Surely one of the toughest commissions of the Christian year must be the writing of an Advent – or indeed a Lent – book. Reflecting afresh on the apparently familiar, the well-known, is a considerable challenge.
I am glad to say that the Revd. Dr Rodney Holder rises splendidly to this challenge – and that he has a wide range of perspectives to accompany the daily Readings which flow from 1st December to the 6th January.
His background informs his insights – where he finds, for instance, comparisons between science and prophecy, remarking that while the Higgs boson was *predicted* to exist in 1964, it was only finally observed in 2012…setting this beside the ‘truly remarkable prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah made some 540 years before Jesus was born’. He goes on to draw out the challenges that these prophecies face us with – how can it be fair and just that someone else should suffer for my personal failings? Unlike many other writers, he is not content to pose questions, but leads us to real answers, inviting us to discuss them further.The insights, like the Readings, are lively and varied – the acid test, if you like, lies in our wanting to read on, to look forward to the next day’s readings and accompanying comments.
The reflections for discussion at the end of each day, pull out all kinds of aspects – from music, to art, to practical issues of social justice – with a focused, end-of-book section for debate on what we actually can do: reading is never enough, faith is always bound to include action.
I find this book warmly interesting and thoroughly intriguing: this will certainly be my preferred book to travel through the days of Advent 2014.
Reviewed by Mrs. Lavender Buckland LLM
Special price of £6.99 in the shop (posted out for free) or £4.99 + postage from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk between 1st and 19th December 2014. RRP £7.99