Saturday 30 January 2021

Faith and Hope in the Pandemic

This is a curiously styled but ultimately charming book, if that is the proper word in view of its subject.  It almost seems out of date now, as it was published during the first Covid lockdown. But that is simply a reflection of how much water has gone under the bridge since.  It was released back when the pandemic was raging at its height in northern Italy.  Emotions of shock and fear were strong then, and are no less now, only they have now been joined by weariness and depression at the length and scale of the problems due to the virus.  Three friends came together at that time to contribute short articles to a book on hope. Evangelical authors from the UK, Spain and Italy, they wanted to present a biblical response to the crisis.  Pablo Martinez shows how to catch sight of hope in fearful times from Psalm 91. Jonathan Lamb explains what the past, present and future foundations of hope are from 1 Peter 1 - 'Christ the hope of glory'. Finally Giacomo Carlo Di Gaetano gives some insightful thoughts on how Christian hope can be protected against the insinuations that suffering and evil (in this case from the virus) prove that God is not good.

An epilogue includes the first question and answer from the Heidelberg Catechism in full, from which the book title is taken. It is a wonderful statement of what it means to be a Christian - 'rejoicing in hope' (Romans 12:12).

The Only Comfort in Life and Death published by Christian Focus Publications, 2020. £4.99. Much is packed into a slim book. Excellent value for money!

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