‘Rock of Ages?’
The Changing Faces of the Christian God, by John Butler
Book Signing in the Cathedral Shop.
Is God the eternal and immutable presence that Christianity has commonly proclaimed him to be – the Rock of Ages? John Butler offers a different perspective through a personal exploration of the changing images of God within the main streams of the Christian faith over a period of some four thousand years.
Butler takes the reader on a kaleidoscope odyssey that begins with the pantheon of deities in Bronze Age Canaan from which the God of the early Old Testament emerged and ends with the radical images of God that were surfacing in the late twentieth century. The story is told largely through the record of the Bible and the ideas of key writers and thinkers whose authority or persuasiveness have allowed their visions of God to become embedded in the major Christian traditions. The book concludes with a discussion of the central question raised by the analysis: why is it that people across the ages have claimed to have experienced so many different and sometimes contradictory faces of the Christian God?
Written in an elegant and engaging style, this informative book will appeal to Christians, atheists, students, and those who are simply interested in the cultural and intellectual history of God.
John Butler is Emeritus Professor at the University of Kent and a guide at Canterbury Cathedral. He is author of the acclaimed Quest for Becket’s Bones (1995) and the prize-winning Red Dean of Canterbury (2011).