Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

A Breath of Fresh Air: Some Thoughts on the Future of the Christian Church in Southern Africa Today

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

A Breath of Fresh Air: Some Thoughts on the Future of the Christian Church in Southern Africa Today

Article excerpt

A Breath of Fresh Air: Some Thoughts on the Future of the Christian Church in Southern Africa Today. By John Suggit. Johannesburg: CPS A Publishing, 2011. 157 pp. $8.00 (paper)

John Suggit is one of South Africa's preeminent Anglican theologians. Since he retired in the early 1990s, he has produced a wealth of material for theological students, clergy, and laity-all in the hope of passing his vast knowledge of biblical languages and of the New Testament world to the next generation.

A Breath of Fresh Air adds another dimension to Suggit's existing works on the canonical Gospels. It includes fourteen chapters, of which ten explore specific stories from the Gospels/Acts and their meaning for Christians today. The opening chapters give an introduction to the Bible as scripture and also the tradition of Christian biblical interpretation. In these opening chapters, and throughout the book, Suggit continuously refers to the Spirit's work in the inspiration of the original writers but also in the contemporary reader as she or he seeks to understand the text almost two thousand years later. His view of the Bible clearly dismisses infallibility, and he notes that his understanding of Jesus as the Word (logos) has implications for the receiving of scripture in the present (p. 135). He suggests that the Word made flesh (John 1:14) is God's way of ensuring that the divine image is communicated through the human being, Jesus Christ, and after the resurrection through the Spirit (p. 148). In other words, he places God's work as inspirer not in the words of scripture alone, but in the way we receive and use them to shape our lives. What is helpful too, is that he acknowledges that the Gospel authors probably did not quote Jesus directly, but rather fashioned their Gospels in such a way as to challenge those who heard them to believe the Good News and find new life through the Spirit.

Suggit notes in the prologue, "The Bible cannot be understood without recognising that it was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek" (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.