Growing Up into the Children of God: Exploring the Paradoxes of Christian Maturity


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Book Details

Format: Paperback (150 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-020-3

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A strong, mature faith is vital for Christians and for the life of the Church.

Written out of the experience of his personal faith journey and many years as a Church of England priest, David Newman offers ways of thinking about and experiencing faith which equips individuals in their growth as people and as Christians. and also shows how people with different understandings of theology, worship and politics can learn to understand each other better in order to participate more fully in the life of the Church and the mission of God.

The book is also a dialogue between different groups in the Church—liberal and evangelical, old and young, inherited and new church—such that the energy and wisdom of each might benefit the other and the whole. At a time when the Church struggles with demarcations and even divisions by age, theological outlook and styles of worship, it invites Christians to develop frameworks of united diversity that enable the Church to have a credible witness in today’s complex and fragmented world.  

In this honest, warm-hearted and generous book, David Newman seeks to lead those whose faith was found and nurtured in evangelical, Pentecostal or charismatic fellowships gently towards a Christianity that is perhaps a little more self-aware, inclusive and open to doubt. Sharing the fruits of many years of biblical study, and integrating them with reflections on practical ministry and lessons learnt in prayer, he shows how he has moved away from an inevitably self-defeating perfectionism to seeing life as a redemptive adventure. Tracing a journey of faith which begins in belief with a capital B and moves on to Trust with a capital T, it shows how faithful people become more and more hopeful and joyful as they face more and more reality, including the reality of disappointment and change. Although ostensibly about becoming more childlike, this is a work of genuine maturity.

Stephen Cherry, Dean of King's College, Cambridge and author of Beyond Busyness

Growing doesn't happen by accident. To be truly, deeply and faithfully alive takes time, honesty and attentiveness. David Newman offers a book of profound and gentle wisdom for this task. He writes as a fellow traveller who knows the terrain, can guide through bewilderment and who traces the elusive pathways that lead to life. Here is a companion and guide for those who know their need in distracting and confusing times.

David Runcorn, Spiritual Dierctor and Writer

David Newman seeks in this book to “encourage a child-like faith while rejecting childish patterns of thought”. To do so he describes, from a variety of angles, that dependence, vulnerability and sense of asymmetric partnership in divine-human relationships which from a human point of view is about being grown-up children. The author makes a convincing case, covering an enormous amount of ground in such a short volume (from suffering to discernment to the nature and purpose of church) blending scripture, personal experience and theological reflection in a highly readable style.

The Rt Revd Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich

This is a useful and intriguing little book, which speaks to one of the greatest dilemmas facing the contemporary Church: how is the Church to grow while retaining its increasingly elderly core? … There are useful insights here, not least that a genuine interdependence between youth and experience is not only possible, but also necessary and creative. … This would be a good volume for informal study, especially in church communities that are seeking a new way to handle challenges from the past and future. Each chapter ends with probing questions for further thought and discussion.

The Revd Angela Tilby, Church Times

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