Book Review

God With Us’:
The Meaning Of The Cross And Resurrection –
Then and Now

By (Lord) Rowan Williams (2017)

This book was recommended to our St Mark’s ‘Let’s all read the same book and then meet to discuss it’ group by an avid reader within our congregation. He told us that this book was brilliant and on that alone I urged our group to choose it. We meet on May 14th to discuss what the group thinks. I fully agree with our recommender (and it wasn’t Martin Lewis!) that this is a great book.

Our former Archbishop is a prolific writer and I don’t think that his image readily markets his writings to the average person in the pew. You just expect dry, dull, non-commital, wishy-washy, ethereal and far removed from our daily lives – books for theologians in their studies and cloisters.

But, I was pleasantly shocked. I mean how can any book about the Christian faith be raved over by Nicky Gumbel AND Sister Wendy Beckett AND Lucy Winkett: 3 distinct ‘brands’ of church(person)ship!. In addition the Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale also gives this slim volume the highest endorsement.

‘Slim volumes’ are always a challenge to me. Either the book will immediately resonate, perhaps be very superficial and not take long to read or the prose may be so dense with the dots hard to find, let alone join up! Rowan (I hope I can call him that – we were born the same year) succeeds in really explaining our faith clearly and concisely (in plain English) providing a sound overview of what The Cross did and means to us and likewise the Resurrection.

Rowan writes of the cross as Sign, Sacrifice and Victory (3 chapters) and Christ’s Resurrection Then and Christ’s Resurrection Now ( 2 chaps). This is no dull dry theologian but a man with a heart on fire for God – how come I didn’t appreciate that before?!

I found this book so very encouraging. The author’s deep, full-on, day to day faith shines through in all of this masterful summary of what God and Jesus (and HS too!) have done and continue to do for us as we live out our lives together.

Get this book, it’s superb!…. and you can say that you’ve read and understood a great book by a former Archbishop, a Lord and the master of Magdalene College Cambridge. How clever will you feel then?!!

John Sargent