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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written account of one pilgrim's progress., 22 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Spiritual Tourist: A Personal Odyssey Through the Outer Reaches of Belief (Paperback)
This is a wonderful book beautifully written, as might be expected by a professional journalist, but with the humility and integrity of an earnest seeker after the truth. Brown's pilgrimage essays the search that all of us at one time or another must embark on in order to try to make sense of our own existences. Predictably it offers no answers and there is no safe haven at journey's end: the bleak and sometimes terrifying idea that we may be, that all of this might simply be the result of the random jostling of cataclysmic forces that none will ever truly be able to understand, is not banished by cosy but ultimately unconvincing conclusions. It has a similar feel to Will Storr's book, 'Will Storr vs the Supernatural'. Both written by journalists who are both on the trail of truth but this is slightly less tongue in cheek and slightly more reverential!

Following the echoed call from Christ's exhortation to seek the truth Brown searches for it along the unsurprising and well trodden byways towards India's ashrams as well as the somewhat more prosaic but, at least, genuinely surprising streets of North London in search of the miraculous and provides an interesting, informative and, often, humorous account of the `sages' he encounters and their acolytes. As I said, it offers no answers but it just might inspire the `right' questions.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2009 00:36:04 BDT
Anna says:
Hi :o) I just saw a comment you left for me in Ian's "The Passion" review... am so sorry it took so long to reply. I only found myself back at the review tonight, so didn't know anyone had posted. Eep. Is it something you'd still like to talk about a little?

I hope you're having a fab weekend. x

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2009 19:16:01 BDT
Hi Anna,

Can't remember what my comment was but hope it was polite! But yes, why not!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2009 23:44:27 BDT
Anna says:
It was very polite! :o) You posted:

"Anna,

I accept everything you say and obviously you have a right not to answer this question because it isn't related to the production under discussion but why exactly did Christ have to die to atone for our sins? Why did anyone need to die? Isn't that completely at odds with the idea of a loving God?"

It's something I struggled with for a long time. I've only been a Christian for 3 years, so I want to say, honestly, am barely past step 1 :o) But I believe it's because it was the primary way He fulfilled Jewish prophesy. Cos, remember, the Jews are His chosen people; He chose to be born into a Jewish family, and His sacrifice was also done for them. The Jewish tradition of sacrificing the perfect lamb goes back before Moses. They didn't give God the bits they didn't want, or the animal they weren't gonna use: they sacrificed the perfect one, and that tradition was woven into the fundamental fabric of the Jewish culture for thousands of years. Jesus was the perfect lamb - flawless, and sinless and given to God to atone for us.

Christ forgave people and healed people during His ministry, but when He died, He took *all* of our sin and pain, and it was nailed to that cross with Him. He conquered it when He rose again, and His sacrifice means we can accept that forgivness now.

To us it seems brutal - society back then *was* brutal, but that was the covenant they shared with God. God became man to give us a new covenant, where no sacrifice need be made, ever again. Jesus completed the covenant of sacrifice when He rose again. He said "It is finished" just before He died: meaning our sin, and our pain, in part. And His purpose, and His life. But also the old covenant and laws and way of life - and He was right, because look at how Christianity was spread by Jewish followers of His. It's still growing even to this day.

The other thing you have to remember is, He suffered more than any of us can *possibly* fathom. Hours and hours of being tortured and brutalised and finally murdered... and yet He accepted that punishment because He loves us. And even after He came back - and to this day - He loves us. That He allowed Himself to be sacrificed and still loves us is a testament to His goodness and His glory.

Lastly, He was murdered, and He came back. Hundreds of people saw Him and spoke with Him and ate with Him after the resurrection. That was the thing that truly made people follow Him and spread the Good News... only something as *drastic and miraculous* as coming back from death showed people that He really is God.

It's funny, it's so easy to feel like God is cruel, or wrathful. I feel like that sometimes. But Jesus *is* God. He allowed Himself to be killed, and He did it for us. It doesn't make God cruel - it shows how head over heels in love with us God really is.

Anyway, have talked way too much, am sorry. I don't know if this has helped, at all, but am more than happy to carry on chatting if you'd like to :o) Take care. x
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