Season of Change and a good book

by on February 10, 2014

Last Wednesday morning we left the driveway in Hamilton, Ontario in a storm expected to drop 20+cm of snow and crept along the highway in a sea of white. Last Friday morning, we arrived in sunny, muggy, and very warm Brisbane, Australia. Tomorrow morning, classes start here at Queensland Theological College. Meanwhile we’re looking for a place to live, a car to drive, and having many adventures and making many new friends along the way. Please pray with and for us!

In the midst of all this, I’m late on a book review for Magnificent Obsession by David Robertson. But let me say a bit about David, and about why I jumped at the chance to pick up this book (and tell others about it!). David is a pastor in Dundee, Scotland. A few times while I was a seminary student in Jackson, MS, he came over for a missions conference, or a debate with a prof at Millsaps. He would always come by the seminary and chat with us as students, and he’d visit the church I attended, as well. You might call me a fan of his, though I’ve no reason to expect he remembers me.

David is not just a pastor who travels and talks to seminary students, though. David is very much in touch with our culture and in constant dialogue with unbelievers. He takes the questions and challenges of unbelievers seriously, and challenges those he addresses to an intellectual honesty that goes both ways. This was a significant feature in his response to Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusionwhich he later published as The Dawkins Letters. In the present work, many years of conversations and correspondence have been sifted, shaped, and crafted into a similar pattern of letters. The resultant format, which some reviewers have found off-putting, can be instead quite refreshing—as though you, the reader, are the doubter or sceptic David dialogues with, meets for coffee, and emails back and forth. I’m only a few chapters in at present, but already feel I recommend this book warmly both to doubting friends and to fellow Christians who need a model for truly listening to and engaging their neighbors.

More to follow, both on the book and on our travels and adjustments!