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Contained in the pages of this book are the stories of city lives. They are ordinary people on one level, high flyers on another, but all of them have something in common - their lives have been changed by an encounter with Jesus.
You'll be introduced to lives from the Premier League to Parliament, fashion to finance, music to the military, baking to business and more in this book.
Each story of faith has something different that may intrigue, surprise or shock you, but each will share with you how Jesus radically changed their life.
Reviewing this book has been a huge effort for me as by nature I am a retiring shy type who likes to avoid the spotlight and delights in being self effacing....well perhaps not... Yes, I am afraid that one of the chapters in the book is about me, and tells in a few pages (you will be relieved to hear) my life story: my bible smuggling youth behind the Iron Curtain, my career in private banking and especially the last few years trying to deal with cancer. If you want to know what its like to be me and told you have incurable cancer and will likely be dead in 18 months (cheery thought but as it turned out too pessimistic!) then read on. But dont worry, there are 13 other chapters which are much more enjoyable! Written by Marcus Nodder, the vicar of London's only floating church, St Peter's Barge at Canary Wharf, each one tells in a few pages the inside story of a Christian living and working in a regular job. A huge range of jobs and professions are covered. So we have another banker (yes, I know, one is quite enough), a hedge fund manager and an insurance executive, but also a footballer, an opera singer, a soldier, a judge, an Oxford professor, a Paralympian, a TV "Bake Off' star and lots more. One or two stories, such as Jonathan Aitken are relatively well known, but most of the biographies will be new to most readers. Each one is well told, personal and revealing. Each person has had their life transformed for the good by an encounter with Jesus Christ. Marcus could have had an alternative career as a journalist, so skilfully does he tell each individuals story. If you have even a little curiosity as to why people are Christians when society in the UK has moved so far in the opposite direction, this is a great book to read. Each person's life story stands by itself and each tells their own story of the reasons why they came to faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone is different. Some people experienced a dramatic "Road to Damascus" experience such as Mike Farmer, a noted hedge fund manager who had no Christian contact at all and had what can only be described as a vision in the middle of the night. He saw the words "Jesus Christ is the Son of God" written in the dark in his bedroom. Most people though came to faith via Christian friends who shared their faith with them. A few came to belief like me from a strong Christian family, others like my friend Akeel Sachak were from a Muslim background, most were good old English atheists or agnostics. One of the most important messages in the book is that Christians are absolutely not good people who think they are better than everyone else. Nor are we preaching moralism "try harder, be better". We are rather like people who have discovered a cure for cancer and want to share it. As one of these dreadful bankers says " the message about Jesus is not for good people but for bad people...a Christian is someone who has recognised they are sick and need a doctor, spiritually speaking." The good doctor is of course Jesus Christ and if you want to understand what he means to me and others, this is the place to start. The book also gives the lie to the claim that only oddballs and failures need the crutch of faith (well, 13 of them seem fairly normal, anyway). It additionally will dispel any illusion that being a Christian is some kind of passport to health, wealth and happiness - looking at the topics covered we have not only cancer, but also losing your lower limb in boating accidents, alcoholics at deaths door pulling the wool over their doctors eyes, convicted criminals going to jail and fearing for their life when they hear what their fellow prisoners are shouting and much more. For the Christian, this book, especially at the incredibly attractive price being offered by the excellent publishers, is a great one to give away to your friends. In particular this is because Marcus has looked at the reason why each person came to faith, their pathway to belief. If you want to present your friends with the arguments for why the resurrection actually happened, why science has not disproved God but rather points to him, why a good God allows suffering and evil, they are all here. Personally, and I realise I am biased, I think thats a particularly readable format.
Have you ever wondered if you are the only Christian in your office? Or have you ever heard that Christianity is only for those who are weak and need a crutch through life? Or are you wondering how to respond to some difficult questions that people might have about Christianity? If so, here is a good book for you to read. Marcus Nodder has drawn together the testimonies of people from all areas of city life and put together City Lives. This book is a great way of dealing with difficult apologetics questions, whilst listening to someone’s story along the way. Unlike other apologetics book it is not full of facts and statistics, but is instead full of the impact that the message of Christianity has had on people lives. You’ll read of sports professionals, medical professionals, law professionals and a contestant from the Bake Off. This book contains 14 accounts of how the good news of Jesus has changed people’s lives. If you’re looking to be encouraged in your faith, or if you’re searching for answers to difficult questions, or even if you want to have an easy give a way book City Lives would be a good start on all fronts.
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