Posted by: gcarkner | March 4, 2015

Surprised by Oxford

Surprised by Oxford: a memoir. by Carolyn Weber
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Commentary by Jan Porcino, former Student Worker at Harvard University

This is a great book. It gave me so much joy to watch this very competent and diligent young Canadian woman journey from agnosticism to faith in Jesus as she pursued her studies for a D.Phil at Oxford.  There are wonderful quotes from great literature she includes in each chapter. It is fascinating to observe the varied circle of friends and professors God brought into her life: their significant conversations over time, her deep questioning and diligent study in the rich (yet decidedly hostile to Christianity) environment of Oxford. It was completely engaging; I could have sat down and read it cover to cover in one sitting.

One male theological student befriended Carolyn; he not only makes good coffee, but is skilled in carefully discussing her tough questions and patiently listening to her many doubts over the weeks and years. He is also consistently gracious and kind to her in her suspicions about the trustworthiness of men arising from her life-experience and her feminist convictions. I was particularly moved by her description of this theological student’s American parents who visited Oxford and invited Carolyn to join them for dinner. They embody the beauty of the gospel and life-long discipleship through the tough places of life: including his father’s military service in Viet Nam. That evening visit impacted her deeply. When I finished the book, I read the “Acknowledgments” and to my joy, discovered a personal link to his folks who are now her in-laws. Her father-in-law, Stuart Weber, was an outstanding member of my graduating class of ‘67 at Wheaton College! Her description fits what I knew of him from a distance during those four years. This is a thrilling true story.

30% off at Regent Bookstore
Hope you have time to enjoy this special journey to faith, one of real integrity.

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