In Pastor Bruce Baker's work Spiritual Maturity: The Road to Wonderland', I was first intrigued by the polarizing title. How can 'Alice in Wonderland', a classic children's story relate to spiritual maturity? After all, most Christians spend their lives attempting to achieve some level of maturity – how can a children’s story benefit them?
After reading (and re-reading several chapters), I found myself going from AMEN to AHA in lightning speed. Perhaps this occurred because many of the concepts I thoroughly understood or many of the concepts I have yet to fully embrace. Whatever the reason, this was a thought provoking read.
When Truth enters your life, you are at a crossroad. You must either accept it, allowing God to reshape your perceptions, or you must reject it, which inevitably result in detrimental consequences. The basics of the disciplined life are discussed in this book and one would do well to read (and reread) it.
What will you find in this book? 21 chapters, all addressing specific areas of maturity all prefaced by a quote from 'Alice in Wonderland'; an interwoven story of a troubled woman on her way to maturity; and chapter discussion questions that cause you to reflect on the focus of the chapter.
The illustrations were sometimes comical, sometimes engaging and written with simple conversational frankness. For instance, the authors search for research material in three local Christian book stores, or the acknowledgment (in the Preface) that the author’s ego stays securely in check by his gracious wife.
Is this a handbook in which one can assuredly become spiritually mature? Hear the author words from Chapter 21 –
“I’ve found that people like to speak of ‘absolute’ devotion, ‘complete’ surrender, ‘total’ submission….From God’s standpoint, all our devotion is limited, all our surrender incomplete, all our submission partial. Even though His enablement is perfect, our response to it is human and therefore subject to improvement.”
In summary, this is a genuine look at becoming a mature Christian. To quote a Chinese proverb "To know wisdom you must first begin to call things for what they really are.” It is an excellent book to read and will be very beneficial to the reader who chooses to face these steps to maturity and begin to grow more and more.
The review copy of this book was provided free of charge by the author and was donated to Westwood Baptist Church.