Customer Reviews


20 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True simplicity
'Being Christian' deserves to take over from 'Tokens of Trust' as Rowan Williams’ most popular and accessible book. It has a similar origin, as edited transcripts of Holy Week talks at Canterbury Cathedral (the year is not given). It is more focused, concentrating on the most obvious things that ‘make you realise that you are part of a Christian...
Published 5 months ago by Mark Hart

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Shepherds Who Feed Only Themselves (Jude 1:12)
I only purchased this book because it was 1.49 at the time - about all it's worth (and even then it's overpriced!). At the current price (as an e-book of 4.79) and at just under 6 as a paperback this book is a complete waste of money. It's only real value is to see how Christianity (at least in its organised form - COE, RC and Orthodox) is now just used by the...
Published 4 days ago by Honrus Publicus


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True simplicity, 16 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being Christian (Paperback)
'Being Christian' deserves to take over from 'Tokens of Trust' as Rowan Williams’ most popular and accessible book. It has a similar origin, as edited transcripts of Holy Week talks at Canterbury Cathedral (the year is not given). It is more focused, concentrating on the most obvious things that ‘make you realise that you are part of a Christian community’: baptism, Bible, Eucharist and prayer. In each case a pithy but deeply insightful core understanding is identified and developed.

Baptism is ‘being led to where Jesus is’, which, in apparent contradiction, places you both ‘in the middle of human suffering and muddle’ (not marked out as a member of a superior group) and in the heart of God.

The Bible is like ‘God telling us a parable or a whole sequence of parables’. It is the word of God because it is what God wants us to hear, not because everything it contains, including a call to genocide, is his direct word. God is saying, ‘This is how people heard me, saw me, responded to me; this is the gift I gave them; this is the response they made… Where are you in this?’

The heart of the Eucharist is illustrated in the story of Zacchaeus, when Jesus says to him, ‘Aren’t you going to ask me to your home?’ In the Eucharist, Jesus not only exercises hospitality, he draws hospitality out from others, makes people open to God, open to each other, and able to see all things as ‘demanding reverent attention, even contemplation’.

Prayer is something to grow into, which is always about growing in Christian humanity. Essentially, to pray is to let Jesus pray in you. It’s not so much about chatting to Jesus, still less about trying to persuade God to listen. We make room, we say ‘Our Father’, and Jesus prays in us. All this is considered with help from Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and John Cassian.

New readers of Rowan Williams will be introduced to his thinking more gently than in most of his other works, though even here, because it is so distilled, it will need to be taken slowly, or re-read. Being so short, that is made easy - don’t measure value for money by the number of pages.

Those familiar with Rowan Williams will find the most novelty in chapter 2 on the Bible, especially the helpful analogy of parable. It is here where I also have a minor quibble. I fear it is possible to come away with the impression that only in the Old Testament do we sometimes find internal tension, historical inaccuracy, God portrayed as acting in a morally questionable way, or a risk of the text being used to justify ‘violence, enslavement, abuse and suppression of women, murderous prejudice against gay people’. Or, to put it crudely, we can be fundamentalist about the New Testament but not the Old. This is absolutely not what Rowan Williams believes or intends, but it would have helped to say so.

Bishop Richard Harries wrote in 'Art and the Beauty of God' (p.11): ‘People sometimes ask for simple gospel truths. Too often, however, what they have in mind are the pious platitudes of a previous generation. True simplicity is indeed a highly prized virtue. But it does not come by opening a packet. After a lifetime of thinking, struggling, loving and praying we might, through the grace of God, have achieved true simplicity.' 'Being Christian' is a model of such profound simplicity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another "gem", 23 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being Christian (Paperback)
I loved Rowan Williams' book 'Silence and Honey Cakes', which explored the lives and wisdom of the early desert fathers and mothers. I bought several copies for family and friends (as Amazon can attest!) and was delighted to discover that 'Being Christian' was newly published. It's a wonderfully insightful, interesting and elegantly written exploration of what it means to be Christian. Reviewers have mentioned the accessibility of the writing despite the complexity of the subject - and I would agree wholeheartedly. It's the sort of book which enlightens, inspires and gently educates and I know it is one to which I will return.

