This is a brief essay on my serendipitous encounter with Dwight Longenecker’s book “The Romance of Religion.” Dwight sets the stage for his book by stating that “religion had become not real, but respectable” and nothing more than a dull “set of table manners.” He then does a remarkable job of taking us on an adventure through the magical and mystical world of religion encouraging us not to be a sideline spectator but rather the hero and pioneer of our faith.
The romantic has something to die for because he has something to live for. His quest may be dangerous but this is where he finds life abundant. He is a warrior of justice and vigilant adversary against evil. He experiences and spreads true love around wherever his travels lead him and he is not alone for he is part of a “rag tag band of freedom fighters.”
Longenecker lures us into the story of the romantic hero by using an abundance of great story lines and quotes from beloved movies, fanciful tales, and valiant storybook characters. He helps us find purpose and open our eyes to the hero within us while not disguising the stumbling, the weaknesses, and “dark corners” that inevitably make us strong. We encounter the truth that our story heightens when the natural meets with the supernatural and the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.
This might just be the best book I’ve read about the spiritual journey and highly recommend it to those who are looking to leave behind an eternal impact rather than a tedious and dim existence. Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for this review which I freely give.