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Outside Eden: Finding hope in an imperfect world

Author: Peter Fisher
Published By: SPCK (London)
Pages: 160
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 978 0 281 05995 9

Reviewed by Terry Hinks.

Peter Fisher’s book Outside Eden is not a perfect book, but then it does not claim to be. One of the attractive qualities of this thought provoking book is the way in which the author ends each chapter with a paragraph entitled ‘On further reflection....’.  This afterthought raises questions about what has been written and adds further areas for consideration.

The whole book is a wise and helpful reflection on imperfection in ourselves, the church and the world. It leads into explorations of acceptance (in a chapter entitled ‘Loving our mess’), prayer and silence (before the God who is beyond our definitions), Christian witness and action (‘imperfect evangelism: treasure in clay pots’), death and grace. The author draws from the poetry and life of W H Auden to illustrate his themes; I found this helpful at times and artificial at others.  His use of personal experience was human, humorous and insightful.

This is a valuable book for personal reflection and for preaching in our success-driven and flawed world and church.

Terry Hinks

United Reformed Church Minister and Ministry Today Board Member

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You are reading Issue 46 of Ministry Today, published in July 2009.

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