Cosper’s is a gentle invitation to step beyond the veil of cynicism and encounter a world full of vibrant divinity.
The spiritual intersects with the tangible in Mike Cosper’s Recapturing the Wonder, a refreshing call for a return to historical practices that infuse the Christian life with the experientially divine.
In an engaging, conversational style, Cosper explores a perceived deficit of sacramental participation that exists primarily in American evangelicalism, which often neglects spiritual practices that were embraced by the ancient and medieval church—observing the entire Christian calendar, making space for silence, breath prayers, praying the psalms, fasting, and feasting, among other things.
Intentionally integrating such practices, Cosper says, has the potential to banish feelings of the religious disenchantment, skepticism, and doubt that rob congregations of the ability to believe that the miraculous is at all possible.
Though Cosper acknowledges that swinging the pendulum sharply to blind, unquestioning faith isn’t necessarily the solution here, he admirably seeks to strike a balance between a world drained of all wonder and a world saturated in nothing but emotional irrationality.
Sections called pathways are appended to each chapter and offer guidance on how Christians can implement practice into their daily lives. Framed as suggestions rather than hard directives, they offer a view of a wider faith landscape that is easily accessible to anyone with enough discipline and devotion. The sections, while brief, should ease the curious into deeper oceans of ancient faith practices, particularly of various forms of prayer outside of intercession.
Though Cosper names and admonishes an absence of wonder, there is no strident condemnation or pointing of fingers here. Rather, there is a humble acknowledgment that the lack is found within as well as without.
Many of the great saints of the Christian faith, Cosper notes, did not possess flawless public images, despite their obvious communion with God, and Christians today should not have expectations of trouble-free lives, no matter how consistently they might observe these practices.
Recapturing the Wonder gently invites those weary of a monochromatic faith to step beyond the veil of cynicism and encounter a world full of vibrant divinity.
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