Book of The Month: July 2012

How God Became King: Getting to the heart of the Gospels

by Tom Wright (2012)


Those of us who heard Tom Wright’s Sarum lectures last year will have been introduced to this excellent book, which starts with the question that informs the whole of it.

Why do the creeds have so much about the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus but nothing about his life and teachings?  As the author says, “What, in other words, about the bit between the stable and the cross?” Tom Wright’s other books, especially Simply Jesus look at the Jesus of history.  This book takes a different angle.

The main thesis if this book is that since the Enlightenment, separating religion from society, Christians of all points of view have failed to hold the life and teachings of Jesus with doctrinal beliefs about his divinity and his saving work.  In looking again at the Gospels we are reminded of four key themes.  The first and second are that we should see them as pointing to Jesus as the climax of the story of Israel, and as the story of Israel’s God coming back to them as had always been promised.  A third key theme is the launching of God’s renewed community of faith. The fourth is the clash of the kingdom of God with the kingdom of Caesar.  Each of these themes make up the central chapters of the book and are closely and passionately argued.

These four themes bring together the kingdom and the cross – the teaching and life of Jesus with his atoning death and glorious resurrection, which when held together brings a sense of the fundamental work of Jesus to bring in dawning of the kingly rule of God on earth.  Finally Wright suggests a new thinking we should be doing when we recite the creed and how we might pray the gospels.

Reviewed by Keith Lamdin, Principal of Sarum College

Published by SPCK, “How God Became King” is normally priced £12.99.  Mention this review to order a copy at the special price of £11.50 and POSTAGE FREE from Sarum College Bookshop until July 31st 2012.  Cheques should be made payable to “Sarum College Bookshop”.

Bumper Book Sale

Saturday 30 June, 10.30am to 3pm

Sarum College Bookshop is hosting a Bumper Book Sale.

Book prices start from 50p, with mostly Christian but some general titles too.

Free event  |  All Welcome





Leaving the Reason Torn: Book Launch with Alison Goodlad

Thursday 28 June at 4pm

Alison Goodlad, a student on Sarum’s MA in Theology, Imagination and Culture has had her book published, and will launch it at Sarum College Bookshop on Thursday 28 June.

The book is entitled ‘Leaving the Reason Torn: Re-thinking the Cross and Resurrection through R.S. Thomas’, and has a foreword by Richard Harries.

Free entry  |  All welcome  |  Tea & Cake

For more information, or to RSVP email or phone 01722 326899


Mindful Ministry: Book Launch with Ross and Judith Thompson

Friday 22 June at 5.30pm

Ross and Judith Thompson will be in Sarum College Bookshop on Friday 22 June to launch their new book, Mindful Ministry.

Christian ministry requires a wide range of skills as well as the ability to reflect theologically. Rooted in the authors’ own experience in ordained ministry, the book offers a constructive resource for all who endeavour to become reflective practitioners.

Free entry  |  All welcome  |  Tea & Cake

For more information, or to RSVP email or phone 01722 326899



Bookshop Bestsellers: May 2012

Here is our list of Bestsellers for the month of May:

Hinduism in Words and Pictures by Sarah Thorley

Common Worship Lectionary – 2012/2013

Finding Your Leadership Style by Keith Lamdin

Christianity with Attitude by Giles Fraser

A Room With A View by Nicholas Holtam

Common Worship – Daily Prayer

How God Became King by Tom Wright

Islam in Words and Pictures by Sarah Thorley

The Art of Worship by Nicholas Holtam

LBS Christian Beliefs (Revised) by Stephen Eyre

Book of the Month: June, 2012

Christianity with Attitude by Giles Fraser

This book is a collection of short articles. The author is currently best known as the until recently Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s who stepped down over his colleagues’ treatment of the Occupy protesters; as arguably the most astringent Christian voice of Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’; and a contributor to Church Times and the Guardian. Dr Fraser’s views ought to shock us into paying attention.

His voice is one of  uncompromising, forthright, raw Christianity. Our God, he says (echoing Luther), is not a bullying parent demanding our submission to a single set of rules. He, who comes to us naked and vulnerable, loves us precisely as we are, asking only that we accept His grace. Yet in His name Christians demand that others conform to their certainties, and bully those who do not (‘Christianity is obsessed with control’) – hence the homophobia still prevalent within the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.

Hence, Islamophobia . Hence also ‘Christian Voice’,  Reform’s attitude to women, Bishop Akinola, and the diocese of Sydney. Fraser (founder and president ofInclusiveChurch) spares none of them in his withering contempt.

The voice of the latter-day  prophet is also that of a father – not least when he knows he must keep his hands from the moulding of his children’s beliefs but fears the results, nor when he shares his loathing of the American fundamentalism that publishes a book on child-rearing advocating hitting babies with sticks.

Though still bitterly opposed to the invasion ofIraq,  the voice is also that of the highly-respected speaker on Ethics and Leadership at theDefenceAcademy, Shrivenham. ‘Ethics’, he says, ‘is not a danger to soldiers. It can be the only purpose of soldiers’ existence.’

Giles Fraser was the lecturer for this year’s Sarum Theological lectures.  Whether or not you managed to hear him, I  very strongly commend this book.

Reviewed by Julia Taylor

Published by SCM Canterbury Press, ‘Christianity with attitude’ is normally priced at £9.99.   Quote this website to order a copy at the special price of £8.99 and POST FREE from Sarum College Bookshop until June 30th 2012. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Sarum College Bookshop’.