An Open View: Keeping Faith Day by Day


103 pages
ISBN 0-921846-20-7
DDC 242




Illustrations by Rob Roi
Reviewed by A.J. Pell

The Reverend Dr. A.J. Pell is rector of Holy Trinity Cathedral in the
Diocese of New Westminster, British Columbia.


“An open view” indicates the outlook of author John Bothwell,
Anglican bishop of Niagara diocese and Archbishop of Ontario. He has
always been open to new ideas, and to new perspectives on old ideas. In
this volume, he applies this approach to the Christian faith, looking at
it from four interrelated perspectives.

Each perspective is given a quarter of the book. “Portraits of
God’s People” approaches Christian life by looking briefly at the
lives of five individuals. “Christian Faith” examines six basic
Christian doctrines. “Christian Life” explores key ideas, issues,
and doubts that influence people’s commitment to their faith in
Christ. “Christian Hope” looks at how Christians can approach and
deal with the future in a time of uncertainty.

The book is written, as the author states, “for enquiring laity with
little background in academic theology.” Thus, he keeps his chapters
short and provides a few questions at the end of each to assist readers
to grapple with the thoughts he has presented.

On the whole, this book is well written and does much to achieve its
author’s goals. However, Bothwell is a teacher, not a writer, and so
the weak link is the first section: the individuals are not given
sufficient breadth to really bring them to life, for at least as much
teaching description fills these chapters. In spite of this weak
beginning, An Open View can be read and pondered profitably by anyone,
inside or outside the church, interested in the interaction between
Christian faith and what some call “real life.”


Bothwell, John., “An Open View: Keeping Faith Day by Day,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,