Hot Best Seller

Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer

Availability: Ready to download

In this simple, beautifully written book Rowan Williams explores four essential components of the Christian life: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Despite huge differences in Christian thinking and practice both today and in past centuries, he says, these four basic elements have remained constant and indispensable for the majority of those who call themselves Christ In this simple, beautifully written book Rowan Williams explores four essential components of the Christian life: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Despite huge differences in Christian thinking and practice both today and in past centuries, he says, these four basic elements have remained constant and indispensable for the majority of those who call themselves Christians. In accessible, pastoral terms Williams discusses the meaning and practice of baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and prayer, inviting readers to really think through the Christian faith and how to live it out. Questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter help readers to dig deeper and apply Williams's insights to their own lives.


Compare

In this simple, beautifully written book Rowan Williams explores four essential components of the Christian life: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Despite huge differences in Christian thinking and practice both today and in past centuries, he says, these four basic elements have remained constant and indispensable for the majority of those who call themselves Christ In this simple, beautifully written book Rowan Williams explores four essential components of the Christian life: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Despite huge differences in Christian thinking and practice both today and in past centuries, he says, these four basic elements have remained constant and indispensable for the majority of those who call themselves Christians. In accessible, pastoral terms Williams discusses the meaning and practice of baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and prayer, inviting readers to really think through the Christian faith and how to live it out. Questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter help readers to dig deeper and apply Williams's insights to their own lives.

30 review for Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Ramsey

    This is the best succinct invitation to live out the gospel of Jesus that I have ever read. I don’t say that lightly. This book filled my heart with wonder and worship. It is brief, but its beauty has deep roots. It’s a book you need in your library and will want to savor.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Thankful that my friend Elliot Lee recommended I read Rowan Williams. His simple yet playful thoughts are suffused with sacred depth yet not pompous. Spiritually rich and Missional.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Simple and brilliant. Highly recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    Being Christian is an excellent introduction to what the Christian life is meant to be like. I am amazed at the depth that Rowan Williams reaches in less than 100 pages. I appreciate how he is able to hold up the ideal of Christian living, and then point out some of the ways that Christians fall short of that, but always in a loving, caring way. His aim is not mockery or detached irony; he is committed to the idea that it is always possible to grow. Following Jesus is a journey--as Williams puts Being Christian is an excellent introduction to what the Christian life is meant to be like. I am amazed at the depth that Rowan Williams reaches in less than 100 pages. I appreciate how he is able to hold up the ideal of Christian living, and then point out some of the ways that Christians fall short of that, but always in a loving, caring way. His aim is not mockery or detached irony; he is committed to the idea that it is always possible to grow. Following Jesus is a journey--as Williams puts it, being Christian means moving closer to Jesus, and also closer to the world in need. There is always more to learn and new ways to grow. This book assumes some knowledge about the Bible and Christianity already; it doesn't start at the very beginning. But most people who have had some experience in church will have no problem following along. I would enjoy using this as a discussion-starter, to find out what people's real questions about Christianity are: is it about the faith itself, or is it more to do with a disappointing or frustrating Christian subculture that they experienced? This book helps to sort out the differences between those two areas. I found it very encouraging and helpful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    Excellent little book. Deep but not hard to read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Enright

    Yet again, an indispensable book from Williams. I enjoyed it as much as Being Disciples, and I anticipate Being Human. Williams reminds us of what we take for granted, like baptism, the Bible, eucharist, and prayer — reenergizing them with clear, concise analysis. By the end of the book, these Christian practices have a sort of electrical hum about them. I couldn’t help but be drawn into a more careful consideration of my life as a Christian, for Williams made such practices magnetic. This is the Yet again, an indispensable book from Williams. I enjoyed it as much as Being Disciples, and I anticipate Being Human. Williams reminds us of what we take for granted, like baptism, the Bible, eucharist, and prayer — reenergizing them with clear, concise analysis. By the end of the book, these Christian practices have a sort of electrical hum about them. I couldn’t help but be drawn into a more careful consideration of my life as a Christian, for Williams made such practices magnetic. This is the last thing I’ll say: I tend to measure devotional books by their ability to make me put them down — by their ability to inspire my activity rather than just my intellect. Being Christian exceeds that standard! There are standout moments from each chapter, of course, but I found Williams’s commentary on baptism especially good. Here’s a quote: “The new humanity that is created around Jesus is not a humanity that is always going to be successful and in control of things, but a humanity that can reach out its hand from the depths of chaos, to be touched by the hand of God. And that means that if we asked the question, ‘Where might you expect to find the baptized?’ one answer is, ‘In the neighborhood of chaos.’ It means you might expect to find Christian people near to those places where humanity is most at risk, where humanity is most disordered, disfigured and needy. Christians will be found in the neighborhood of Jesus — but Jesus is found in the neighborhood of human confusion and suffering, defenselessly alongside those in need. If being baptized is being led to where Jesus is, then being baptized is being led towards the chaos and neediness of a humanity that has forgotten its own destiny” (4-5).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brennan Humphreys

    Really appreciate these little books from Father Williams. He's not trying to do anything on the scale of, say, Mere Christianity or Simply Christian. Rather, he approaches Christian life from his own tilt of the head. His insights on the Bible left me bright-eyed. For Rowan, Christ is the "luminous centre" of Scripture. Persistent reading, then, is a a persistent circling around the center, each go-around a hopeful attempt to move closer to the center, to realize, "oh, so that's how Christ show Really appreciate these little books from Father Williams. He's not trying to do anything on the scale of, say, Mere Christianity or Simply Christian. Rather, he approaches Christian life from his own tilt of the head. His insights on the Bible left me bright-eyed. For Rowan, Christ is the "luminous centre" of Scripture. Persistent reading, then, is a a persistent circling around the center, each go-around a hopeful attempt to move closer to the center, to realize, "oh, so that's how Christ shows in that bit of Hosea." Excited to read Being Human!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Guilherme Cordeiro

    This book is simply phenomenal. Rowan Williams shows his deep pastoral heart teaching the basics of the faith through four central practices, as if his reader knows nothing about them, and he wields his broad theological mind informing (and questioning) long-held beliefs about them with even-longer-held truths from the Bible and the Christian tradition. I was particularly touched by his chapter on prayer (and probably should get back to it right now). This will be my go-to introduction to Christ This book is simply phenomenal. Rowan Williams shows his deep pastoral heart teaching the basics of the faith through four central practices, as if his reader knows nothing about them, and he wields his broad theological mind informing (and questioning) long-held beliefs about them with even-longer-held truths from the Bible and the Christian tradition. I was particularly touched by his chapter on prayer (and probably should get back to it right now). This will be my go-to introduction to Christianity for years to come.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John

    Little book of four essays suitable for Sunday School use (my tip-off: includes questions for discussion after each chapter). Much easier to follow than Williams' theological works. I found the Chapter on prayer, which includes a discussion of certain Church fathers, which is radically different from the evangelicalism I was exposed to as a child, to be the most interesting. Little book of four essays suitable for Sunday School use (my tip-off: includes questions for discussion after each chapter). Much easier to follow than Williams' theological works. I found the Chapter on prayer, which includes a discussion of certain Church fathers, which is radically different from the evangelicalism I was exposed to as a child, to be the most interesting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex Strohschein

    I've always known Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, was one of the world's leading theologians, but in "Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer," he distils the fundamentals of the Christian faith as practiced and held by all believers in a brief, winsome but profound book. Baptism brings us into the Christian community but also impels us to come alongside those who suffer and who are in need. We must be attentive when we read or hear the Bible read to us (Williams n I've always known Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, was one of the world's leading theologians, but in "Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer," he distils the fundamentals of the Christian faith as practiced and held by all believers in a brief, winsome but profound book. Baptism brings us into the Christian community but also impels us to come alongside those who suffer and who are in need. We must be attentive when we read or hear the Bible read to us (Williams notes that a good portion of people, particularly in the early centuries of the Church, either could not afford their own Bible or read it so it was more often a HEARD text) and seek to discern how God is speaking to us through His Word. He notes that some Christians have viewed the Eucharist as if it were a reward for good behaviour but that instead it is about hungry beggars coming to the table of the Lord. Prayer brings us into relationship with God and shows God that we are making ourselves available to Him. As we mature in prayer, our prayers reflect less our own (sometimes petty!) concerns and more and more the will of God Himself as we pray "IN Christ" rather than "TO Christ." Williams doesn't go into depth about these practices (don't expect him to referee transubstantiation vs. spiritual presence in the Eucharist), but he offers expositions of the meaning of Christian essentials in a fresh way while drawing from history and tradition (particularly in the final chapter, where he relies on Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and John Cassian to explain what happens when we pray as well as his recommendation to use the "Jesus Prayer" of the Eastern Church). This is an excellent primer on the essentials of the Christian faith.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dakota

