Monday, December 31, 2012

rants to revelations

Rants to Revelations: Unabashedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality, and the Meaning of God, by Ogun R Holder; illustrations by David Hayward, "Naked Pastor'!

rants and revelations coverOgun Holder is a Unity Minister who grew up in a more centrist-style church on the small Caribbean island of Barbados. My only personal experience with Unity Christianity was receiving their excellent devotional booklet, "Daily Word" for several years; a step removed from that, a few years ago an acquaintance told me most Sundays she attended both the mainline PCUSA church because it told her "what," and the Unity Church, because it told her "how." Chapter 8, "I Survived Lent and All I Got Was This Lousy Enlightenment" begins with, "If I'm grateful to Unity for anything, it's the metaphysical spin (I mean 'interpretation') that it applies to traditional Christian theology." [page 67] I'm reviewing a particular book, not giving an overview of a religion; if you're interested in knowing more about Unity, their website can tell you far better than I can.

I'd like to have author Ogun Holder in my small group―if I'm ever part of a small group again. Why? The risk-taking, imaginative ways he does life, in the process becoming transformed personally, spiritually and in self-awareness. In many ways, he is telling us "how!" So far as I'm aware, all branches of Christianity teach and trust the Holy Spirit-led process of sanctification (theosis, holiness, divinization, deification) in each individual life. We take the name of Jesus Christ upon ourselves (more accurately, Spirit bestows that Name), promise to follow the fully human, fully divine Lord of Chalcedon, trusting we'll gradually become like him: fully human and fully divine. But a lot of us in churches with more "standard" theology that often tends to emphasize sin, brokenness, and depravity more than God's grace-filled redemption through Jesus Christ, could use at least a daily dose of Unity's emphasis on the divine side of Jesus Christ's and humanity's dual nature.

Unlike me (I love to teach anything—music, art, design, bible, theology, the most recent thing someone else taught me... anything), gifted musician Ogun Holder did not enjoy teaching, but before entering full time ministry, he found a perfect vocational fit as a music therapist: "Music therapy was about regaining life through music." [page 17] I've no desire on intention to work as a career or volunteer music therapist, but I'm very interested in regaining [lost aspects of] my own life through music, probably in a less formal way than attending a music therapy group or consulting with a licensed music therapist.

Visually, Rants to Revelations was very difficult to read because it's set in spindly sans-serif type. Some books include production notes—this one didn't, but for sure this is a typeface to avoid! I opted for a hard copy of this book because of David Hayward's cover illustration, and was excited to discover 18 more drawings by naked pastor, one to open each chapter!

Rants to Revelations is part daily logbook, part observations of others, and includes memories. But it's not quite the memoir Holder sort of threatened to write. Maybe that'll happen later? This is a good choice to pass along to someone who's feeling negative or fearful. This is another great book from The Speakeasy readers and reviewers bureau. Are you ready to sign up?

my amazon review: try this one!