The Courage to Believe


194 pages
ISBN 0-919532-03-9





Reviewed by Ray Covell

Ray Covell was a librarian in Kelowna, British Columbia.


This book is an excursion through the gospel of Mark; each chapter of the gospel is interpreted for modern man as a very readable sermon by Allen Churchill, a former RCMP and Oxford graduate, who is currently a United Church pastor. He believes in a return to traditional Christianity and criticizes modern attempts to save mankind: “we turn away from Jesus of Nazareth to the popular gurus of the twentieth century and applaud our own cleverness ... We are on ... a collision course! And the impact will be measured in megatons, a seismic shock right off the Richter Scale! ... Why can’t we see that knowing the molecular structure of DNA does not guarantee anyone the knowledge of the chemistry of love? ... knowing about the crushing suction of a black hole and how to avoid it in interstellar travel will not help anyone to avoid the spiritual and moral vacuum in his own heart? Calling the world a global village does not mean we are close to formulating a world commonwealth of mankind.” Allen Churchill quotes both Sir Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, who raised the hopes of different groups, as examples of men who had vision (as opposed to the hopelessness brought about by doubts, despair, and depression). Churchill thinks the church today has lost its message, its spiritual power, and its nerve. By using quotations from the New International Version of the Bible, he brings a fresh impact to familiar verses: “You cannot serve both God and Money.” This is a good book for religious studies, comparing today’s social standards and Christian practices with those in the Bible.


Churchill, Allen D., “The Courage to Believe,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,