Item description for Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief by Rowan Williams...
Overview Engaging the classic statements of the Nicene and Apostles' creeds, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams eloquently guides readers through the central statements of Christian faith.
Publishers Description Engaging the classic statements of the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams guides readers through the central elements of Christian faith. What does it mean to believe in God? Can God possibly be almighty in the midst of so much evil and disaster? How am I to understand the meaning of Jesus Christ's ministry and resurrection? To what purpose is the church called? And what does it really mean to follow Christ in today's broken world? Tying the answers to all these questions together and addressing perplexities such as the possibility of miracles and how to read the Bible, Williams demonstrates that each of the basic tenets of Christian faith flows from one fundamental belief: that God is completely worthy of our trust. With vast knowledge of Christian history and theology and characteristically elegant prose, Rowan Williams is a compassionate guide through the richness and depth of Christian faith.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.1" Width: 5.61" Height: 0.51" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date Jun 30, 2007
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
ISBN 0664232132 ISBN13 9780664232139
Availability 0 units.
More About Rowan Williams
Rowan Williams was enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in February 2003. His previous positions include Archbishop of Wales, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford and Dean of Clare College, Cambridge. He has taught theology for more than fifteen years in five continents, worked as a parish priest, and published widely. His previous publications include "Teresa of Avila" (1991), "Open to Judgment" (1994) and "Sergi Bulgakov" (1999).
Rowan Douglas Williams was born in Swansea, south Wales on 14 June 1950, into a Welsh-speaking family, and was educated at Dynevor School in Swansea and Christ's College Cambridge where he studied theology. He studied for his doctorate – in the theology of Vladimir Lossky, a leading figure in Russian twentieth-century religious thought – at Wadham College Oxford, taking his DPhil in 1975. After two years as a lecturer at the College of the Resurrection, near Leeds, he was ordained deacon in Ely Cathedral before returning to Cambridge.
Rowan Williams on his Graduation, Christ's College Cambridge, with Parents Aneurin and Delphine Williams, 1971From 1977, he spent nine years in academic and parish work in Cambridge: first at Westcott House, being ordained priest in 1978, and from 1980 as curate at St George's, Chesterton. In 1983 he was appointed as a lecturer in Divinity in the university, and the following year became dean and chaplain of Clare College. 1986 saw a return to Oxford now as Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church; he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1989, and became a fellow of the British Academy in 1990. He is also an accomplished poet and translator.
Rowan Williams and Jane Paul on their Wedding Day, 1981In 1991 Professor Williams accepted election and consecration as bishop of Monmouth, a diocese on the Welsh borders, and in 1999 on the retirement of Archbishop Alwyn Rice Jones he was elected Archbishop of Wales, one of the 38 primates of the Anglican Communion. Thus it was that, in July 2002, with eleven years' experience as a diocesan bishop and three as a leading primate in the Communion, Archbishop Williams was confirmed on 2 December 2002 as the 104th bishop of the See of Canterbury: the first Welsh successor to St Augustine of Canterbury and the first since the mid-thirteenth century to be appointed from beyond the English Church.
Dr Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher. He has been involved in many theological, ecumenical and educational commissions. He has written extensively across a very wide range of related fields of professional study – philosophy, theology (especially early and patristic Christianity), spirituality and religious aesthetics – as evidenced by his bibliography. He has also written throughout his career on moral, ethical and social topics and, since becoming archbishop, has turned his attention increasingly on contemporary cultural and interfaith issues.
As Archbishop of Canterbury his principal responsibilities are however pastoral – leading the life and witness of the Church of England in general and his own diocese in particular by his teaching and oversight, and promoting and guiding the communion of the world-wide Anglican Church by the globally recognized ministry of unity that attaches to the office of bishop of the see of Canterbury.
His interests include music, fiction and languages.
In 1981 Dr Williams married Jane Paul, a lecturer in theology, whom he met while living and working in Cambridge. They have a daughter and a son.
Reviews - What do customers think about Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief?
Relational Theology Sep 12, 2009
This book is, essentially, a description of Christian Theology in terms of the following questions: "Who or what do you trust? Who or what is worth trusting? What is the difference between belief in the modern sense and what Christians mean when they say 'I believe?'" Archbishop Williams presents, in simple language, a discussion of these questions through the eyes of the Apostles' Creed. A good devotional for the committed Christian, and a good groundwork for the person who is considering joining the church.
