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God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and its Aftermath by Tom Wright.

God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and its Aftermath by Tom Wright.

Wednesday 17th June 2020

Book Review
God and the Pandemic by Tom Wright

So here's the thing. While the world and life around our Christian Church and personally became a whirlpool, a maelstrom of uncertainty, confusion and unpredictability due to the coronavirus; while globally the relative stability of the fabric of international affairs has been severely disrupted: while those who have direct power over the quality of our own personal and national lives have been caught off guard in this crisis, compounding that with knee-jerk, impoverished decision-making with all its now devastating effects - Tom Wright's book can be an enormous help to us personally, and corporately as the Church, in understanding how we should see our place now and the attitude, the character we should have in the midst of this crisis and in its aftermath.

In this book, Tom Wright sketches out the unfolding drama of the coronavirus as is well known by us all. He then forensically and specifically draws us to see parallels to the present catastrophe found throughout the Bible. We are then invited to consider the reaction and actions of those throughout the Bible who found themselves in the midst of similar adversity. The Church's part, our part, in this current crisis is, firstly, he shows, to be a people of prayer; lamenting prayerfully, as in scripture and the psalms for what has befallen our society and the world. He also enables us to understand that during times of plague and famine the early church shocked wealthy citizens of empires, who were used to 'running away to the hills', leaving a poor and poverty-stricken populace to fend for themselves. The early church, instead, showed in practice what was really meant by being 'Kingdom people'. Instead of turning away, they asked, at great risk to themselves, "What can we do?" "Who needs our help?" and so on and so forth and then got on with it.

Tom Wright leads us to see that this must be our cry and main concern too in the current crisis. In the aftermath to come, he wants to see the Church much more deeply involved in political decision making or, he is convinced, our society will relapse into the same old 'have and have-nots' that leaves so many marginalised. He wants us to be in the thick of it.

Justin Welby reviewed this book more succinctly than I do. He writes 'superbly written, utterly Bible based.....Do not hesitate!'

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