The Bad Christian's Manifesto - Dave Tomlinson
Hodder £13.99 ISBN978-1-444-75225-0
I love reading Dave Tomlinson's books. I know I'm never going to be left feeling indifferent to the contents – I may not agree with all his theology, but maybe that's not the most important thing. What he manages to do is to unpack the generous, compassionate love of God in a way that brings a tingle to everyday life.
Vicar of St Luke's Holloway, he's a regular contributor to Pause for Thought on Radio 2, and has attracted flak in the media for taking the funerals of Ronnie Biggs and fellow train robber Bruce Reynolds. He's even been adopted as spiritual advisor to atheist church The Sunday Assembly.
Each person, each circumstance, each area of life is pregnant with God's presence if only we have eyes to see it, argues Tomlinson. The gospel is a radical invitation to share the welcome of God with those all too easily judged and rejected – an opportunity to see people and love people as Jesus did.
You'll have plenty of questions as you read Dave's take on living as a follower of Jesus in today's world, but before you pigeonhole him as an irreverent liberal, give some time to thinking through the generous inclusivity of his theology, and the heart that sees him mix with and welcome so many society rejects, and point them to Jesus. There's wisdom and grace here many of us can learn from.