The 25 excellent essays in this volume were prepared in honour of the life and ministry of Rev Dr Norman Young, a wise and respected scholar, teacher, author and colleague to many. The papers were first presented at a conference in November 2010 to mark his eightieth birthday and the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination in the Methodist church.
As the title indicates, all the essays are on the theme of the grace of God, always a central component of Dr Young's ministry and teaching. Four of the essays are on biblical topics, six on various theological dimensions of grace, seven on the contribution of the Methodist tradition, five on grace and the Christian life and three are more personal reflections. All the essays are thoughtful, readable and engaging. They make important contributions to our ongoing discernment of the mystery of God's grace in our midst.
The contributors are mostly by Australian scholars, but some also from Canada, USA, Malaysia and Britain. Only three are from women and one from a non-Anglo background, probably reflecting the era during which Norman Young held key positions in the church.
While the volume would have greatly benefited from a good proof-reader (changes in font size, footnote reference numbers not in superscript, missing paragraph breaks, misleading page headers and inconsistent punctuation occur throughout), this does not substantially detract from the high quality of the essays.
The volume concludes with a useful bibliography of Norman Young's writings. Important as these are, his even more lasting legacy is no doubt in the lives of the many students he taught, the people he helped to form for ministry and the colleagues with whom he worked and consulted. Now a new generation can benefit from some helpful and insightful reflections on a central component of Dr Norman Young's life and teaching—"the Mystery which we discern as the way of grace."
Photo : Immense, Unfathomed, Unconfined: The Grace of God in Creation, Church and Community