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Book Reviews
Quaker Quicks - Quaker Shaped Christianity
By: Mark Russ - Christian Alternative - 12.95

Description: Telling the Jesus story through Quaker eyes; this is rich, readable theology that is both contemporary and rooted in tradition.

Verdict: What is Quakerism? can be a difficult question to answer, especially when Quakers today struggle to find a shared religious language.

In this book, Mark Russ answers this question from a personal perspective, telling his story of trying to make sense of Jesus within the Quaker community.

Through this theological wrestling emerges a Quaker Shaped Christianity that is contemporary, open and rooted in tradition. In reflecting on how to approach the Bible, the challenges of Universalism, and the key events of the Jesus story, this book offers a creative, inspiring and readable theology for everyone who has wondered how Christianity and Quakerism fit together.

Taking it from the top, because they have no creed, Quakers cannot claim uniformity of belief about the facts of Jesus� life or resurrection or about their theological interpretations.

Indeed, because they have characteristically tended to respect the validity of diverse beliefs both among themselves and in world religions, outsiders sometimes question whether they are, or consider themselves, Christians.

The writings of Quaker leaders, from the beginnings of the movement onward, justify the generalization that Quakerism always was and still is a Christian movement of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, as he is for all the rest of Christendom.

George Fox�s calling was no vaguely general religious opening. He heard a voice which said, �There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.�

And thereafter he conceived the purpose of his preaching to be that his hearers might all come to know Christ to be their teacher to instruct them, their counselor to direct them, their shepherd to feed them, their bishop to oversee them; and might know their bodies to be prepared, sanctified, and made fit temples for God and Christ to dwell in.

And so although there are, among Friends, many gradations of belief, here in Quaker Quicks - Quaker Shaped Christianity: How the Jesus Story and the Quaker Way Fit Together, author Mark Russ does his best to clarify what he feels to be their distinctive interpretation of Jesus; if related to the two extremes of belief, which an individual can hold and still be comfortable within the Religious Society of Friends.

Aimed at those without a significant amount of knowledge on/about Quakerism and/or, at some levels, Christianity, it is a fascinating book that (and not to give anything away, so to speak) asserts that Quakers cannot be separated from Christianity.

The book also allows us to follow Russ back through his own life, his own upbringing, and thus shows us a direct path to this own heavily-influenced journey to Quakerism.

What then, is the scope of their present attitudes toward this Jesus around whom they build their faith? Well, I would implore you to pick this small, yet vigorously packed with info on the subject book up, and sit down one wet afternoon, everything quiet and still around you, and just read each of the 80 pages methodically; and then, and only then, will you be able to say you are as caught up on the subject matter today as you might well have ever been.

About the Author - Mark Russ is a writer, theologian and teacher, who works for Woodbrooke, the international Quaker learning and research organisation. He lives in Birmingham, England.

Official Book Purchase Link