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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I cannot praise this book highly enough. It opens up the riches of traditions in the church, and allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about how to build on those traditions. There is none of the dogma that one finds with some contemporary Christian writers.

It doesn't sink to the level of answering the superficial questions that people ask, but...
Published on 18 Aug 2006 by Ms. M. Moules

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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is the point of reading this book?
There are some books (and authors) that I just cannot get into. This was one of them. Not the first book I would give to someone who was hovering on the edge of faith or the second for that matter. Sorry to buck the trend....
Published on 25 July 2011 by Amazon Customer


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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 18 Aug 2006
By 
Ms. M. Moules (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
I cannot praise this book highly enough. It opens up the riches of traditions in the church, and allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about how to build on those traditions. There is none of the dogma that one finds with some contemporary Christian writers.

It doesn't sink to the level of answering the superficial questions that people ask, but looks at the person behind those questions, and how they relate to the world. Like any good writer, he compliments the reader by assuming an ability to engage with the text no matter what their education, and anyone reading this will find something to help them.

He is not patronising, but encouraging, and doesn't push the RC line down one's throat. I'm a Methodist, and found that the book spoke to me far more deeply than many other 'protestant' writers.

I would recommend this as a follow-on from someone like McLaren, or CS Lewis, as it continues the open-hearted and open-minded thinking of both authors.
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131 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So - what is the point? Read this and find out!, 5 Jan 2006
This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
Anyone who thinks that Roman Catholicism is just about preaching a narrow morality would do well to consider the overall message of this book: "God coming to meet us in all the drama of our lives: birth and death, eating and drinking, sex and healing.” Radcliffe is concerned with an inner spiritual life – “breathing with the rhythm of the Eucharist” as he calls it. As is fitting to someone who has been Master of the Catholic Church’s Order of Preachers, he is a great wordsmith, and phrases such as “Grace means we can stretch, stand upright and unwind as we do to prayer the Our Father” rub shoulders with intriguing chapter titles such as “The Body Electric” and “Breeding Pandas.” He cites Rowan Williams with as much ease as he does thirteen-century theologians, and roots his thinking in traditional teaching, in the Gospels. Quirky, humorous, but with a serious set of messages about what really is the point of being a Christian, this is a great book to give focus to a lacklustre Lent or to give colour to the greyer days of the Christian life.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big question, big hearted answer, 4 Aug 2009
By 
Dr. Nicholas P. G. Davies (Halifax, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
I admire authors who set out with a big question, and then bring lots of helpful material together to answer it fully and honestly. To achieve such books successfully usually means that the author has spent most of their life wrestling with a particular question.

In this book Timothy Radcliffe tackles answering his question with a combination of learning, enthusiastic but disciplined passion and many stories and examples. You sense he has a long open hearted experience, which has seen many people and problems. Reading his text it becomes clear that he has not rushed to judgement, nor sought refuge in doctrine, but has sought to understand people and their predicaments.

This is an excellent book that shows exactly what the point of being a Christian is. It is a great book for Christians reflecting on their faith and practice. For those who want to understand more about Christianity and its potential then this book is a good starting point.

It's one of those starting points that we may only recognise fully after some exploration, and as T.S. Elliot says,
"And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

