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God of the valley - Steve Griffiths

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God of the valley - a journey through grief
Steve Griffiths
Paperback / softback
Bible Reading Fellowship
UK Publication Date
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The Revd Dr Steve Griffiths is a priest in the Church of England. He was formerly Director of the Cambridge Centre for Youth Ministry, and continues to lecture and teach those training for youth ministry and current practitioners around the world. He has written four books, including God of the Valley for BRF, and many articles at both popular and academic levels.

From Reform Magazine - May 2011Convincing biblical insights drawn from personal griefSteve Griffiths' wife, Clare, died from a brain tumour at the age of 36. Their daughter, Rebekah, was eight years old. His sister also died from cancer. In this book, Griffiths addresses his experience of grief, and explores some of the biblical and theological questions and insights he discovered on his journey. He demonstrates how they affected his own feelings and faith.In my 40 years in pastoral ministry, I have more than once come across those who write down an account of their pain. They then put it away, and often, years later, they simply tear it up. Griffiths chose to publish his, and I confess to approaching the result with a degree of cynicism - I distrust books that aim to help others by setting out very intimate experiences.C S Lewis, in A Grief Observed, says: "Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand." Remembering this, there were moments in the book when I wanted to shout at Griffiths to avoid smugness: "Your answer will not be everyone's answer. Please don't make us feel guilty if we can't share your happy conclusion." He sometimes comes dangerously near to seeing his own grief as the most important thing in everyone's lives - not just his.But Griffiths does convince. He is so authentic. Who has lost a loved one and not experienced a deep feeling of guilt? In this book, it's there. Or anger? It's also there (interestingly against the church!) Or hated God? That's there too. He makes a determined - and successful - effort to challenge the biblical witness and to harvest from it comfort and understanding. And he wins through his personal struggle.Bereavement is the ultimate personal experience. This is why I conclude that there are those who will find this book immensely supportive, and those who will be merely irritated. There is no way to tell the difference in advance.John R Smith is a United Reformed Church minister at Morningside United Church, Edinburgh

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Keyword Index
Grief - Religious aspects - Christianity.
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