    Baptism is an excellent section. Interpretation of scripture section is a mixed bag. Eucharist section could have been far better. I appreciate Rowan’s emphasis on Christian togetherness/ community. I greatly appreciate Jesus as the one who is in the muck with us as we are in “his neighborhood.” I also appreciate a reasonable social justice position which is often lacking in more conservative theology books. Especially, Rowans emphasis on Christian togetherness in baptism, hearing of scripture, pr Baptism is an excellent section. Interpretation of scripture section is a mixed bag. Eucharist section could have been far better. I appreciate Rowan’s emphasis on Christian togetherness/ community. I greatly appreciate Jesus as the one who is in the muck with us as we are in “his neighborhood.” I also appreciate a reasonable social justice position which is often lacking in more conservative theology books. Especially, Rowans emphasis on Christian togetherness in baptism, hearing of scripture, prayer, and Eucharist. I love this book and have read it 3 times now over a course of 5 years. I give it four stars, but would rather judge it section by section. Rowan is a prolific writer, theologian, and former Arch Bishop.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick Jordan

    I had massive hopes for this book, it being by Rowan Williams. But my real hope was to be able to use it to read with church members (as a UMC pastor). But it's a strangely in-between book, not quite in-depth enough about anything for people equipped to read theology, but not quite shallow enough for a wide readership. I had massive hopes for this book, it being by Rowan Williams. But my real hope was to be able to use it to read with church members (as a UMC pastor). But it's a strangely in-between book, not quite in-depth enough about anything for people equipped to read theology, but not quite shallow enough for a wide readership.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna Tan

    Being Christian explores four basic elements of being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. It's easy to think that, after being in church for years, you know everything there is to know about these things. Yet the fact remains that often what we think we know might not always be the full picture. Williams explores these four elements, drawing from the Bible as well as hundreds of years of Biblical and theological scholarship, bringing fresh new perspective. Well, maybe not fresh, but lo Being Christian explores four basic elements of being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer. It's easy to think that, after being in church for years, you know everything there is to know about these things. Yet the fact remains that often what we think we know might not always be the full picture. Williams explores these four elements, drawing from the Bible as well as hundreds of years of Biblical and theological scholarship, bringing fresh new perspective. Well, maybe not fresh, but lost perspectives. Coming from a charismatic pentecostal background, it's refreshing and sometimes jarring to face over and over again the fact that baptism, the Bible, eucharist (communion) and prayer isn't such an individual thing as we would like to think. It's not just about me and my salvation but about how we, as a community, are being transformed to be like Christ and how that translates into our community and our collective pursuit of justice and redemption.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Phil

    This is an excellent introduction to Anglican Christianity, designed as a small-group reading project, complete with discussion questions. Written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, now the Master of Magdalene College at Oxford, this book takes many of Rowan William's themes in his more intense theology and makes them much more easily accessible for the lay Christian reader. What comes out is a combination of the theological acumen of Rowan Williams and his strong pastoral sense. They are b This is an excellent introduction to Anglican Christianity, designed as a small-group reading project, complete with discussion questions. Written by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, now the Master of Magdalene College at Oxford, this book takes many of Rowan William's themes in his more intense theology and makes them much more easily accessible for the lay Christian reader. What comes out is a combination of the theological acumen of Rowan Williams and his strong pastoral sense. They are brief, clear and incisive. An excellent read for individuals and groups.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, offers up four short essays on different aspects of Christian life. Each essay can be read separately, which I recommend. They’re short but dense and worth mulling over. I read these over a period of several weeks, so maybe this is just the most recent being in my head, but I found the final essay on prayer particularly strong. Even for those who are not Christian, Williams’s book is worth a read. Highly recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    A lovely, short and to the point introduction into considering the fundamental basics of the Christian faith. In many ways, if taken seriously and if one reflects on William’s words, it should serve as a manner by which to begin comprehending the glaciers that are the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Bodunrin

