The Contemplative Response by Ian Cowley
Recommended for anyone who finds themselves ‘too busy’, and doesn't know what to do about it
The Contemplative Response
By Ian Cowley
BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
Reviewed by Ed Jones
The subtitle for the latest book by Ian Cowley sets up beautifully one of the many challenges which we find ourselves facing int he world today: Leadership and ministry in a distracted culture. It is easy to be distracted by a whole host of things, few are immune. What is more, distractions come in a variety of ways, catching each of us off guard at different times.
Broken into three parts, the book guides the reader to initially ground oneself once again ‘Choose this day whom you will serve’, to be aware of the pulls and strains from the world around us ‘The false self: the compulsion and the remedies’, before finally inviting the reader to connect afresh with God as the means of traversing onwards ‘The contemplative heart’.
If you’ve read anything by Ian before, his style is easily readable and engaging. He writes from personally experience, open and honest to the fact that he doesn’t have it all sorted and totally together, yet never losing his focus or the heart of what he’s seeking to convey and communicate - this isn’t a book where the author takes centre stage, it being all about them. Knowledge of his previous book The Contemplative Minister is not a necessity by any means, although he’s obviously building on what he’s written about before.
Speaking into themes of sabbath and rest, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who finds themselves ‘too busy’, ‘up against it’ or ’on the treadmill’ of life unsure of what to do about this fact. Well worth taking time out to consider all Ian has to share and the impact it could have on your life and ministry.
Ed Jones is pastor and team leader at Battle Baptist Church in Sussex