Meet Jesus

A call to adventure

John Twisleton

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John Twisleton combines clarity of thought and a pastoral heart in this book which lives up to its name. Based on his own experience and conviction that it is both possible and life changing to meet with Jesus, it will be of great use to individuals or to folk gathered in small groups.
Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS

Content

To engage with Jesus expands the mind and heart. It challenges our view of the way the world is, where it is heading and what difference we could make to it. But in a world of competing philosophies, where does Jesus fit in? How far can we trust the Bible and the Church? What difference does Jesus make to our lives and our communities? Is Jesus really the be all and end all?

Meet Jesus is a lively and straightforward exploration of these and other questions, with the aim of engaging our reason, inspiring our faith and worship, deepening our fellowship and service, and bringing new depth to our witness to the world. Each chapter ends with some practical points for action and the book concludes with a section of discussion material for groups.

Contents list:

  • Foreword
  • Open your mind
    The place of reason
  • Open your ears
    The place of faith
  • Open your eyes
    The place of worship
  • Open your heart
    The place of prayer
  • Open your lips
    The place of fellowship
  • Open your hands
    The place of service
  • Open your life
    The place of witness
  • Afterword
  • Appendix
  • How to use the book with groups
  • Notes

Endorsements

John Twisleton combines clarity of thought and a pastoral heart in this book which lives up to its name. Based on his own experience and conviction that it is both possible and life changing to meet with Jesus, it will be of great use to individuals or to folk gathered in small groups.
Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS

Author info

John Twisleton is Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes in Chichester Diocese, also leading the diocesan mission and renewal team for eight years. Before ordination, he was a research fellow in chemistry at the University of Oxford. He has also worked as an Area Missioner in London Diocese and as Principal of an ordination training centre in Guyana. He has written booklets on issues including baptism, confession, priesthood, prayer and healing. He broadcasts regularly on Premier Radio.

Reviews

From New Directions - January 2012

Anglo-Catholics have sometimes struggled to find suitable material for teaching the faith, be it for the Lent course, confirmation classes, or as a catholic equivalent to the popular Alpha course. This book is not pre-packaged for immediate use at any one of those events, but it offers a solid foundation upon which priests, preachers and teachers can build to create a course suitable for their particular needs and circumstances. At the end of the book there is a guide to using each chapter with groups, so that with a little effort at local level, a seven-part 'Meet Jesus' course could be prepared and delivered. An appendix also prints the Common Worship texts of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and a list of the Sacraments. Meditations, mostly from or based on Scripture, punctuate the text, and each chapter concludes with a list of bullet-points 'for action'. So the book could equally be used by individuals, or given as a Confirmation present. The only practical tools which are not provided are an index and bibliography, though there are thorough notes which in themselves provide ample suggestions for further reading.

The author, a frequent reviewer in these pages, is a parish priest and missioner, and those two strands of his experience are woven into this introduction to the exciting adventure which awaits those who take seriously the invitation of Jesus to follow him. In addition to his own practical experiences, Fr Twisleton quotes from an engagingly wide variety of sources, from Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain to John Wesley and Evelyn Underhill, via Teilhard de Chardin and the Cure d'Ars.

Meet Jesus begins by establishing the fact that faith in Jesus Christ is reasonable; that is to say, it is not ludicrous to believe in Jesus Christ. Important as the use of reason is though, belief in Jesus Christ inevitably involves much more than that: it also requires faith, which is the subject of the second chapter. 'As in any friendship, there is a gradual revelation of oneself to another,' Twisleton writes, before going on to give an account of what it is that friendship with Jesus entails, an account of what Christians believe. His exposition of the Trinity is particularly helpful, concluding 'only when we talk of love does the mystery of the Trinity make sense.'

Thereafter, Twisleton examines in turn the place of worship, prayer, fellowship, service and witness. He is particularly good on worship, which is God-given and at the heart of which lies sacrifice. He is also very helpful on prayer, which he defines as 'the bringing of the whole self to God.' But this is more than simply a theoretical analysis on prayer: there are lots of good, practical tips about how to pray, an area in which even the most dedicated Christians need all the help that is available!

