I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS by G. Scott Sparrow


True Stories of Encounters with Jesus
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 Accounts of dreams, waking visions, and near-death experiences featuring the figure of Jesus, with a running commentary by psychotherapist Sparrow. Sparrow (Lucid Dreams, not reviewed) believes that many people dream of Jesus and that these dreams play an important role in their psychological growth. Here he offers a large number of personal testimonies, based on more than five years of research in the United States. He divides his material into seven chapters, dealing with such topics as initial encounters with the Christ figure, physical and emotional healings, and confrontations bringing about a change of attitude during the experience itself. We read of visions in which individuals are personally addressed by Jesus and inundated with light, and of healings, as in the case of a woman who, after her dream of Jesus, found she could experience orgasm without fear. The reports are brief, and Sparrow's text links them together, as he points up significant themes and inspirational lessons. His book is a celebration of the kind of American religiosity that values individual experience more than the experience and wisdom handed down through the centuries of tradition. Sparrow's Jesus can be whoever we want him to be, the Buddha, or even a ``luminous form'' of ourselves. The result is a vapid, androgynous figure in flowing robes who essentially reassures. Sparrow fudges when he claims that he is not writing theology but goes on to equate his stories uncritically with the New Testament appearances of Jesus. Furthermore, he mentions such Christian teachers as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Ignatius Loyola but refers neither to their important criteria for evaluating visions nor to their warnings against the very real psychological and spiritual danger of delusion in such matters. Superficial treatment of a significant religious and psychological theme.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1995
ISBN: 0-553-09713-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1995


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