George Carey has asked fellow Archbishop, Rowan Williams of Wales, to provide his Lent book for 2001. Williams, a noted theologian and scholar, gives us profound insights into the trial of Jesus. He does so by reflecting on the four gospel accounts of the trial: Mark shows a mysterious figure revealed as the Son of God; Matthew describes the Wisdom of God tried by the foolishness of men; Luke gives us a divine stranger; John reveals the paradox of the divine by submitting himself to judgement. The book is rounded off with a meditation on Christian martyrdom and a reflection on tyranny, freedom, truth and falsehood.
A good Lent book is a resource for individual Christians as well as parish groups. To boost its practical value, Williams has tacked on a few questions and a prayer to the end of each chapter. The book articulates the climax of Jesus’ life through the drama of the Holy Week. It is difficult to deal with the subject in a popular manner, and Williams’ intellectual approach makes the book a challenging read.. His theological ponderings can be tedious and his literary illustrations are often obscure. On the other hand, for the well-educated Christian, at home in the complexities and paradoxes of the faith, Christ on Trial will provide an inspiring Lenten challenge. –Dwight Longenecker