Review: Thinking the Faith, Living the Faith: An introduction to Christian Theology
Author: Chris Walker
Thinking the Faith, Living the Faith by Chris Walker (Sydney: Uniting Church Press, 2017) is subtitled An introduction to Christian Theology. A ministry colleague and friend tells me that only theologians are interested in theology, and many of the introductory books are heavy in both weight and terminology.
By contrast, this very readable book is relatively short, conversational and reliable. Perhaps just as significantly, it makes clear the relation between theology as thinking about faith, and theology as living out that faith in everyday ways.
Christian discipleship in the Uniting Church is built on an informed faith lived in company with other disciples. As an experienced disciple, minister, teacher and leader, Chris Walker is well placed to write this introduction to theology from the context and perspective of the Uniting Church. This perspective is not distinctive, in the sense that the Uniting Church lives and works within the faith of the worldwide Christian church, but it is particular in that it consciously recognises its own context, situation and commitments.
Reading the book arouses many rich conversations that I would love to hold with Chris and other faithful disciples and leaders. The book enables these conversations by providing questions for personal reflection and group discussion. Instead of seeing such questions as a test, view them as an invitation into the conversation with Chris, and with the Christian faith. Chris writes with confident hope in the good news that Jesus Christ still offers – afresh in each context and time – to a desperate, broken and hurting world.
Living out this good news is the task of every disciple, and of faithful communities together, and this introduction to theology helps us navigate the challenges of the contemporary world in thoughtful ways.
Rohan Pryor, Lay Leadership Educator, Centre for Theology and Ministry, Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania