Sunday, January 20, 2013
12. Questions of Life ? by Nicky Gumbel
US) - (Canada)
Finished: Jan. 11 2013
First Published: 2007 (revised edition) (2012 printing)
Publisher: Alpha North America
Genre: christian, apologetics, theology, nonfiction
First sentence: "For many years I had three objections to the Christian faith."
Publisher's Summary: "Latest Edition
Get a picture of the entire Alpha course in one book! Packed with humor, anecdotes, wisdom and profound teaching, Nicky Gumbel''''s international bestseller introduces the person of Jesus Christ and invites the reader to discover the Man who has fascinated us for 2,000 years!
This is a must have for both your Alpha Course team members and course guests. Questions of Life is a great gift to give to those wanting to know more about Christ and the Christian faith.
Foundational reading for anyone involved in an Alpha course. Individual chapters of Alpha-Questions of Life are also available in booklet form to hand out to guests."
Acquired: Received a review copy from the books publicist.
Reason for Reading: I can't really say why. This is not my typical reading. I usually only read this type of book when it is written from a Catholic viewpoint however, this particular book called out to me as perhaps being useful in evangelizing although I had never heard of the Alpha course.
My review hear is strictly limited to the book at hand. I have never had any involvement whatsoever in an Alpha course and cannot say whether I would feel the same way about its presentation. However this book, based on the course, is a treasure. This is an introduction to Christianity, what it means to be Christian and how to be Christian. The book is ecumenical and does not present any denomination as being the "right" or "better" one. Quotes from great thinkers and leaders throughout the ages from all denominations are included from Popes and saints to Martin Luther and unknown ministers of small protestant churches. Quotes even come from the most unexpected places such as Sinead O'Connor! The author is an Anglican (Church of England) priest which in all honesty makes him a perfect candidate for writing an ecumenical point of view. His denomination is protestant and yet it retains many catholic elements, putting him in the perfect position to speak unbiased of Christianity, outside of denominations. I had started to read the book armed with a pencil to note anything I found contrary to Catholicism but I put my weapon of choice to use very infrequently and the matters I noted are of little importance to the purpose of this review.
Best recommended for people who are already seeking. Those who are wavering agnostics and looking for something to help them make the change, baby Christians seeking further understanding of their new way of life and old hands who have lost their zeal. For these people this book will bring the light into your life. Describing who is Jesus, why we should believe, how we should pray, why we should pray, what is the holy spirit and how can we be filled with it, what is evil, how is it relevant today and what is the church? The book is truly extensive. touching on all major aspects without getting into any specific dogmas of any one denomination. The ideas presented are what ALL Christians believe, it is what makes us Christian and marks the importance of the unity we should be seeking as Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ. I particularly found the chapters on the Holy Spirit, resisting evil and evangelizing to be the most interesting to myself, a seasoned reader of theology, yet a convert myself who was not raised Christian. This book is a keeper for my collection and I will be recommending it to the appropriate people I meet in my life.