Review - The books of John Bunyan

by Chris Savage
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

Don’t be fooled by the title! This is not what you think. I am not about to write on the sixty-odd works of the 17th century writer and preacher best known for the Pilgrim’s Progress.

There is a modern-day John Bunyan, a retired Anglican priest living in Australia who is also a faithful member of Modern Church and, thanks to our editor Anthony Woollard, he got in touch with me and sent three slim books he compiled:

  • Conservation, Common Prayer and Communion;
  • Four Score Deodatus, an autobiographical anthology of prose and verse; and
  • Sing Heart and Mind, a Coverdale Daily Psalm book.

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Review - A liberal and godly Dean: A life of Edward Carpenter by Michael De-la-Noy

by Marcus Braybrooke
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

There was, as he wished, no Memorial Service for Edward Carpenter, who was Dean of Westminster from 1974-1985.

This biography is a fitting memorial. It was written by the distinguished biographer Michael De-la-Noy in 2000, but was unpublished at the time of Michael’s death in 2002. It has now been published by the family who have made minor corrections.

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Review - Heart of Oneness: A little book of connection by Jennifer Kavanagh

by Alan Race
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The subtitle ‘a little book of connection’ is misleading. Although the text is a manageable 66 pages, its thought-world is big.

If you are prone to anxiety in the face of what seems like the world’s many-layered fragmentations, this will supply balm for your fears, raise your sights and provide some spiritual succour.
There are attractive summary sentences that beam out on almost every page, such is the author’s evocative style. Here’s one that made me sit up, on p.59:

When you understand it, when you really understand it, not just in your intellect, but in the bones of your being, that there is no separation between you and absolutely everything, which includes the divine, then the game changes.

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Review - Meeting evil with mercy: An Anglican priest’s bold answer to atrocity by Philip Pegler

by Tim Purchase
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

The return to acceptance of meditation as something mainstream, and the availability of information about alternative religious practices has made this book more readable for many, although one has to say that, if the reader has little or no knowledge of spiritual contemplation, they may find the work difficult to understand.

Quite clearly the author, Philip Pegler, holds the subject of his book, the late Rev Dr Martin Israel, in extremely high regard. It does become clear, early in the book, that the lives of both men were very similar, not so much in actual place, but in experience and the desire for ultimate truth.

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Review - The authority of service and love: A recovery of meaning by Roger Payne

by Alan Jeans
from Signs of the Times No. 69 - Apr 2018

This is the second book by Roger Payne, a Reader in the Church of England.

His first, A different way: A human approach to the Divine, explored the use of language and the meaning of words. From that book, he believed the word ‘authority’ needed reassessment, particularly when applied to ‘religious authority’. The authority of service and love seeks to show that our understanding of authority must change if we are to be true to the message of Jesus.

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