Real God in the Real World

Advent and Christmas readings on the coming of Christ

Trystan Owain Hughes

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A thoughtful and helpful guide to the Advent season, rich in wisdom and insight.
Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, King's College London

Content

This book offers a lively, engaging, and accessible look at the theme of the Incarnation, the mysterious event at the heart of Christmas, using personal stories, illustrations from popular culture and the arts, as well as daily Bible readings. The starting-point is what the 'Word made flesh' means for us and how the first Christmas should still have an impact on our everyday lives.

We will be taken on an absorbing journey to help us recognise the person of Jesus in the people we meet, the conversations we have, and even in our relationship with nature and the arts. By the end of our journey, we will not only recognise Christ in others, but also in ourselves, as we model ourselves on him and share his love, compassion and peace with our neighbours, whoever they are and whatever their backgrounds.

Real God in the Real World is available as an eBook

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Endorsements

A thoughtful and helpful guide to the Advent season, rich in wisdom and insight.
Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, King's College London

What I have come to love about the writing of Trystan Hughes is its richly eclectic nature. He draws from a vast range of sources - from ancient literature to contemporary news and film. In this volume of advent meditations he adds stories from his own life: both his small-town childhood in North Wales and his more recent work as a University Chaplain in Cardiff. The result is a reflection on the incarnation of Christ that 'does what it says on the tin': exploring the life of the divine in the contexts of real life now. One of the benefits of Trystan's considerable skill as a storyteller is that the writing never becomes dull. Every new page gives you good reason to read the next, until you find that you have taken in important spiritual truths just by listening: like sitting in the pub with an old friend and realising, as you rise to leave, just how much you have learned. This is a devotional that fizzes with the pleasure of an advent calendar: each day, as you open a new chapter, you will find yourself looking forward to the gems the author has for you.
Gerard Kelly, The Bless Network

Author info

Trystan Owain Hughes is the Anglican Chaplain of Cardiff University, having been Head of Theology at Trinity St David's University, Camarthen. He has also written 'Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering' and 'The Compassion Quest' and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. He blogs at http://trystanowainhughes.wordpress.com/

Reviews

I am a member of a small Methodist Church Group called 'Pilgrims' and we meet weekly during Advent and Lent and monthly during the rest of the year.

This Advent, we have used the above book in our weekly discussions and found it an excellent resource. We all agreed that we looked forward to the daily readings (unlike some study books where one feels one 'has' to read it!). The language and content was easy to understand for us non-scholars, it was humorous and informative. At the same time it was very thought provoking with a serious message. The questions at the back of the book were relevant to our group and normally elicited a response from the members - no awkward silences! The suggestions for reflection were also well received and appropriate.

We found it was an ideal way to take time out from the busyness of Christmas preparations to focus on the birth of Christ and its implications on how we live our lives.

Whilst we enjoyed discussing and sharing experiences as a group, the book would be just as suitable for an individual person.

Elaine Fletcher, Thatcham Methodist Church Pilgrims Group


A brilliant Advent Book! Thanks to Mr Hughes for doing what it said on the cover! Loved the approach with an interesting and pertinent Bible message at the beginning followed by up to date interpretation and thoughts which clearly linked today's world with Jesus'. Really appreciated the family references and loved 'God's tears' which I remember every time I brush my teeth!

Thank you for relating and making pertinent the Christmas message with life today - ever so much appreciated. My college chum and I (having known each other since 1965!) have used your Advent notes (and the Lent ones) for the past few years and find them very refreshing and up to the minute - bless you for keeping us on our toes! The reflections are remembered by me when travelling the next day - a good test of my focussing the night before!

Reviewed by Patricia Barnes


From The Good Bookstall

"Life is about recognizing Christ in all our journeys."

So says Trystan Owain Hughes in this new book of rich bible meditations. Hughes writes with a warmth, authentic insight and real delight. The writing style is fresh and engaging. Story-telling punctuates this title with the security and confidence of a seasoned and secure Christ-follower.

There is a great blend of traditional Christmas, and contemporary cultural insight in what is written here. There is plenty of gracious challenge surrounding the depth and parameters of the discipleship permeating our lives.

Incarnational faith is the most consistent theme offered by way of challenge in this title. For truly "work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence."

All of life is engaged with in an earthy faith that is compelling in its nature. This is winsome stuff. The 'Christ in our neighbour' section is the one area of greatest challenge and provocation for me here.

I am such a fan of Trystan's other more complex, challenging, and nuanced books. This a great, if a somewhat rushed seasonal offering.

It's a perfect antidote to the chaos of the Christmas season - a worthy companion in the advent season. Here's to this and more Rev T O Hughes writing in the not too distant future!


From The Door

Real God in the Real World by Trystan Owain Hughes is BRF's 2013 Advent book. This book offers a lively, engaging, and accessible look at the theme of the Incarnation, the mysterious event at the heart of Christmas, using personal stories, illustrations from popular culture and the arts, as well as daily Bible readings. The starting-point is what the 'Word made flesh' means for us and how the first Christmas should still have an impact on our everyday lives.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857462657
  • Published: 22 November 2013
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
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