When he published this book, Alan Jones was Associate Professor of Ascetical Theology at the General Theological Seminary in New York. He was also Director of The Center for Christian Spirituality. He is concerned here with identifying the ingredients of the journey into Christ. For him, the term "spirituality" revolves around the search for wholeness. On this quest, Christians are concerned with discernment, finding connections, patterns of relatedness, and "a matrix of conviviality." Jones is convinced that people are animated by three central longings: "the desire for triumph over death, the desire for meaning, and the desire for intimacy from which we draw our sense of identity."
The author talks about the loss of myth and symbol in a chapter about preparing for the journey. He counsels us to take care since we will be forced to enter the wasteland, a place of darkness. There is no getting around this. The journey begins with waiting: for Christians, this sometimes means unlearning what they have brought along as baggage. Once on the road, the challenge is to continually die to self and open to God. Along the way, we will confront sin and defilement, sexuality, our true image, the beginning of transfiguration, becoming a child, and continuing the endless process of pilgrimage. Jones presents what he calls the "the miracle of Christianity, its depth and wonder, its transforming power."