I plan to give it to my nephew, confirmed tomorrow, but I'd also recommend it to anyone who is searching for the bigger picture.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple is hardest, 17 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Any work of art, including a book, that seems simple but is also very attractive, is very difficult to create. This apparently simple explanation of some essential Christian concepts has behind it the full power of one of the greatest theological minds of our age. That is why it should find a wide audience. People do not want to plough through forests of jargon words; they want concepts explained so that they can continue to think about them and grow in their appreciation. Being Christian does that wonderfully well. But it also gives professional theologians a lot to think about, as well. Simple isn't, really.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for a Confirmation group, 13 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being Christian (Paperback)
You can always rely on Roean Williams to challenge the way you think.
In this short book he takes the basics of the Christian faith and using the rich heritage of thought and reflection scouts out the territory of their meaning. Any mature Christian is going to find points to dispute with Williams or aspects that aren't covered but it needs to be remembered that this is intended to be the beginning of a discussion not the final word.
Williams provides questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader carry on the process of thinking. My only criticism was how short the further reading list was.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another must read from Rowan, 6 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a superb little book,easy to overlook in its apparent simplicity and suggestion of an easy read. Don't be deceived. It is profound, especially the chapter on prayer, which could be used daily for weeks as part of a meditative discipline. It goes without saying that it is sound but that doesn't make it dull. It will have an appeal to those new to faith but is I think a must for any Christian library. Highly recommended.
Gates269@btinternet
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being Christian (Paperback)
Rowan Williams in his inimitable style has written a book that is accessible to both experienced Christians by challenging assumptions and reminding them of the basics of living a Christian life and to new Christians by giving them the basics and a good grounding in the essentials of living a Christian life. If you are struggling for a confirmation gift this is it. Simple yet challenging. well worth the read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 6 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a book which could - and probably should - be read by everyone. Christians will grow by reading it, seekers will learn and unbelievers prepared to think will gain insights.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 27 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Easy to understand and easy to read. Rowan Williams makes wonderful sense in this book. The Eucharist section helped me a lot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Shepherds Who Feed Only Themselves (Jude 1:12), 17 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I only purchased this book because it was 1.49 at the time - about all it's worth (and even then it's overpriced!). At the current price (as an e-book of 4.79) and at just under 6 as a paperback this book is a complete waste of money. It's only real value is to see how Christianity (at least in its organised form - COE, RC and Orthodox) is now just used by the authorities to suppress the populace.

Some of Williams' advice is actually quite dangerous. In one section of the book he encourages people to act like Jesus, to unite people together. "Jesus sought out company, and the effect of his presence was to create celebration, to bind people together."

This is nonsense - and dangerous. Jesus received more criticism than acceptance. Some people didn't like what he said (Luke 4:28-29) And of course, in the end, he was crucified! Paul also received similar treatment in Acts 23:10. The late, great Honrus Publicus regularly received criticism because he taught the truth of the Bible.

I suspect this book is designed to be used in courses like Alpha. It has discussions at the end of each chapter and probably has already been purchased by thousands of churches in the UK and in the "Commonwealth". After all, it's by a former AoC. Who can argue with it!

I wonder how much money Rowan Williams made out of the book!

A.M.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Being Christian by Rowan Williams, 8 Aug 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Being Christian (Paperback)
This Book is a brief, but in depth exploration of Christianity, from Baptism through the Bible, the Sacraments to Spirituality. I can't recommend it strongly enough. Over 30 copies purchased for distribution to a variety of individuals coming to faith, preparing for confirmation or just refresher for peoples knowledge of their own faith.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Being Christian
Being Christian by Rowan Williams (Paperback - 20 Mar 2014)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews