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How to be a bad Christian … And a better human being

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“How to be a bad Christian … And a better human being”
was the title of our Christian Book Club’s book for March, by far, I think, the longest title of any chosen book. I first heard about it when it was mentioned by Janey Lee Grace when she appeared at Central last autumn. It was written by Dave Tomlinson, the vicar of her Church. (He doesn’t tend to use his title, “Rev”, so I won’t.)
So what’s it about? The flyleaf includes the questions “Would you describe yourself as spiritual but not religious?” and “Do you want to think with your soul rather than trying to follow rules”. Although I found the book very easy to read, I also found it made me think, as it raised some very interesting questions. For example about my relationship with my God; was this as personal as it should be or was it too bound by ritual, dogma and self-searching? And about my service to God; as an Elder, was I too bogged down with building projects, the ritual of our Church Services, etc to pay proper consideration to the spiritual side of my responsibilities?
Having recommended the book to the Book Club I was concerned as to their reaction to it. Would they find it on one hand too bland or, on the other hand, perhaps, offensive? I’m pleased to say I needn’t have worried. Without exception they all enjoyed it and, like me, found in it things to think about and question. Although not everyone attached the same importance or interest in all the questions it raised, I think it is fair to claim that all of us found it helped us to take a fresh look at aspects of our personal relationship with and understanding of God and the way in which we should approach and serve Him.
As an aside, some of us were surprised that such a book should be written by a C of E vicar. Perhaps a reminder that the C of E is a very broad Church, something we may forget when so many of its churches in our area would be classified as “High Churches”.
I won’t say any more about this book as I think anyone who reads it would find their own personal message and questions and that these will vary from person to person. I strongly recommend it to you all.
The next meeting of the Christian Book Club is on 22nd April when we meet at Carol Tyler’s to discuss “To Kill a Mockingbird”. (An earlier Monday than normal as the B.B. awards evening is on the 29th.) Our May meeting is back to the normal last Monday, the 27th, when we will be looking at Psalms selected by the members.

Author: Dave Tomlinson



How to be a bad Christian … And a better human being

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