“This book is a wonderful read! Dr. Howe guides us through his own journey of spiritual formation, or faith development, courageously sharing the kinds of deep questions, thoughts, and feelings that many of us have been trained to avoid and deny at all costs. Supported by his exceptional scholarship, Dr. Howe’s thinking is as penetrating and clear as his compassion for humanity is warm and accepting. This soulful combination allows him to voice great sympathy for the profound struggles of religious life, especially with church doctrine, while also permitting him to be both funny and surgically precise in criticizing a great deal of popular dogma. Personally speaking, at every turn I felt as though I was reading the thoughts and feelings of a true kindred spirit. Dr. Howe knows the only god truly worthy of worship is the God who is Truth and Love. This being the highest possible concept of God, we best honor God through our own genuine commitment to the principles of truth and love, and so we must seriously question any doctrine, text, or authority that leads elsewhere.”
With regard to mysticism, Dr. Howe speaks clearly of a world-shifting spiritual experience in which he felt connection with an infinitely caring “Knower.” He also alludes to exploring some methods of spiritual practice, yet he never labels his faith as mystical. Even so, many of us will find that his work belies a truly meditative depth of reflection, if not a genuinely contemplative openness to the still small voice of the Spirit in his own heart and mind. One of the nice things about the lack of the mysticism label, combined with his personable writing style, is that it illustrates an approach to communing very deeply with God to which almost anyone can relate.
Dr. Howe also has his own excellent blog: Faith Challenges – Searching for a Credible Faith.
As a more intimate note to readers of my blog, I’m happy to point out that Dr. Howe dedicated this book to his good friend, Dr. John F. Miller, III. John was my philosophy professor in college, my first meditation teacher, has remained a mentor all these years, and is one of my dearest friends. Given that John’s career as a philosopher is most noteworthy for championing love above all else, it’s no surprise to me that Dr. Howe would dedicate this book to him.