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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: From Mason to Minister: Through the Lattice

This is a smooth and uplifting memoir with lots of gems of poetry and scripture to enjoy.
From Mason to Minister: Through the Lattice by Neil Cullan McKinlay

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Nordskog Publishing (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982707479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982707470

Genre: Memoir, Inspirational
My Rating:  4.25 of 5.0

Product Description
An adventurous, captivating and poetic memoir of the author's courageous and spiritual journey from Scotland to Canada to Australia in his quest to "find the Truth and know the living God." Neither an apologetic nor a polemic, he corrects much misinterpretation and misunderstanding of Freemasonry. We learn how inspiration from Masonic teachings about Solomon's Temple, the arch, and keystone led him to a deep study of the revelation from the Bible of "the stone the builders rejected"; which is Christ. Readers will be uplifted, inspired, and delighted as they follow along with him in the discovery of his calling to become a minister.

I don’t read lots of memoirs but this ‘life-story’ caught my interest.  Masonry is shrouded in secrecy and not looked upon favorably by fundamental Christian organizations. I thought that reading this book might give me insight to the nature of the Masons. The book goes beyond the nature of Masonry and the real story is the author’s spiritual journey through the Mason's shortcomings.

The book starts with personal background as the author relates how he initially sought  fellowship in the Masons. As I understand from the book, the purpose of the Masons is to encourage men to be good workers and workers of good and this goal was originally founded on Biblical teachings and centered on the building of Solomon's temple. However in the 1800s a directive was made which diluted or stifled the Christian aspects in order to encompass a broader membership of men from all faiths. Although the teachings encourage a relationship with God, it would seem that members are not to push religion nor to even discuss Christ in their lives.

This dichotomy presented a puzzle that gave Mr. McKinlay the impetus to study deeper into scripture. Mr. McKinlay studied first to understand how the scriptures related to the teachings of  Masonry and later how they related to the ‘practices’ or living walk of the Masons. Each level or degree he achieved brought more disenchantment with the practices of the organizations and a more in depth study of God.

As McKinlay studied the Bible he began to see the creator God everywhere in the world around him.  For a time he felt lost, as a spaceman floating without a tether, until he recognized Christ as the only way to God the Father and thereby he found the missing “cornerstone” - the stone that was rejected - Jesus Christ.

I really enjoyed the easy flow and phrasing McKinlay uses. The early chapters at first seemed disjointed but  then I realized that there was a meandering path that moved the journey along, with some side trips in memory. The 'Ministry' section is more direct, perhaps because it is the most recent in time and the author no longer has to tread the fine line of discussing his Masonry experiences. The author does not seem to disclose any real secrets but rather presents revelations of basic tenets and their impact on him with some philosophical insights as well.  He also gives a cogent discussion of the trilogy which is a very difficult concept for many to grasp.  I view the book as a grouping of revelations,  recollections, and reflections on the spiritual awakening in the author’s life.

I admit that sometimes I fold the corners on a page (I know an awful habit) to mark a particularly poignant phrase or point. The problem I found with this book is I was apt to fold every couple of pages as comments repeatedly struck my own spirit. This is an easy read and an enjoyable, as well as informative book.

Three word description: Personal, lyrical, uplifting.
Thank you to Pump Up Your Book Tour and the author for the book to read and review.
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