Banner Image:   Baptist-Times-banner-2000x370-
Template Mode:   Baptist Times
    Post     Tweet

All Questions Great and Small 

The latest book from Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas is steeped in typical honesty and grace

Allquestions225All Questions Great and Small
By Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas
Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN: 978 1 444 79316 1
Reviewed By: Jeannie Kendall

I have to begin with a confession. I was never going to be able to review this book without bias. Decades ago, when I worked in a Christian bookshop, I had the task of reviewing what is (perhaps) one of Adrian Plass’ less-known books, Broken Windows, Broken lives. I loved it, and took what was for me the unusual step of writing to the author to say so. To my great surprise, he graciously made contact to thank me. Since then his books have made me laugh and cry and are “go-to” books if I need to find a smile but also to draw close to God. Jeff Lucas I have only heard once, but he similarly brought laughter and tears.

So it is no great surprise that I like this book. It has emerged from the “Seriously Funny” tour they did together, where they invited questions from the audience. Some they tackle are frivolous: “What’s the worst meal that you’ve had to pretend you liked” or “Do you have a favourite day of the week”…the kind of question to which frankly I don’t really care what their answer is (no offence gentlemen). Even so, their answers are entertaining.

With wonderful honesty, however, they also tackle much more meaningful questions in a way which some might not like, but I loved. It has a refreshing reality. For example, Jeff Lucas’ answer to “are you looking forward to dying” (Answer “Absolutely not” but please buy the book so you can do the answer justice) he acknowledges might engender shock or relief – I was the latter.  I equally loved his answer to a question about speaking in tongues.

We need honesty in the church. We need to own that we are flawed and fallen, that we doubt, and get things wrong – but that we are still eternally loved by a gracious God. Their answers are steeped in that. I have no idea if this unrelenting candour has elicited some criticism, but I do hope not.

This book will not answer every question you have ever wanted to ask a Christian speaker, and it’s not the book for you if you want a theological intellectual fest. It’s not really a book to read in one sitting either – but to take a question or two at a time. But if you want to smile, to cut through the clichés to some reality, and to be reminded again that God is gracious and loves us frail, mixed up human beings, enjoy it. I certainly did.

Thank you, gentleman.

Jeannie is co-minister of Carshalton Beeches Baptist church and a member of the Sutton Street Pastors’ Management Board

Baptist Times, 13/05/2016
    Post     Tweet
Lessons learned from and empathy for lesser known women in the Bible, whose stories can resonate with the lives of women today
Highlights five hidden themes our culture can’t stop talking about - and how to connect them to Christ
In socialising dinosaurs for a Christian audience, the Carrolls are making an important contribution and also raising deep questions
An excellent book about building children's emotional wellbeing for parents, family workers, teachers and preachers, thoroughly based on current research and advice by experts in the field
Excellent book for children with questions about the universe and what it means to be human, and interesting for adults too
Powerful study of Christian communities in Iraq, Gaza, Syria, and Egypt which goes far beyond mere statistics
    Posted: 24/06/2022
    Posted: 18/05/2022
    Posted: 21/01/2022
    Posted: 08/10/2021
    Posted: 17/09/2021