One sentence in the ‘Introduction’ of Adam Ramsey’s book ‘Truth on Fire’ immediately held me tight in its grip: ‘What if we didn’t have to choose between an intelligent faith and a passionate one?’ The next sentence made sure that the book didn’t let me go until I had finished it: ‘After all, a sharp mind with a cold heart is just as big of a fail as a heart radically on fire about nonsense.’ Hey presto, here was a book that spoke to a long journey of faith which has taken me, very much a ‘Feeler’, and my husband, who is absolutely a ‘Thinker’, across the Christian traditions until gradually we have become much better at celebrating who we each are before God, both as individuals and as a couple.
But of course, the mutual respect of differences is lesson that never ends - and it’s because we’re still learning that this book, with wonderful warmth, quiet confidence, great clarity and an inspiration that is faith-building, is such a help. Adam Ramsey makes it abundantly clear that God loves both Thinkers and Feelers: he loves us to think intelligently about Him and He loves it when we come to Him and to each other with honest hearts, especially when those hearts learn to sing, whatever life’s circumstances, because we are so close to Him. In fact, an intelligent faith and a faith filled heart that sings are two sides of the same coin that is life in Christ. And the author speaks his message by enveloping us in the absolute truth of our good God who is almighty, ever present, all loving, all forgiving and always rooting for us.
In the end, ‘Truth on Fire’ left me pondering the potential beauty and power of individual Christians and church communities – in all of their glorious technicolour – that are really good at joyfully respecting and celebrating the coming together of both hearts and minds to worship God in Truth and Spirit……. however different that might sometimes look like and feel like from each of our norms. I reckon that it would certainly make God’s heart sing!
Catherine Knights, Bishop Auckland