Book reviews

Published on: 10 January 2020

A selection of books on the theme of new beginnings, reviewed by Steve Foyster.

If you want to walk on water, consider staying in the boat
Jeff Lucas
CWR (2018) £7.99
Revelation price £6.00

“Life itself, with all its ups and downs, is the classroom; our every day the academy; wisdom takes a lifetime to develop. What matters is that we learn from the wrong turns and mistakes to continue to grow,” says Jeff Lucas.

From many years in Christian leadership the author has learnt a fair few lessons; from the profound to the painful, the embarrassing to the hilarious. Lucas hopes that the reader will benefit from some of the things he wishes he’d known a little earlier on his journey, such as the fact that we are all broken; heroes often go uncelebrated; and sometimes, in order to look afresh, our adventure requires us to faithfully stay put!

Something needs to change: a call to make your life count
David Platt
Authentic Books (2019) £9.99
Revelation price £8.00

What happens when a well-known pastor has his deepest convictions rocked by darkness? Fresh from a trek through some of the highest mountains and remotest villages in the world, David Platt found himself overwhelmed with some deep questions: If the gospel is true and God really is good, then where is God amid extreme poverty and pain? If hell really is a place, does it last forever? Is Jesus really the hope for the world?

In this compelling account of that treacherous trek, the author invites us to eat what he ate, drink what he drank, see the faces he saw, and feel the emotions at every turn. Hopefully you will find yourself eye to eye with some of life’s most challenging questions and face to face with the God who desires to use your life in greater ways than you might have imagined.

Undivided: Coming out, becoming whole and living free from shame

Vicky Beeching

William Collins Publishing (2018 paperback edition) £9.99

Revelation price £8.00

Vicky Beeching began writing songs for the church in her teens and by 30 she was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the poster girl for evangelical Christianity lived with an inner battle; she was gay. Vicky knew that if she ever revealed her sexual identity it would cost her everything.

Despite losing so much upon “coming out” she gained far more; she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability and authenticity. She found peace and became a champion for others, fighting for LGBT equality in the church and beyond, urging people to celebrate diversity and become “undivided”. A compelling, moving and profoundly important read.

Following Jesus: Finding our way home in an age of anxiety

Henri Nouwen (foreword by Richard Rohr) Edited by Gabrielle Earnshaw

SPCK (2019) £12.99 Hardback

Revelation price £10.00

At one of the lowest points in his life, Henri Nouwen gave a series of lectures on the importance of following Jesus in an age of anxiety. Drawing on those talks, this new book reveals the deep turmoil and sometimes chaotic inner life of a man who has become an icon of compassion and vulnerability.

In his imitable eloquent style, Nouwen writes about calling and purpose, fear and hope. The bestselling author offers a compelling case for rediscovering Christianity as relevant, beautiful, intelligent and necessary in the modern world often apparently devoid of love.


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