If you dont trust your bank or the local council, how are you meant to put your trust in God? Whats more how do you come to terms with faith in todays often cynical society, and what is God doing when the chips are really down?
These are some of the complex areas explored by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in Tokens of trust: An introduction to Christian belief. The book explores a number of themes, among them trust, love and what Williams calls The Peace Dividend, the third of these being arguably the most difficult to grasp. In fact in introducing his concept of The Peace Dividend, the author compares the end of the Cold War a new start he suggests, although in this case we havent yet quite realised the benefits with the Easter Big Bang when Jesus is raised from the dead and brings Gods love to life. The Resurrection, argues Williams, didnt end suffering, but it opened the world and believers to a future of healing and promise and that might just lead to a trust in God, the neighbours and even your local council.
In many ways Tokens of Trust is not for then faint-hearted. There are no obvious conclusions, few concrete boundaries and lots of doors left open. In this respect it is very different from Giles Frasers new book Christianity with attitude, a collection of articles and Thought for the Day from a Putney vicar, which takes religion straight out into the moral maze of modern society. The Lent of cheery self-improvement, writes Fraser, is a con because it avoids facing up to our own mortality. Many atheists, he contends, are intellectually lazy and happy to attack what they see as Christian belief in a kind of Sunday-School God. And as for homosexuality in the church, dont look to a country as corrupt as Nigeria for any kind of moral lead.
If you like your religion to be socially relevant, sometimes controversial and often uncomfortable then Christianity with attitude is a must read.
Buy these books from St Marys Shop (Tel: 383000)
Rowan Williams: Tokens of Trust (9.99)
Giles Fraser: Christianity with attitude (9.99)
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