    Very simple teachings in ways that I hadn’t heard before. It was only a focus on the most important pillars of Christianity, developed points only through the example of the life of Jesus and nothing else. I appreciated that deeply.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Casey Taylor

    Solid book overall. I have some questions on his chapter about the Bible but it's a good reflection on basic Christian practices. Maybe not for new Christians or those that don't read but good. Solid book overall. I have some questions on his chapter about the Bible but it's a good reflection on basic Christian practices. Maybe not for new Christians or those that don't read but good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matty Allan

    very interesting, learnt a lot !

  20. 5 out of 5

    Evan Vossman

    I would’ve loved to have this book when I first became a Christian. It was impactful and helpful for me even now. A great resource!

  21. 4 out of 5

    dp

    A deceptively profound book. So much wisdom packed into so few pages

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    An excellent concise reflection of these foundational practices of Christian faith.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Robert D. Cornwall

    What does it mean to be a Christian? Rowan Williams, the former Arch-bishop of Canterbury, seeks to answer that question with this brief book -- only 84 pages long -- by focusing our attention on Baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and Prayer. These are the essential elements -- the aspects of the Christian faith that mark one as a Christian. One begins the journey in baptism (as an Anglican infant baptism figures here, but whenever the sacrament takes places, the reflections are pertinent). Ther What does it mean to be a Christian? Rowan Williams, the former Arch-bishop of Canterbury, seeks to answer that question with this brief book -- only 84 pages long -- by focusing our attention on Baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and Prayer. These are the essential elements -- the aspects of the Christian faith that mark one as a Christian. One begins the journey in baptism (as an Anglican infant baptism figures here, but whenever the sacrament takes places, the reflections are pertinent). There is also the Eucharist, which is the meal Jesus instituted to nourish the journey. There is the Bible, the Word through which God speaks to us. And there is prayer -- including the Lord's Prayer, by which we engage in a conversation with God. It is brief. it doesn't cover everything. It is not focused on doctrines, but on practices. But there is clearly theology involved. As a pastor who seeks to share the gospel with the people with whom I minister, I found this little book to be an excellent introduction. The reflection/discussion questions at the end of the chapter make this even more useful. Take and read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    Short Review: This is a series of four holy week lectures that were turned into a book. It is short and I listened to an audiobook (but not the actual recording of the lectures.) Williams does a good job of addressing these four practices at the heart of Christianity without being too cliche or without completely reinterpreting the practices into something they are not. Bible is really about how we hear from God, but it should be read corporately. Baptisms is about how we enter into fellowship w Short Review: This is a series of four holy week lectures that were turned into a book. It is short and I listened to an audiobook (but not the actual recording of the lectures.) Williams does a good job of addressing these four practices at the heart of Christianity without being too cliche or without completely reinterpreting the practices into something they are not. Bible is really about how we hear from God, but it should be read corporately. Baptisms is about how we enter into fellowship with the church and become a part of the body. Eucharist is about how we participate in the ongoing life of the body. And Prayer is about how we come into relationship with God. Nothing earth shatteringly different, but well presented in a short format. Might make a good discussion book. Lots of little nugget of wisdom so I might pick it up and read again in print. My full review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/being-christian/

