Madeleine Davies

Archive for 2019|Yearly archive page

Words uttered in the catacombs: A review of ‘The Apostles’ Creed: A guide to the ancient catechism’ by Ben Myers

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2019 at 12:01 am


I did not grow up saying The Apostles’ Creed. Bar the mention of the Communion of Saints – not something I remember being articulated – its doctrine is all very familiar to me. But I am not accustomed to saying it aloud every Sunday.

I would like to recommend Ben Myers’ little book – The Apostles’ Creed: A guide to the ancient catechism – not only to others who are learning the Creed, but to anyone who would like to read a simple, compelling guide to the Christian faith. I’ve seen a few requests on Twitter lately asking for book recommendations for those exploring Christianity – this would be a wonderful addition.

One of its key strengths is its reminder that, at Christianity’s heart we find not a theory but a person, and that this person brings us into a family – that through baptism we join an “ever-widening circle of people who have handed their lives over to the pattern of Jesus’ life”.

By drawing consistently on the words of the Church Fathers, Myers presents as a friendly guide, initiating the reader into this circle. St Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus and Julian of Norwich are introduced not merely as historical figures but as friends who have gone ahead of us – members of a family that “stretches out across space but also across time”.

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Marilyn McCord Adams, horrendous evils, and the goodness of God

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Guernica, by Pablo Picasso, on display at the Renia Sofia museum in Madrid (CREATIVE COMMONS)

WHEN Marilyn McCord Adams died in 2017 I read in an obituary by her husband that, “the topic that most gripped her, and most inspired her intellectual work through the rest of her life was the theological problem of evil.”

In her book Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God, Robert Adams observed, “she does not try to answer the question, ‘Why did God permit all the evils that we know about?’ Rather she asks, ‘What can God do to make our existence a great good to us, without trivialising the horrendous evils that we know about?’”

This year I finally got around to reading Horrendous Evils. I have no background in philosophy, or theology, and it’s been a challenging exercise. But I have found it so helpful. What I’ve written below is mainly just a sort of repository for me to come back to, a store of some of the quotes I want to treasure..

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