Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has form, as they say, when it comes to writing books which are academic and above the heads of most mortals. Which is why this small book, illustrated with pictures and peppered with quotes, is such a pleasant surprise. In a clear and thoughtful way, it looks at what Christians believe – and why.
The book focuses on two of the early Christian creeds, which Christians still say together every week in church, 17 centuries after they were first written. In separate chapters, Rowan Williams looks at a series of selected quotes from the creeds: that there is one God, that he is the creator, that Jesus is God’s Son, that Jesus rose from the dead, that there is one church and that there is a life to come after this life.
This might sound like a dull checklist of impossible things to believe, but Rowan Williams starts with something quite simple which gives colour to the whole book: that “Christian belief is really about knowing who and what to trust”. For Williams, the Christian faith means believing in God as the person you can trust with your whole life.
This extract gives the flavour of the book…
“‘I believe in God the Father almighty’ isn’t the first in a set of answers to the question, ‘How many ideas or pictures have I inside my head?’ as if God were the name of one more doubtful thing like UFOs and ghosts to add to the list of the furniture of my imagination. It is the beginning of a series of statements about where I find the anchorage of my life, where I find solid ground, home.”
What readers have said about the book…
“This is a book to be sipped slowly, reflected upon, discussed. Archbishop Williams shows and shares with the reader what it means to put our hands into the hands of God…” GR Barrow, Amazon
“As I read I got the feeling I was involved in a warm, comfortable conversation with a person sharing his deepest understandings of life in thoughtful reflection.” Research Guy, Amazon
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Jesus has probably inspired more books and biographies than anyone else in human history. But which of them are worth reading if you’re exploring the life of Jesus for the first time – or even for the second or third times?
Written by Simon Jenkins
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