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on 19 January 2014
Looking through the Cross is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2014. In the introduction Graham Tomlin writes, `This book is an act of two kinds of looking - looking at and looking through'. In the first two chapters he looks at the cross, first, as the place where God's wisdom is revealed in apparent foolishness and, second, where God heals the wound at the heart of creation through an unfathomable act of self-emptying love. The rest of the book is a series of meditations on how our vision might be enlarged as we look through `the lens of the cross' and begin to look at the world with fresh eyes. He explores how the cross affects our perceptions of power, identity, suffering, ambition, failure and reconciliation. The final chapter looks at the significance of our lives in light of the cross and resurrection of Christ.
Tomlin is a very clear writer who weaves together insights from a vast array of sources in order to shed light on the implications of the cross for Christians. He draws on the bible, history, theology, literature and current affairs with a real lightness of touch that does justice to the subject and encourages the reader to take the risk of engaging more deeply Jesus' call to take up our own cross and follow him.
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on 3 March 2014
Very well written and cogently argued. Have read it in the run-up to Lent and it has given me some clear ideas about how to focus on some important aspects of my life and faith in this season.

I read it as an e-book and it has been sloppily proof-read somewhere along the line. At points it seemed there was a typo on almost every other page.

Despite this, a really stimulating read.
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on 5 February 2014
This is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking read. It will make you marvel again at how amazing the cross of Christ is and the many ways in which our lives can be transformed by the work of Christ.
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on 22 February 2014
would appeal to anyone who thinks about Christianity on an intellectual as well as spiritual level. good any time of year.
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on 20 June 2014
I was attracted to the cover of the book because it is an image of Christ crucified that leaves much to the imagination; like a modern day stained glass window. It seems most appropriate to the title of the book, and definitely helped me to 'look through the lens of the cross'. The introduction highlights the difference between 'looking' and 'seeing' and talks of 'reflection in a mirror' and 'looking through something', and 'through the lens of the cross'. To me these words alone led me to expect quotations and references to St Clare of Assisi's 'mirror mysticism' and her letters to Agnes of Prague. However, this was not to be, but it did not detract from the excitement of the book, which was difficult to put down.
Although the book was intended for Lent study 2014, it is deffinitely a book of all seasons, a book that can be, and should be read any time, and again and again. It can also be dipped into as needed. Tomlin has done a great job.
I strongly recommend the book.
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on 10 May 2014
The Lent books I've read before either have a session a day or a long session a week. This book broke away from that concept, which at first I liked but then decided was a flaw. i wanted to read it throughout Lent and I couldn't work out how much to read each day. I didn't finish it. There are some very good ideas in it so perhaps I will try again next year.
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on 26 March 2014
Well worth reading and re-reading during Lent. Through the lens of the Cross it focuses on nine areas: Wisdom, Evil, Power,
Identity, Suffering, Ambition, Failure, Reconciliation and Life.
There is only one, passing, reference to Divine Judgment but that is a teaching avoided by all these days. Our Lord did not shrink from it (sheep and goats, wheat and tares etc) and the Scriptures abound in the topic but political correctness trumps orthodoxy!
But for that perceived deficiency it might have had 5 stars!
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on 23 April 2014
The key themes of Easter: suffering, death and resurrection - are all examined in the light of contemporary (including anti-Christian) thought and writing.

The book is loyal to its stated objective of looking at life through the cross - i.e our sharing in both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ - and uses this insight to unpack some of Paul's richest and most stirring writing.

I would agree with others' comments that the kindle version needs to be proof read and corrected.
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on 27 June 2014
The strength of Tomlin's book is the sheer level of insight he has into the impact of the Cross for the Christian life. The book is probably important enough to be read at any time (not just Lent). In all our reading it can be easy to forget matters of real importance. This is a book worth mulling over slowly.

The many typos don't really distract, but given the importance of what is under discussion, it would be far better without them.
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on 19 April 2014
Looking through the Cross presents an assessment of how a Christian's perspective on failure, suffering and dealing with evil can be balanced with reconciliation and having life more abundantly, especially when the motivation for Jesus's crucifixion was God's love for our inadequacies. Well researched and clearly written. There is a wonderfully up-beat final chapter which underlines Christ's promise that death ends in life - not the other way round.
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