My thanks to Timothy Radcliffe for writing this book which will help many of us to know our faith more deeply.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speak of what you do not know?, 30 July 2009
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
For a man whose experience of life in all its glory can only be limited by his vow of chastity, Timothy Radcliffe seems to have a profound grasp of passion and human relationships. He mixes a rare insight into the human condition with wit and humour which makes me warm to him a great deal. His Catholic roots appear to have branched into the wider sphere of christian belief and I find him so refreshing it's demolished many a preconception I had of the 'narrow-minded, insular and exclusive' Catholic Church. A most challenging and entertaining book, truly ecumenical and sensitive to the yearnings (both secular and spiritual) within many of us.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, rational, 21st century look at Christian belief, 4 July 2009
This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
If you are looking for a sensible critique of Christian faith for the 21st century, buy this book! It is full of insights and anecdotes drawn from the author's experience of running the worldwide Roman Catholic Dominican order, as well as just being an ordinary monk. Timothy Radcliffe deals head on with with the ambiguities of being a Christian in this scientific age of lost innocence. How can we be Christians in a world where the Jewish victims of the Holocaust put God on trial and fouind him wanting? What is the right Christian response to people whose lifestyles radically differ from their own? Timothy Radcliffe does not offer a prescription. Instead he suggests approaches to help us work it out for ourselves.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good!, 25 July 2008
By 
Birmingham Book Reader (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
What's the point of being a Christian is a very open question. But this book does try and answer it. By reading it we see the Church in all of it's traditions. Which are very important. The person reading is allows to find their own path, to draw their own conclusions about how to build on these traditions and change as people.

Great!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Point taken, 21 May 2012
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
I bought this for my daughter a few years ago, and pulled it off her shelf for some Lenten spiritual reading (somewhat belatedly, as I didn't get round to starting it until Easter afternoon). It's an excellent, thought-provoking account which starts with a gentle reminder of (what should be) one of the characteristics of the Christian life: an attractive and intriguing freedom that excites the curiosity of others. The author follows that by sharing his insights into the nature of things like suffering, compassion, justice, community and love. These are huge topics, but they're tackled with an ease that draws the reader along as the differences between the Christian perspective and that of the secular, materialist world is highlighted. Take, for example, this answer (p78) to a question that's been asked in every generation:

"Why is waiting so much part of being a Christian? Why cannot God just give us now what we long for, justice for the poor and perfect happiness for us all? [...] One reason why our God takes so much time is because he is not a god. Our God is not a powerful celestial superman, a sort of invisible President Bush on a cosmic scale who might come bursting in from the outside. [...] God comes from within. He is, as St Augustine said, close to us than we are to ourselves or, as the Qur'an says, closer to us than our jugular vein."

Some might think it surprising to find an reference to the Qur'an in a book written by a Catholic priest, but it easily falls within his wide scope here (for example, he frequently refers with great approval to the words of Rowan Williams, who was Archbishop of Canterbury when this book was written). Those of us who've heard Fr Radcliffe's sermons might have perhaps felt the need to take some of his wise and generous words away to ponder: this book satisfies that very well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 17 July 2009
By 
Michael Davis "Warlock" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
I hesitate to give five stars to any book, but in this case it's warranted. I found this a wonderfully warm, humane, sane, witty and compassionate work, to be read and re-read.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help when we need it, 3 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
In this beautifully written book there is an inflinching look at the difficulties of being a Christian today. But this look is never less than passionate in its hope for all men and in its plea for us to look away from ourselves and our own narrow desires towards the incredible gift which is God's loving path for us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is the point of being a Christian?, 3 Oct 2011
This review is from: What Is the Point of Being a Christian (Paperback)
There are lots of good reasons for being a Christian, but we should not become one for any of these, not even for eternal life.
"The point of Christianity is to point to God as the meaning of our lives."
It is for freedom, not the freedom of choosing from any number of breakfast cereals or designer goods, but for the true freedom and happiness of sharing in God's life, and pointing others to Him. It is the freedom to make the right choice and do the right thing from being rooted in God. This also means being in community and doing the right thing for the benefit of others.
"Spontaneous acts of kindness" and "a generosity of spirit" as others have put it.
Radcliffe puts the Eucharist at the heart of this, Christ's body for the disciples, the church, and His blood shed for the many who will come to faith through the witness of the church.

The blurb on the back cover claims this book has a "prophetic edge." Indeed what Radcliffe wrote in 2005, and has been reprinted twelve times, is highly relevant to the questions being asked after the looting and arson of August 2011.
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What Is the Point of Being a Christian
What Is the Point of Being a Christian by Timothy Radcliffe (Paperback - 17 Nov 2005)
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