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The Selsdon Baptist Church Book Club is a small group who meet every other month to discuss a Christian-
We have now existed for about four years and have read over 20 books covering a wide range of aspects of faith. Our individual responses to each have also been wide ranging, from books we all liked to those we totally disliked.
The most important thing is that every book has generated an interesting debate; for that reason, I look forward to each session.
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One SBC Book Club book was "Looking through THE CROSS", which is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2014, by Graham Tomlin.
An appropriate choice for Christians at Lent, it is quite a short, and easy to read book, which we all enjoyed.
Although it obviously covers familiar territory, some of us found parts quite uncomfortable.
Looking at things like atonement, reconciliation, humility, identity, power and suffering, by examining the meaning of the Cross in these complex and difficult times.
Another chosen book was "Quiet -
New members are always welcome as their views are bound to contribute to even livelier debates!
If you would like to join us look out in INSight or the Church Notices for future dates.
Books we have read often find their way to the bookstall at SBC if you see mention of something you want to explore further.
The Book group decided it was time for a classic and thus set out to read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
In the book Foster looks at and encourages us to exercise what he sees as the 12 disciplines of the Christian faith: The inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting and study. The outward disciplines are simplicity, solitude (can also be called silence),submission and service and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance and celebration.
Although the book is already more than 34 years old, the language is easy to understand and the examples given still relevant today. It is, however, not an easy read – as I started measuring my own life against it, I realised how much more I can and should be growing in my faith. Foster sets the bar incredibly high in all of the disciplines and constantly encourages the reader to try and to grow, but very importantly, not to allow it to become law, for then it will be dead.
I think this is a book that should be read by us all, and know that I will be returning to it so I can spend more time on each of the chapters (all have daily Bible readings and study notes, which will make it an excellent tool for group Bible studies). One of the group members noticed that the 12 chapters could be easily spread over the 12 months of a year, and I think that is an excellent idea.
In closing I would like to share my favourite quote, from the chapter on the corporate(!) discipline of confession, because I think it is very true for me, and I suspect for some other people too:
‘Confession is a difficult Discipline for us because we all too often view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners.
We feel that everyone else has advanced so far into holiness that we are isolated and alone in our sin.
We cannot bear to reveal our failures and shortcomings to others.
We imagine that we are the only ones who have not stepped on to the high road to heaven.’
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