St John the Baptist Parish Church

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Book Club

"Let Live" by John Madeley

On 16 October 2012 the book club met to discuss the book “Let Live” written by John Madeley. Ten days before this John had visited our church and delivered the sermon so that interest to the discussion.

The book is a novel about a bike ride across various African countries. It has a very thin plot; the main purpose of the book is to deliver information about climate change and its effects on the people and land. The “hero” a journalist, meets people who have been driven off their land due to low or no rainfall and crop failures and abandoned villages for the same reason. He becomes the target of CIA plots to discredit or injury him. In between the story there is a “letter from the climate” and other sections setting out the argument/facts for belief in climate change.

The consensus of the group was that we accept the damage that climate change is doing but the book didn’t gel as a novel and belittled the message.

The group discussed the book which then led onto discussing climate change, weather cycles, as well as greed and the over use of natural resources. So perhaps the value of the book is not the read itself but as a means to get people thinking and talking about climate change.


"Simply Jesus" by Tom Wright

On 22 May 2012 we got together to discuss the book that we had been reading; “Simply Jesus” by Tom Wright. We enjoyed lovely birthday cake to celebrate Tom (Watson’s) birthday! Back to the book; the discussion of the book took off from the word go. I had prepared some question about the book but they were not needed at all. We had a very wide ranging discussion - “what does it mean that Jesus is King?”, “how do we live our lives to work for His kingdom here on earth?” – these are some of the questions we wrestled with. The book gives a very clear picture of the historical situation that Jesus was born into using the analogy of a perfect storm for the tensions at that time which we found both helpful and interesting. The book also has many Old Testament references as well as references to the New Testament. The book suggests that “the gospels are not about how Jesus turned out to be God. They are about how God became king on earth as in heaven”. The final part of the book is about what it means today to say that Jesus is King. We found it a book that although challenging did help deepen our understanding of whom Jesus was and is.

There is a copy in the Library. Please do check it out and see what you think.