What I read in November 2019 (Part 3)

This post includes reviews of two nonfiction books.

The next book I read was When I pray what does God do? by David Wilkinson. I bought this book in a sale at the local Christian bookshop. David Wilkinson writes as a scientist (astrophysicist) and theologian with a background in Methodism. The book is aimed at theology students and people who are not deterred by science. As a longstanding member of a prayer group I read this book with interest. It is well written and logical as well as providing anecdotal evidence for some of the arguments presented.

I decided that the other ladies in the prayer group were unlikely to read the whole book. As it was my turn to provide some thoughts at the beginning of a meeting, I explained that the book used the scientific developments of the 20th century (quantum mechanics and chaos theory) to update views based only on Newton’s ideas.

I read selected passages from the final two chapters, which summarised much of the book and provided conclusions.

The explanations allow for a largely predictable universe in which choice is possible and some outcomes are uncertain. There are illustrations from the Bible including the apostle Paul’s wonderful prayer in Philippians chapter 1.

The final sentence is:

 “When I pray what does God do?” is not an easy question, but it is one that I have found in my own life leads me deeper into knowing God and an excitement with the experience of prayer.

I found this book encouraging and helpful.

The second book was an autobiography lent to me by a friend. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner is easy to read yet thought-provoking. I learned a great deal about the lives of aristocrats and royalty. As this is a book by an elderly lady it begins before my time. However there was much that reminded me of events that had been reported in the national news. Issues I had been aware of, but perhaps not given much thought to recently, such as the effect of Britain’s entry into the European Common Market on Commonwealth countries, were touched on. I particularly enjoyed the insider’s view of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. My own visit to the coronation exhibition in Buckingham Palace enabled me to visualise the costumes.

Having just read the book I reviewed above, I was interested to read about Lady Anne Glenconner’s Christianity. Although she went to church every Sunday, she admitted that she hadn’t really prayed until a particular crisis. Perhaps the Church fails to inspire people to pray! Hers is a fascinating book, with insights to the characters of many people, written in a sympathetic manner, but perhaps with an excess of commas – like this sentence!