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Theresa White – Hope and the Nearness of God: The 2022 Lent Book

Bloomsbury Continuum

ISBN 979 1 4729 8419 7

Price £9.99

217 pages

At one point there only used to be one main Lent book each year. In recent years there have been a number of candidates jostling for our attention. This means that there is a choice to be made; why should we choose Hope and the Nearness of God?

Theresa White is a woman, a Roman Catholic and a nun. These are three things we do not have in common. Yet sometimes it is helpful to move out of our comfort zones to explore our faith from a slightly different angle.

The theme of this book is hope. Theresa White gets at least a 9 out of 10 for starting off her book with the doctrine of providence, and for defining it so clearly.

I appreciated her use of Augustine throughout the book, but particularly here, as seeing: “… the footprints of God in creation.”

What I liked about the author’s approach is that it seeks to retain a robust theology of hope without being sentimental or simplistic. The author knows that it is a tough world out there, and many people are live lives that could crush them. Life is dark but the darkness is not what defines the believer’s life. This is due to fact that even in those dark moment’s God, although unseen and often silent, is near.

Each chapter concludes with useful questions for individual or group study, and other ideas for exploring the issues further.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.

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