Why Go to Church?: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2009
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Why Go to Church?: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book 2009

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The Eucharist, writes Timothy Radcliffe, is a three part drama, forming us in faith, hope and love. In this book he examines what it means to "celebrate "the Eucharist. Other people experience it as boring and pointless. Listening to the readings, the homily and the creed all take us through the crises and challenges of faith. From the offertory through to the end of the E...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 4th 2009 by Continuum International Publishing Group (first published April 12th 2008)
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Melvyn Foo
I suspect I may have gotten out a lot less from the book than I could have, if I had the proper background and a more academic disposition. That being said, here's my take on it.

This book was a mess of ideas. I mean that in both a good and bad way.

Bad - the ideas leapt from one to another with thin threads of connection. It was hard to discern a structure or even an argument that lead up to any kind of main thesis. The book seemed to aim to cover anything and everything in life that had the re...more
Aug 12, 2011 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: faith
Even though at times it seemed as though Timothy Radcliffe was writing on commission for a deadline, this was an excellent choice for the Archbishop's Lent Book 2009. The 'Church' is basically the Eucharist and the 'Why go' is to be sent out again, but that doesn't spoil all the insights and nuances which the author includes. The short chapters in the style of Scenes in Acts of a Drama make it easy to stay disciplined in taking it as a study over several weeks. The most ardent protestants would...more
A great book written by a Catholic Priest (Dominican) at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury. While there wasn't anything in this book that I found completely new or earth shattering, it often offered a slightly different perspective. Spoiler - the answer to the question "Why go to church" is found at the end of the book - "To be sent from it" - thankfully, there was much more to the book than the answer to this question. For example, in the Beatitudes Christ says, 'Blessed are the pure...more
Livre lu tout au long de l annee. Livre facil a lire mais tres difficile d en retirer des messages ou des enseignements clairs. J ai beaucoup aim'e les citations et ses phrases consices mais a la fin je ne suis pas plus avancee' sur le deroulement de la messe (a part l offertoire peut etre). Suis contente de l avoir lu cependant. Est ce que je le recommende a d autres? probablement pas. Bien que l origine decoule que l archeveque de Canterbery (church of England) au moment de Paques commande un...more
Radcliffe is a skilled exegete of the Christian life. In this work, he addresses the perennial question of 'why church?' through an exploration of a liturgically-shaped existence. This is not another piece of historical critique of liturgical development, but an explication of how a life lived with God is defined by the movement and posture of the Eucharist. He writes as a Roman Catholic, as a Dominican (as he should); however, this book shifts common ecclesial boundaries through an invitation t...more
This second book by Radcliffe sort of follows on from his previous book on Why Be A Christian, but as he states, it is not necessary to read that one first. Why Go Church closely examines each aspect of the liturgy (be it Roman Catholic or Anglican) and investigates the deeply symbolic and religious meanings behind each part. He beautifully brings the liturgy to life and his reasons for church ultimately are summed up as "we go to be sent from it" - that we may tell others of the joy and love we...more
I was given this as part of meetings leading up to Confirmation classes, it's starts off quite well, but soon ends up being a messy amalgamation of various anecodotes, quotes and random ideas.
It has very little structure and is clearly rushed by the author (as it indeed had to be rushed to be published at a specific time)

I believe I would enjoy a revised edition but as it is I cannot recommend it.
Radcliffe ends: "Why go to church? To be sent from it." An utterly obvious statement to anyone who has set foot on K Street, even for the shortest time. Yet, in a rambling, story-telling way, the 220-odd pages needed to be said to get to that one truth.

Rector's Forum, Pentecost / Advent 2009
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Timothy Radcliffe OP was born in London in 1945. He joined the English Province of the Dominican Order in 1965, and was ordained a priest in 1971.

He was master of the Dominican order from 1992 to 2001 and professor at Oxford University.
More about Timothy Radcliffe...
What is the Point of Being a Christian? I Call You Friends: (Compact Format) Seven Last Words Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation Sing a New Song: The Christian Vocation

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