Twenty years ago two young students met in Rome. Now George Carey is Archbishop of Canterbury and Gerald O'Collins is a Jesuit, a prolific author, and a teacher at Rome's Gregorian University. A fruit of this ecumenical friendship is that Carey asked O'Collins to write his Lent book for this year.
Following the Way is an exploration of the parables of Jesus. O'Collins divides his topic into four categories: God's Initiative, Receiving the Kingdom, Living the Kingdom and At the End. Within these categories he unpacks 17 different parables or sayings of Jesus. At the end of his commentary on each parable he includes a couple of simple prayers and some creative exercises for meditation. It's hard to write a religious book without getting "churchy" and sometimes O'Collins falls in to pious waffling, but this is countered by his real talent to make the parables come alive with sharp literary references, his own insights and up-to-date stories of faith and courage. Following the Way is a successful Lent book. It makes Christianity relevant; the sections are short enough for busy people to dip into and the author's plan, as well as the publisher's design, makes it easy to use for both individuals and small groups. --Dwight Longenecker [via]