Book Review: Lent for Everyone: Mark, Year B @SPCKPublishing

Lent is on it’s way! And in preparation for that, SPCK Publishing have asked me to review this book by none other than Tom Wright. I’ve recently reviewed another recent book by him called ‘Simply Jesus’, and if you’re interested in that then please see my review in the ‘library’ on my blog.

But, back to the matter in hand: Lent for Everyone, Mark: Year B, is a book that you will benefit from if you like a daily quiet time, especially through Lent. I feel that we too often forget about Lent in the Christian calendar if we don’t attend a church which follows liturgical seasons. So why not start to find the value in Lent if you haven’t done already and by this book? It’s reasonably priced and will be a great resource for years to come. Have a look at the full review by clicking here.

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Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about

  • Ryan

    Dean, I often read your website and all the comments passively, without judgement or comment.

    During debates, I have seen you be quick to dismiss people who do research on religion, concluding that reading the Bible and a few books on religion is not enough to get a full idea of the subject. I would argue that reading the Bible is sufficient and reading other books is merely others takes on the Bible but that is a completely different matter and one I don’t want to get into. You are also quick to recommend religious books to atheists and in their follow up comments you repeatedly ask whether they have read it. I’m unsure if you aware of doing this.

    You, on the other hand, cannot tell other people they have not done their research on the other side of the argument when your planned books, recent and current books that I have seen have only ever been centered towards Christianity (or just neutaral) and never the counter arguments. If an atheist recommends a book it is one thing to say you will read it but if your reading lists are anything to go by then you have a very ignorant point of ‘research’.

    I am under the impression you are a theology student, I seem to remember it being mentioned somewhere a while back,and as a result I would expect your reading list to be much less biased.

    • Ryan, I’m not quite sure what your comment has to do with this particular post, and it may have been wiser to contact me directly over the issues you’ve raised. Nonetheless, I will answer your comments and what seem to be accusations.

      Firstly:

      “I have seen you be quick to dismiss people who do research on religion, concluding that reading the Bible and a few books on religion is not enough to get a full idea of the subject”

      I don’t dismiss people at all. Indeed, I have every power to refuse to publish comments and/or to delete those I don’t want to answer. I have never done this, and make every effort to reply to each comment that is posted on here, as I am doing with you now. Similarly I have never concluded that reading the Bible and a few books will sort everything out. I’m perfectly aware that at the end of the day, taking on Christian truth is ultimately an act of faith and that is my conviction.

      Secondly:

      “I would argue that reading the Bible is sufficient and reading other books is merely others takes on the Bible but that is a completely different matter and one I don’t want to get into.”

      Well in that case, don’t put your argument across in the first place. Seen as you have, I’m going to give you my answer to your ‘argument’. Firstly, it depends what reading the Bible is sufficient for. To find faith? Yes, certainly. For understanding difficult passages of scripture? Not so. The whole reason we have commentaries and apologetics is to open up scripture to us and to help us understand it in a deeper and more meaningful way. It seems very fundamental-esque to suggest that ‘all other books are merely other takes’ and that view seems, in my understanding, to discredit and possibly label the works of other’s who really want to see people grow and mature in their Christian faith by reading books as heterodox.

      Thirdly:

      “You are also quick to recommend religious books to atheists and in their follow up comments you repeatedly ask whether they have read it. I’m unsure if you aware of doing this.”

      Yes I am, especially apologetics books because they carry more authority than I do myself, personally. Yes, I do ask people whether they’ve read those books because they expect me to give them an answer to something, and when they aren’t satisfied I recommend something that may explain things in a better way. If they aren’t prepared to do that, then I assume that they are only asking questions for argument’s sake, and not out of general enquiry or interest. And yes, I am completely aware that I’m doing this, and I do it for good reasons as mentioned above.

      Fourthly:

      “You, on the other hand, cannot tell other people they have not done their research on the other side of the argument when your planned books, recent and current books that I have seen have only ever been centered towards Christianity (or just neutaral) and never the counter arguments.”

      No one is asking me to do research for the ‘counter arguments’ and I spent over half my life so far being an atheist. If people ask me to read a book then I do my best to do so. The reason all the books in my ‘library’ are Christian is because a Christian Publishing company ask me to review their books. It’s by no means an exhaustive list of books that I’ve ever read.

      Fifthly:

      “If an atheist recommends a book it is one thing to say you will read it but if your reading lists are anything to go by then you have a very ignorant point of ‘research’.”

      The problem is that an atheist hasn’t asked me to read a book. So in that regard I don’t think your comment is fair.

      Sixthly:

      “I am under the impression you are a theology student, I seem to remember it being mentioned somewhere a while back,and as a result I would expect your reading list to be much less biased.”

      You are under the right impression; I am a theology student. But why would you expect my reading list to be less biased? Theology is about the study of God as a given, not to find out whether he exists or not. At another approach, I do read a lot of varying theologies and am currently exploring the nature of Science and Christianity and how they relate, which includes a lot of reading of Dawkins and Hutching, and Hawking, just to name a few.

      I hope this clearly explains your concerns. I do feel a bit upset that you’ve accused me of things that I genuinely don’t see as being problems. However, I wish to say now that I’m very open to reading books that people recommend to me, yet I’m first and foremost a theology student, and that’s where my passion lies (apart from for Jesus, of course). I do hope you continue to read the blog, and if you need to know anything else about how this blog works and what I’m about, then please see the ‘About me’ section, or read this blog disclaimer. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Dean.