is one of the hardest books in the Bible to interpret. To be honest I thought Matthew did an excellent job in his handling of Ezekiel. It’s not often as he notes that you hear Ezekiel taught. It’s even rarer when you combine a scholar in literature in Veith with a pastor-theologian in Ristuccia. This book is a fine piece of Christian literature that will illuminate the mind, inform the heart, and set the focus of the reader on the person and work of Christ.
As I read this book I was deeply instructed and helped by both writers. You would think that having a dual author book would be cumbersome even disengaging, but the authors masterfully weave their insights and points into a beautiful tapestry. The imagination is a neglected aspect of our Christian life. The authors work in this book goes a long way to helping Christian recover the place of imagination. I highly recommend this book. The authors combine seasoned pastoral experience with scholarly insight and have provided in this book an incredible service in helping God’s people understand the central place of imagination in the Christian life. This biblical based and accessible book will help awaken readers to the place of imagination in the Christian life. I encourage you to go pick it up.
Buy the book at Amazon.