9780781452618 / 0781452619

Questions of Life: A Practical Introduction to the Christian Faith


Publisher:David C. Cook Publishing Company



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About the book:

Defining itself as "a practical introduction to the Christian faith", this paperback is addressed both to those who want to find out more about Christianity and those who have recently come to faith. The book is based on the massively successful "Alpha" enquirers' course which the author runs at his church in London, from which it had spread to over 7,000 other churches by the beginning of the year 2000. Indeed, it is partly designed to accompany that course, for each chapter has as a "study guide" a set of questions intended to prompt further thinking (and facilitate discussion, if used in groups). There are 15 such chapters, with titles such as "Who is Jesus?", "Why did Jesus die?", "Why and How Do I Pray?".

The first three chapters argue for the truth of the Christian gospel. The rest of the book assumes the reader is a believer and presents the initial steps of the Christian life in a clear, lively and accessible manner. Though Gumbel is a clergyman in the Church of England, he does not plug Anglicanism. Indeed, he dissolves denominational questions, claiming to take his understanding of the church straight from the New Testament. Readers should be aware that the book has a pronounced charismatic slant. For instance, there are three chapters on the Holy Spirit, but none on the Father. More striking still, the section on speaking in tongues is significantly longer than that on the Resurrection. Nevertheless, the cross-denominational success of the Alpha course shows that members of other Christian traditions can enjoy and benefit from its approach. --Michael Ward

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