In this lengthy volume, Glen W. Warner aims to portray “a greater spiritual perspective from the scripture of nature,” juxtaposing what he sees in the natural world with what he knows in the Bible. “The basic principle of this collection of meditations,“ writes Warner on the back cover, “is the entering of ‘sacred spaces’…places where we may find God.”
In themed, short chapters, Warner creates stunning word-pictures of America’s national parks, as well as areas around the Great Lakes. For example, describing watching a sunrise from the canyon floor at Zion National Park, he writes, “Then, concurrently, slowly, silently, the light descended down the copper colored monoliths, down, down to the place where I was sitting…And then the great words of I John 1:5 somehow came out of my mouth, ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’”
The book has a few flaws, however. More than ramblings but less than focused devotionals, the text mixes inspiration (“This kind of faith in him…doesn’t acquiesce in the face of loud opposition… Rather, it always lifts Christ up, knocks down barriers, marches over objections…”) with instruction (one chapter advises readers to submit to God, read an understandable version of the Bible, pray, make physical health a priority, overcome fear). The author’s inconsistent purpose can be jarring and confuses the issue of who the author is targeting as his audience.
In addition, the “WORD” (always distractingly fully capitalized) is never explained, leaving readers to wonder if the term means actual scripture or if it means Jesus, who is sometimes referred to in scripture as the Word of God. The random use of bolded words is equally puzzling.
Overall, the book’s descriptions of natural wonders pair well with the author’s love of scriptural expression. Despite the obstacles mentioned, readers will likely enjoy Warner’s anecdotes and find the book’s broad bibliography a nice jumping-off point to further study.
Also available as an ebook.