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Brown

    Great little popular level book by Rowan Williams on the Christian life. It includes four chapters, one on each of the four things mentioned in the subtitle (baptism, Bible, Eucharist, prayer). While written at a popular level, Williams engages Scripture, historic Christian sources, and contemporary issues insightfully (as he always does). While I am from a believers baptism tradition (and feel most comfortable there), I particularly appreciated Williams' chapter on baptism. There he brought up a Great little popular level book by Rowan Williams on the Christian life. It includes four chapters, one on each of the four things mentioned in the subtitle (baptism, Bible, Eucharist, prayer). While written at a popular level, Williams engages Scripture, historic Christian sources, and contemporary issues insightfully (as he always does). While I am from a believers baptism tradition (and feel most comfortable there), I particularly appreciated Williams' chapter on baptism. There he brought up an aspect of baptism I had not been overly familiar with: the connection of baptism with the watery chaos of Genesis 1. Williams says, "If being baptized is being led to where Jesus is, then being baptized is being led towards the chaos and the neediness of a humanity that has forgotten its own destiny" (5). I would highly recommend Being Christian to ministers, scholars, and lay people alike.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Mason

    I like the simplicity of this book. It's only 84 pages long and therefore one can be tempted to rush through it. Yet reading it slowly and pondering the fundamental truths of baptism, bible, communion and prayer was profoundly rewarding. My favourite quote was found in the communion section. He wrote, "we take Holy Communion not because we are doing well, but because we are doing badly. Not because we have arrived, but because we are travelling. Not because we are right, but because we are confu I like the simplicity of this book. It's only 84 pages long and therefore one can be tempted to rush through it. Yet reading it slowly and pondering the fundamental truths of baptism, bible, communion and prayer was profoundly rewarding. My favourite quote was found in the communion section. He wrote, "we take Holy Communion not because we are doing well, but because we are doing badly. Not because we have arrived, but because we are travelling. Not because we are right, but because we are confused and wrong. Not because we are divine, but because we are human. Not because we are full, but because we are HUNGRY"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Roy Howard

    Rowan William's gift is to write so well for so many different readers. This is an elegantly written brief book on the essentials of the Christian life. Williams go straight to heart of Christian faith and practice discussing baptism, bible, eucharist and prayer. The chapters were originally presentations for groups of seekers. We will use this book for our 2015 Lenten series. Rowan William's gift is to write so well for so many different readers. This is an elegantly written brief book on the essentials of the Christian life. Williams go straight to heart of Christian faith and practice discussing baptism, bible, eucharist and prayer. The chapters were originally presentations for groups of seekers. We will use this book for our 2015 Lenten series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Profound and concise. Williams shares his insights into four key aspects of the Christian life: baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and prayer. I wanted to mark this one up, mull over sentences, and reflect on the text further; this is definitely a book that is worth being read twice.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adam Lorenz

    Concise, inviting, and encouraging. If you have wondered why I have been drawn into the Anglican stream of Christian thought, look no further than these 80+ pages by the former Archbishop.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Richard Bruce

    This book was interesting. The author writes very well and you can almost hear his calming voice resonating from the pages. It explained the titled four areas of Christianity very well and posed some interesting ideas and concepts. However throughout the book I just had a feeling it was like the author was trying to make excuses up for outdated beliefs. Let me first say I was christened a Christian, I believe Jesus existed in some way and i believe in God. However I am not a practicing Christian This book was interesting. The author writes very well and you can almost hear his calming voice resonating from the pages. It explained the titled four areas of Christianity very well and posed some interesting ideas and concepts. However throughout the book I just had a feeling it was like the author was trying to make excuses up for outdated beliefs. Let me first say I was christened a Christian, I believe Jesus existed in some way and i believe in God. However I am not a practicing Christian because my god is different to the idea of a living being in the sky. I am more new age spiritual. To me god is an infinite consciousness in everything and connecting everything (to scratch the surface). So back to it...It seamed to me like the author was flipping some of the outdated belifes of the bible and saying, look at it differently and it actually means this. As if to justify beliefs and entry's of the bible that go against today's standards and what we now know as wrong. I am not saying this is the case but it was all very convienient. I probably need to read it again and do a bit more research. I may be wrong but thats the thing with religion and belief, nobody actually knows. Its all open for each individuals interpritation. That being said I liked Rowan Williams's view point on the matters.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...