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How To Be Wise
Growing In Discernment And Love
by Rod Garner
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
If you want a 'how to' book, which describes how to get wisdom in ten clear steps, this is not for you!It is not easy reading, but neither is it academic or abstruse.
Rod Garner's aim is to help the reader attain wisdom through growing in discernment and love. He begins with a chapter answering the question 'What is wisdom?' but even here there are no easy answers—he wants us to wrestle with its meaning until we find it for ourselves.
In the rest of the book, the author looks at the Bible (ranging through Ecclesiastes, John Chapter 1, and the writings of Paul), music, the emotions and silence.
I felt the pivotal chapter—and one of the most challenging—was 'Wisdom and the ethics of reading'. He defines serious reading as "the business of paying proper attention as we turn the page, follow the lines of text and make ourselves ready for the warmth, recognition and enlightenment that a particular assembly of words can sometimes evoke."
He points out that we live in a culture where our concentration span is diminishing and we are distracted by social media and the lure of the internet. Even devoted readers can find their concentration drifting sooner or later. To master a text at a deeper level, where wisdom is found, requires time, silence and perhaps even solitude.
This is a fascinating book, packed with personal illustrations, a wide range of quotations from people of faith and no-faith, and topical references. A worthwhile read.
Reviewer: Jackie Rowe (27/12/13)