Guest Recommendations

Guest Reviewers recommend both new and favourite books...

Jim CurrinCaptain Jim Currin, CA

Jim Currin was commissioned in the Church Army in 1979 and served in Manchester and Milton Keynes before joining the CA College Staff to teach Evangelism Studies. He then led the CA double-decker bus project in Cumbria, before becoming the Diocesan Officer for Evangelism, during the Decade of Evangelism. Since then he has been an area Operations Manager for the Church Army and now he works for Churches Together in England with the brief for mission and evangelism. When not riding his motorbike or sailing his boat he occasionally appears as Capo the Clown. He has written How to Develop a Strategy for Mission for Grove books, and now Paradox in the Gospel?



The Way of Paradox
Author - Cyprian Smith

Paperback (22 November 2004)
Price: £8.95

Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
ISBN: 978-0-232-52520-5

The Way of Paradox

I have always thought that my life was something of a paradox and so when the word caught my eye on the spine of a book in the bargain box of the SPCK bookshop in Sheffield I bought the book. It was a book that caused me to say to several friends, 'This is the most exciting book on theology I have ever read!'

Now reprinted by DLT this amazing commentary on the teaching of Meister Eckhart is full of helpful observation by the Benedictine monk who wrote it: Dom Cyprian Smith OSB. I wrote to ask if I could go and see him at Ampleforth but he declined saying that he wrote 'not knowing where the ripples would go'. In my case they have gone far and wide. Not only did I take it as a base text for my MA Dissertation, but I have now just submitted a script to Grove books to start a conversation on the question 'Paradox in the Gospel?' I hope the ripples continue.

So rather than me tell you how good I think the book is, let me just quote a paragraph from it, and let you see what you think yourself. The choice could have been from any page.

'When we form the faulty concept of Jesus, and therefore of ourselves, we shall always find, if we look into the matter closely, that the fault lies in our failure to come to terms with the essentially paradoxical nature of the truth. It is very hard to face the fact of being who is both divine and human, spiritual and material, mortal and immortal. The temptation is always to simplify the picture, to get rid of the painful paradox by suppressing one of its components. A being who is wholly spiritual and divine will not be troubled by the humiliating worldly facts of suffering, weakness and death. A being who belongs entirely in this world can cheerfully get on with the task of improving his material environment without being distracted by irrelevant and disquieting thought about the ‘beyond'. To accept both elements of the paradox, to recognize their truth, and to attempt to live them, is difficult and uncomfortable. It is not a task for the lazy, the complacent, the fanatical or the opinionated. It is however, the only way to truth and life'.
(p75 of the 1998 reprint).

Jim Currin

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