Falling Upwards, by Richard Rohr

I confess, I am a fan of Richard Rohr. His writings and seminars reach deep into my soul, not only delivering necessary academic insight but also much needed inspiration.

This book, in particular, was a page turner from beginning to end. Rohr speaks from the second half of life to those of us who have joined him in the second half. Well, that’s not entirely true. What Richard has done is to explain the journey in such a way that those who are yet wrestling with the tasks of the first half of life, have clarity on the direction. Our Western culture is ridiculously devoid of phase of life markers, leaving individuals gasping to understand what’s going on in and around their life.

With a little Jung, Jesus, Eliot, Merton, and Ricoeur the author carefully outlines and explains the rather consistently traveled path from youth to old age – the path that can lead to spiritual maturity. Faithfully included, of course, is the awkward acknowledgement that many – the majority in fact – end life having never finished the beginning. The sad truth is that without a guide, a mentor, we flounder through life, missing the point. Worse, our own spiritual deficit robs the next generation of a wise ‘elder’. While all must traverse the tasks of the first phase of life, not all engage the second stage of life.

Why does the world around us operate as seemingly insanely as it does? Why do some otherwise wonderful older folk seem to have sold out when it comes to confronting the social ills of our time? Why do so many more seasoned pastors prefer to preach through the beatitudes than through the ten commandments? What are the differences between the community valued by the young verses that of the older, second half of life person?

This book receive a five star recommendation from me. It is the kind of book that you’ll want to re-read – often. In fact, I would unhesitatingly recommend that every pastor not only read ‘Falling Upward’, but that they add this book to their discipleship classes.


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