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The Living Cross: Exploring God's gift of forgiveness and new life Paperback – 18 Nov 2016
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About the Author
Amy Boucher Pye is a writer, speaker and editor, and the author of Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity (Authentic Media, 2015). She runs the Woman Alive book club and enjoys writing Bible reading notes for Day by Day with God and Our Daily Bread, among others. She blogs at amyboucherpye.com
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Top customer reviews
Full disclosure: Amy is a friend of mine, and to be honest, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book if she wasn't. Forgiveness isn't a topic that I felt I needed to learn much about. I've received it (from God and others) and given it (to others and myself) and felt that was enough. However, the book had some really interesting insights and taught me some things I didn't know before. For example, have you ever noticed that in the Old Testament forgiveness is only something that comes from God? He never requires his followers to forgive one another (with the possible exception of Hosea, who was commanded to take back his adulterous wife, but still the word 'forgive' isn't used). The idea that we need to forgive others is entirely a New Testament concept. That's fascinating, and the kind of insight I really enjoy.
The book is very well researched, and includes quotes and insights from a variety of authors, and the suggested exercises at the end of each week's readings included some very creative ways of engaging actively with the ideas rather than simply passively reading. They and the questions Amy provides for further reflection would make it easy to use this book in a small group study context, and I've bookmarked a couple to come back to.
My one criticism would be that a large portion of each day's reading was taken up with retelling the Bible story/events that had already been covered in the passage. I suspect that's a fault of the format Amy was given rather than her own decision, but it did mean that I often felt as though Amy's space for teaching/reflection was cramped by the need to make sure all readers were up-to-speed with the biblical context. Over all, though, Amy managed to find an awful lot more to say about forgiveness than I could have imagined, and condensed it into daily readings that were long enough to feel substantial, but short enough to be able to read two in a day if you missed a day - which was key to me actually finishing on time!
Thought-provoking and helpful (and not just for Lent - buy it now!).
I found it interesting to realise that the Old Testament places the emphasis firmly on God’s forgiveness of us rather than forgiving one another, and her book similarly follows this emphasis. Gentle and helpful, it’s perfect for anyone wanting reassurance of God’s transformative forgiveness. Highly recommended for lovers of devotionals.
Two tiny negatives - too often there was rather too much re-telling of the story rather than exploring the theme or expounding the verses; and the prayers sounded very Anglican when read aloud. But those two points are very small and in no way deflect from the overall positive review. I definitely recommend this book, and it would be good for Lent any year as it is timeless.