About a month or so ago, I was given an online version of Quantum Spirituality by Leonard Sweet by another man who was insistent that I read it for myself. This man, who I only know through another friend, was trying to convince me that Leonard Sweet was not an author I should be a fan of. I took the challenge and began reading it. After the first two chapters I had come to the conclusion that his book must have been written as a tool to reach the new age movement for Christ.
I decided I'd better ask Leonard myself. I was able to connect with him on Facebook and I'm so glad I did. I sent him some questions about his book and it turns out my conclusion was correct. Leonard then offered to send me his newest book, So Beautiful, with thanks that I decided to ask him myself rather than believe a critical view of something we wrote. When the book was delivered I was pleasantly surprised that he also sent me a copy of his book '11'. I haven't had time to read it all the way just yet, but I'm into the second chapter and LOVE it! Thank you Leonard for giving me a chance to get to know you through your books, on Facebook and on Twitter.
Just a statement I'd like to make before I give you my review of 'So Beautiful',
"If you want to know an author's heart about the book you'd like to read, just ask him yourself. Take all other reviews with a grain of salt and decide for yourself. Most books allow you to read the first few chapters yourself before deciding to purchase. One sided reviews are rarely 100% correct."
I don't want to spoil the fun by telling you all the great content in this book, because you really wouldn't get the full picture if I did that. I recommend that you NOT read ahead to any other chapter, start with the introduction and go from there. I make it a point to always read the introduction, this gives you a fresh look at the heart of the matter on why the author was inspired to write on the topic of their book.
If I could rename this book anything I wanted, I would remain with the title 'So Beautiful'. This book is so beautiful for so many reasons. There are critics who would gasp at some of the quotes in this book, but as I read within it's pages, anything good that glorifies God, is given and inspired by God in the first place no matter who said it. So if you are a mature Christian you 'll be able to get passed your denominational strongholds and read the book with all it's multi-cultrual, multi-denominational quotes.
When I get a hold of a book that really speaks to me I frequently make notes in the book, underlines, and use a highlighter. You should see how colorful my copy of So Beautiful is. The biggest lesson I learned from Leonard and all the people he quoted is that the Christian life is relational. He focuses on three aspects of the Christian life, missional, relational, and incarnational. He takes the physical understanding of Christ and the Church we see in this modern day and helps us to understand how to look past all that and into the depths of Christ himself.
God has opened the exit door from legalism for me and shown me a deeper understanding of who He is and who He wants to be in my life. He has used 'So Beautiful 'to introduce me to a God who seeks relationship rather than superficial, external works. The Christian life goes so much further and beyond what humans have comprehended for so many years. I am thankful that God has allowed me and empowered me to escape that mindset that kept me imprisoned in a tiny box with no windows to the outside world. The world that He created with such magnificence, splendor, and beauty. God has used 'So Beautiful' to introduce me to the beauty He wanted me to see.
I am not going to puff up Leonard as some great man of God, for I know that is not what he would want. God used him to compile a fantastic journal of thoughts and inspiration to cause us to think and I have no doubt he is thankful that God allowed him to do so. Leonard has been gracious and patient with me, a lady who sought his opinion when others had attempted to taint my mind with critical accusations about him and his books. But God turned it around for good and He gets all the glory.
If you seek a Christian life that goes deeper than the superficial exterior of good works at the hands of man to a relational life in Christ then I highly recommend this book to you. At $16.99 (retail) it's well worth the investment and if you are a homeschool parent you can get your 20% discount from Barnes and Noble Stores and use it for 'theology class'. ;O) Only not your average theology class, for there is nothing denominational about this book, just relational, as it should be. Not only will this book challenge your current philosophy about the Christian life, but it will challenge your vocabulary as well. ;O)
So Beautiful introduces you to the relational Christ who seeks to be missional through our lives and incarnate His spiritual life in us. I believe this book brings you into a place where you will think deeper about the Christian life that man has magnified and makes you look at the Christian life God wants you to see spring forth in the earth today.
Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.