God's Trustworthiness in a Misbelieving World Jun 12, 2009
This book is a delightful and thoughtful presentation of the dynamics of faith in practice, rather than an abstract set of beliefs one must accept. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, explores the personal and historical meaning of key practices and worship themes in the Christian community of faith.
He addresses the forms and concepts and how they have arisen out of cultural thought. This book will be helpful for those who wonder if ther is more to it than they have thought. But he always stays focuses on the personal meaning of Christian faith in practice. He writes warmly and personally, so we feel we are listening in as he thinks through things.
The reader will find here a very clear and deep commitment to the historical stream of faith while feeling free with the archbishop to acknowledge and bypass the great errors made by the church or certain Christian leaders art various times in our past. Williams looks at the symbols in Christian worship and evaluates their meaning and value in the changed and changing culture and society we now live in.
This little volume is a tightly designed, with no fluff and waste in his wording. Williams is a scholar who retains his common humanity and is articulate without becoming arcane. He draws upon a wide range of sources, referencing Eastern Orthodox practice and mystics, for instance, to give us a broader picture of how Christian believers have expressed their faith in their cultural setting.
The thoughtful practical scholar focuses further on the underlying unity of meaning, intent and focus among all Christian believers. He assists us also to see how these represent universal values, not parochial concerns of one time or place.
As I read I got the feeling I was involved in a warm, comfortable conversation with a person sharing his deepest understandings of life in thoughtful reflection.
Belief as Trusting, not Intellectual Assent May 21, 2009
This year, my church had a Lenten study on the Nicene Creed. The discussion was lively. As the weeks went on, it seemed to me that there were at least two different approaches to the Nicene Creed: one that was analytical and logical, and another that was more meditative and poetic. I would summarize the first approach as wondering, "how much of the Creed can I say without crossing my fingers behind my back?" and the second approach as wondering, "God is big, I'm not, it's a mystery, so why couldn't this be true?" Full disclosure here: I fall into the second set.
The experience of this study inspired me to go back and reread Tokens of Trust, a book on Christian belief by Rowan Williams. Dr. Williams is the current Archbishop of Canterbury, and his speeches and his writings can be rather dense. But this book is based on a series of talks presented in Canterbury Cathedral during Holy Week, 2005, so the content is fairly accessible.
Dr. Williams' book fits neither of the two approaches I described above. He uses the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed to structure his book, discussing God, creation, Jesus, and so on, but his approach considers the very word "belief" as meaning something other than pure intellectual assent. He points out that the words "I believe in one God" might remind us of questions like "Do you believe in ghosts?" or UFO's, or the Loch Ness monster, but that isn't what they originally meant or should mean to us. The meaning is closer to what I mean when I say I believe in my husband. I have confidence in him. I trust him. For Dr. Williams, the Creed is "a series of statements about where I find the anchorage of my life, where I find solid ground, home."
Dr. Williams discusses why we might consider God trustworthy before he even approaches the question, is any of this is actually true? Does God exist? He admits that he doesn't have the decisive argument to prove the existence of God; instead, he points to the examples of believing people who are themselves trustworthy. Indeed, as his discussion proceeds, he makes the point that Jesus himself "is supremely the one who makes God credible, trustworthy."
Rather than quoting half the book (where would I stop?), I encourage you to read it. The book is enriched throughout by a carefully selected series of illustrations: some works of art by the Welsh artist David Jones, and various other photographs that support the text. The images are striking. In particular, some of the works by Jones are themselves suitable subjects for meditation.
Faith Seeking Understanding Mar 11, 2009
The Creed is at the heart of Anglican liturgy: we say it weekly but just how well do we understand it? Faith always contains an element of understanding - in Paul's words we seem to long to 'understand fully, even as we have been fully understood'. We usually only see 'in a mirror dimly' - but ++Rowan's useful and insightful book goes a long way to help us see more deeply. In his typically understated manner, ++ Rowan uses six chapters to explore the core of the Creed, highlighting our dependency on God as we each struggle to grasp as much as we can of the mystery of God. Highly recommended for adult catachism.
Tokens of Trust May 18, 2008
Convincing, beautifully written, clear and cogent theology. How and why we should wholly trust God.