Meet Jesus adopts a conservative (small 'c') stance, as typified in the insistence that 'truth is something outside us that challenges us, not just something we think out for ourselves'. It is never nakedly denominational or factional, but does without question come from a catholic, sacramental and liturgical perspective. Having said that, Twisleton offers some interesting comparisons between charismatic and more formal types of worship, concluding that both are ways to Meet Jesus provided we approach them with open hearts. The final chapter, on Witness, holds up Mary as the example par excellence of contemplative, visionary, obedient, Spirit-led and Church-nurtured discipleship of Jesus Christ.

In discussing mission, Fr Twisleton quotes Rowan Williams describing mission as 'finding out what God is doing and joining in.' This book is above all a valuable reminder that to Meet Jesus is to be invited to join in his desire for the coming of the Kingdom. God calls, we follow. Our task is to open our minds, ears, eyes, hearts, lips, hands, and ultimately our whole lives to enable us to respond to that call. Meet Jesus will help people on all stages of the Christian journey to do just that.

Reviewed Fr Ian McCormack


Twisleton walks out an ancient-future faith as pastor-priest. He straddles theological diversity in a fresh and compelling visitation with Jesus Christ. Meet Jesus is a gritty and warm-hearted introduction to Christianity with insight, truth and warmth! There is a evangelical fervour beating here in the call to the body-life and church family. It will stir your heart and inspire your faith with the beauty of grace, truth of worship and wisdom of gospel living. As Twisleton poetically pens...' in times of pain and difficulty, you will be carried forward through all the perils of life by one who loves you beyond reason.'

There is science, reason, cosmology, scripture and story woven well in this title. The author echoes Blaise Pascal's high wisdom challenge, 'Holiness is the church's greatest influence!' Oh that we might live up to this. Here is a lively, engaging and utterly reasonable ask!

Rev'd Dr Johnny Douglas for the Goodbookstall


Reviewed by Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen at St Sepulchre-Without-Newgate, London

I long ago got used to the expectation that, if I pick up a book on the Christian faith by an evangelical or grotty protty, I will find a great deal of Bible-thumping and injunctions to get myself saved. Whereas, in a Christian book by an anglo-catholic or spiky Joe, I will see a lot about the Virgin Mary and the profound influence on the writer of the high church theological college which prepared him for the ministry. In John Twisleton's, lively book, we get both - and this is part of what makes him so refreshing. Here is a man with prominent evangelical virtues who yet calls himself not only a minister but a priest.

Meet Jesus is a basic introduction to Christianity which works the minor miracle of combining intelligent, persuasive teaching with the complete avoidance of the patronising tone of voice.

Yes, here is enthusiastic evangelical preaching to the individual but also the reminder that, 'The faith of Christians is sustained within a body, the church, formed and authorised by God.' I can almost hear John Henry Newman adding his loud Amen to that. And to this: 'The forgiveness that Jesus won for us on the cross is freely available through the worship of the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) as well as through prayer.'

This is more than refreshing: it is inspired. For it is about time that Christians of all denominations put aside their differences of emphasis and directed their fire towards the aggressive secularism which attempts to displace Christianity from public life and discourse.

John Twisleton does not peddle cheap grace. He teaches a commitment to faith in Jesus Christ which not only encourages us in the sunshine of joyful worship and the spiritual exhilaration which friendship with Jesus can bring, but which calls on us to know that, in times of pain and difficulty, '...you will be carried forward through all the perils of life by one who loves you beyond reason.'

How far does Twisleton's true liberalism extend? Of the major non-Christian religions he quotes, with approval, the Second Vatican Council: 'The Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in these religions.'

The author knows that we can not only be enlightened by science but also blinded by it. And this is why in his defence of the reasonableness of belief in God, he asks tellingly of the cosmologists, 'If everything started with the Big Bang, who could have caused this event other than someone outside space, time and matter who created space, time and matter, called God?'

Twisleton strongly defends the reasonableness of faith but he knows that the heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. And here, in what for me is the most impressive line in his book, the author declares, with Blaise Pascal, 'Holiness is the church's greatest influence.'

Book details

  • ISBN: 9781841018959
  • Published: 18 November 2011
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
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