Book Review: Heart and Mind
by Larry Duggins
Occasionally, I will read a book that sticks with me – I think about it throughout a day or a week or a month, and I randomly find myself turning over its ideas as I walk through life. Alexander Shaia’s Heart and Mind: The Four-Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation is such a book. Dr. Shaia takes a fresh look at the gospels through several fresh lenses – the lens of those to whom the gospels were originally written & the lens of the early church leaders who devised a three year cycle for the public reading of the gospels - and he emerges with a fresh insight on reading the gospels as interconnected guides to a transformed life. He walks through the need for change, the need to endure suffering, the blessing of transformation and maturation through service in a way I had simply not considered before.
I had the pleasure of going on pilgrimage with Alexander recently, and my personal experience with him deepened my appreciation of his work. His parents were immigrants to Alabama from Lebanon, and his early life was spent in a “Lebanese village” in Birmingham. He is a theologian, a cultural anthropologist, and a psychologist, and views life from a context that is very different from my own. He is a master of describing what he sees, however, in a way that is challenging and inviting, and I cherish people who can describe their perspectives in a way that stretches my own.