|Exeter College Chapel|
I liked this book so much for several reasons.
|Balliol College Hall|
saw anybody stop to listen to him....they just pushed by to get to where they were going. This approach often ends up with people feeling attacked and beat over the head with a Bible. There has to be a balance between the urgency of the message and respect for those you are sharing with. I know some people, in general those that I consider to have the gift of evangelism, who can share the Gospel with absolute strangers in a loving and gentle way. (My brother-in-law is an example of somebody who can do this.)
This book, on the other hand, shows how having a relationship with a person while being honestly open about your faith, sharing as the person is ready to hear, in my opinion, is a much better approach. I really enjoyed following the dialogues she had with friends who gently pointed her to Jesus, but who didn't compromise anything in their beliefs.
|"The High", Oxford|
The third reason I liked the book is that, though some of the topics are a bit heavy, she writes with a great sense of humor which saves the book from getting too bogged down in theology. As I said, it's a memoir, not a theology book.
|Radcliffe Camera, Oxford|
One of the things about the book that was neither good nor bad for me, were her many references to literature, and to the Romantic writers in particular. They did not detract from the story, but for somebody who is well versed in the Romantic writers, the book would have even more depth and meaning. I just wasn't really sure what she was referring to at times!
A few quotes from Surprised by Oxford
"I remembered when I had fully expected Christians to be naive and unrealistic...what I really did not expect to discover was just how realistic they are, while striving for the idealistic. Now I understood that there is an art to honesty. And there is nothing naive about cultivating a pure heart."
|Church of St. Mary the Virgin|
"How my friends who grew up in Christian homes took their gifts of faith from their parents for granted! How prayer came as second nature, an obvious problem-solver or comfort or alternative to panic, anxiety, fear. They took for granted the powerful pause of grace before meals. How oblivious they could seem to the precious and effective armor they had been given: to have the gift of faith from your childhood, to lean into it and grow into it...to even have the luxury to rebel against it."
|Merton Street....I loved this street because the tourists hadn't discovered it and it really felt like you were stepping back in time.|