Celtic Christianity: Deep Roots for a Modern Faith by Ray Simpson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a book that I needed to read – and needed to read at this point in my ongoing journey of life and ministry.
Ray Simpson, one of the founders of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, a ‘new monastic’ community living in the tradition of the early Celtic saints after whom they are named, outlines the myriad ways in which the spiritual life that empowered Aidan, Hilda and other saintly persons of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England has much to offer the Christian Church of the 21st century. The simple yet radically different approaches Simpson outlines appeals to those readers who might be struggling to make sense of where that Church is at the present time, and offers an alternative – yet thoroughly orthodox – way of being Christian and being Church in the here and now.
While there is much debate about what ‘the Celtic church’ looked like, and those who seek it make it a reality once more might be seeking in vain, it is the example of those who were part of the Church ‘back then’ that has the power to provide a direction for today. It is more important, I would suggest, that we speak not of ‘the Celtic church’ but rather of the Celtic approach to being Church. And that, I would suggest, is what Simpson has attempted to outline in this small volume which is immediately accessible to any reader wanting to explore this possibility.
In writing this volume, Simpson draws not only on his own experience of forming something new but also on the history, stories, and poetry of his Christian forbears. It is from these sources, combined with engagement with Scripture and the Christian theological tradition, that Simpson offers his insights for those things that will permit the Christian faith to once again take firm root in the hearts of believers and the society in which believers dwell.
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