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Reviewed by Claudia Coffey for Readers' Favorite
In Welcome to Confusion, Barbara M. Russo asks us to question what we believe, what we have been taught, for only in disorientation and questioning will we find A Surprising Doorway to God. Russo begins this succinct and well-written little book with a chapter on The Gods Must Be Crazy – a 1980s cult film about the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. One day they see a glass Coke bottle fall from the sky. Knowing nothing about Western ways, what a Coke bottle is, or how it possibly could have come from the sky, the tribesmen conclude their gods sent this good thing to them. The movie goes on to show how the tribesmen found the bottle to be very helpful and, since it came from their gods, each wants personal time with this wonderful object. Arguments and discord then arise, which lead the Bushmen to think their gods must have been ‘crazy’ to send such a disruptive thing to them.
Eleven delightful chapters follow with enticing titles such as Small is the New Big: The Twelve, Scrub Brush and Scorpions: Jesus, and Ducks or Rabbits: All of Us. Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of life in the time of Jesus and the Apostles and life today, giving us a reminder that “you can’t count on your way of life, or your religious habits,” not in the time of Jesus, not in our age, not in any age. All chapters end with a journaling starter asking pertinent questions for readers to answer to lead to more understanding. We, like the Kalahari Bushmen, like Jesus, like the Apostles, like Teresa of Avila, like St. Paul, like Nicodemus, we all should watch for those Coke bottles that might rain down on our heads, for these virtual Coke bottles are, in truth, the best way to question everything. As Barbara Russo reminds us: “Contrary to what so many of us were taught, the opposite of faith is not doubt, but self-sufficiency, and the only deliverance from self-sufficiency is through disorientation.” This reader plans to go back through the chapters again to work through the journaling questions. Read this book, you won’t regret it!