Review: Majestic and Wild by Murray Pura

4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Murray Pura
Publisher: Baker Book
Buy Majestic and Wild
Reading Level: Easy

Majestic and Wild explores the wilderness. Murray collects stories from here and there interpreting them through the lens of God. He sees the beauty of the wilderness and draws closer to God.

Isolation brings one man peace and another is twisted by it. There are those in the wilderness who find Christ and recover what was missing, while others find the devil and lose the best part of who they were.

The wilderness can be a sanctuary for some and a pit for others. It depends what you bring to it and what you take out of it. How much better if a man can be still in the quiet magnificence of the peaks and valleys and, above anything else, know there is a God—a God of powerful love who can put that same powerful love in their own hearts and change them from the inside out, healing all maladies of the human spirit.(p. 122)

Most of these stories are independent. You could read the book straight through or pick and chose stories that intrigue you. I enjoyed reading a few each day.

Murray has a knack for story telling. He engages and his imagery pops. You won’t find yourself bored and in the end you’ll find yourself worshipping God spontaneously. Here’s a passage I enjoyed,

The canoes were moving so fast in the water the bows hissed. Thousands of small bubbles trailed alongside, gurgling just like ginger ale being poured into a tall glass. It went like this all day. I had never experienced anything like it. Invis- ible forces propelled our two canoes through the wilderness while we sat back and watched forests and fields and wild- life go about their daily business of being God’s creation. I recall Stan smoked a pipe, leaning back, totally relaxed, one hand on the pipe bowl, the other on his knee. Not a care in the world, certainly not the care of paddling a canoe hour after hour. For that matter, we were all totally laid back, the sun golden across our faces and hands, hands empty of the wooden shafts of paddles, no strain, no exertion, no stress. It was a dream day.

As the sun set, the horizon and hills were the color of a ripe peach, and the sandbar where we beached our canoes, a strip of copper. We lit a small fire on the sand and cooked our Genoa salami with sharpened willow branches. The canoes were up well past the high water mark, and we unrolled our sleeping bags even farther back. But the river’s voice seemed to be at arm’s length as we lay looking up at the soft stars of a warm autumn. I kept drifting in and out of sleep as the river slipped by, murmuring and bubbling. (pp. 174-75)

It’s a wonderful example of what a robust natural theology looks like. We need more books like Majestic and Wild. Books that are written well and demonstrate a full orbed Christian worldview.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Majestic and Wild from Baker Book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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