Review: Opening Doors

A seeker’s reflections on the rooms of Christian living, by Kevin Treston, Coventry Press, 2019

Kevin Treston, based in Brisbane, has written many books to assist adult faith formation within the Australian Catholic church. This is a short, readable book that is ideal for any Christian discussion group or for individual reflection.

The eleven ‘doors’ are different aspects of Christian living. Each chapter opens with a key question, such as “how does your faith life touch your everyday happenings?” “How might our Christian  faith be fully integrated within the whole web of life in the universe?” “What are key issues in Christian moral teachings today?” “How is your membership of the church significant or not significant in your faith life now?” And “How do you see the role of a Christian in the world today?”

Each chapter ends with group conversation starters and is well written and bound to provoke discussion. Indeed, it is amazing how much content is packed into each short chapter.

Underpinning the book is Treston’s idea that the Christian church is heading into a new era. He sees three great movements in the 2 000 years of the Christian story: ‘the beginning’ (God’s revelation in Jesus as the Christ: Jewish heritage is the primal setting for how Jesus as the Christ story is told and celebrated); ‘traditional story’ (the Christian story is shaped by Greek philosophies and Roman European cultures from the 4th century until our present age); and the ‘emerging cosmic story’ (now  there is a reframing of the Christian story, which requires teachings, theology, spirituality, liturgy, and ethical living to be reconciled with the challenging new information on the universe, modern science and the new consciousness).

I would encourage all members of the Uniting Church to read this book. It is not necessarily a specifically ‘Catholic’ book. The questions challenge each of us to have a clear position (which can of  course evolve over time) on each of the matters raised.

The Christian viewpoint in Australian life may be becoming a minority viewpoint. But people outside the church are still curious as to why some of us remain within the church. Each person should have some answers to the questions raised in this book and so will have a sharper perception of their faith. They will then be in a good position to respond to questioners.

Keith Suter

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