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29 September 2017

Listening: Hearing the heart by Robin Daniels (Instant Apostle, £8.99 (£8.10); 978-1-909728-74-5).

We can all hear words spoken, but how many of us can hear the heart? Listening is an essential guide to understanding the heart behind what another says and empowering the speaker to find healing. Such deep listening involves an encounter between God, self and the other, one that leads to self-discovery for both listener and speaker as they journey together. Written in five parts, Listening celebrates the transformative power of hearing the heart and considers how we can grow in this.

 

Bound to be Free: The paradox of freedom by Graham Tomlin (Bloomsbury, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-1-4729-3950-0).

Could it be that at the heart of our secular vision of freedom there is a fatal flaw, which means it can never square the circle of personal liberty and social cohesion that we all long for? In this accessible, significant and deeply thoughtful book, Graham Tomlin argues that the Christian vision of freedom offers a way to think about liberty that can bring together both personal fulfilment and the health of community life in a way that secular versions have failed to do.”

 

Charles Dickens: Faith, angels and the poor by Keith Hooper (Lion, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-7459-6851-3)

“A journalist, commentator, historian, and the social conscience of a nation, Charles Dickens’ influence and reach extended far beyond that normally associated with a novelist. Although the subject of numerous books, none have sought to detail how the writer tried through his work to change the hearts of his readers. In this authoritative and highly readable new biography, Keith Hooper explores the nature and development of Dickens's faith, and the means by which it was expressed.”

 

Priest of Nature: The religious worlds of Isaac Newton by Rob Iliffe (OUP, £22.99 (£20.70); 978-0-19-999535-6).

Newton's unusual - or even downright heretical - religious opinions were well known to a number of his contemporaries. For over two centuries the exact nature of his religious beliefs was a matter of intense debate, but by the middle of the nineteenth century it was public knowledge that he had held highly unorthodox conceptions of the Trinity. In the last few years millions of words from his previously unpublished religious writings have become publicly available, making it possible to offer a considered account of their content, and to assess what they tell us about the man. In Priest of Nature, Newton scholar Rob Iliffe does just that.”

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The Day the Revolution Began: Rethinking the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion by Tom Wright (SPCK, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-0-281-07860-8). New in paperback.

Tom Wright invites you to consider the full meaning of the event at the heart of the Christian faith - Jesus' crucifixion. As he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope, Wright once again challenges commonly held beliefs, this time arguing that the Protestant Reformation did not go far enough in reshaping our understanding of the Cross. With his characteristic rigour and incisiveness, he goes back to the New Testament to show that Jesus' death not only releases us from the guilt and power of sin, but is nothing less than the beginning of a worldwide revolution that continues to this day - a revolution that creates and energizes a movement responsible for restoring and reconciling the whole of God's creation.”

 

Selected by Frank Nugent, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.

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