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Faith Under Fire: What the Middle East Conflict Has Taught Me about God

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Daily encounters with danger and death lead to greater faith As the minister of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Andrew White encounters daily tragedy, yet he remains a man of profound faith. Under constant threat of death, shadowed by bodyguards, he builds and encourages and loves and consoles his beleaguered congregation. In this candid book he squarely answers the q Daily encounters with danger and death lead to greater faith As the minister of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Andrew White encounters daily tragedy, yet he remains a man of profound faith. Under constant threat of death, shadowed by bodyguards, he builds and encourages and loves and consoles his beleaguered congregation. In this candid book he squarely answers the questions that his circumstances force into the open. What happened to his faith, for example, when a young girl in his congregation died, after much hope and prayer? He is trusted by all sides in this tormented region, and has met the best and worst: articulate, agreeable imams and rabbis; Christian venality and dishonesty. What has kept him willing to see the best? Every time he returns to Iraq, he may be saying goodbye to his family for the last time. What do they think? He suffers from MS. How does he remain cheerful despite his physical weakness, and its progression? What does he say to God, alone in his study, late at night? He has been caught up in momentous events. Can he see the hand of God? Looking ahead, can he be optimistic about the future? Where are his sources of spiritual energy? He solicits prayer: why?


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Daily encounters with danger and death lead to greater faith As the minister of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Andrew White encounters daily tragedy, yet he remains a man of profound faith. Under constant threat of death, shadowed by bodyguards, he builds and encourages and loves and consoles his beleaguered congregation. In this candid book he squarely answers the q Daily encounters with danger and death lead to greater faith As the minister of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Andrew White encounters daily tragedy, yet he remains a man of profound faith. Under constant threat of death, shadowed by bodyguards, he builds and encourages and loves and consoles his beleaguered congregation. In this candid book he squarely answers the questions that his circumstances force into the open. What happened to his faith, for example, when a young girl in his congregation died, after much hope and prayer? He is trusted by all sides in this tormented region, and has met the best and worst: articulate, agreeable imams and rabbis; Christian venality and dishonesty. What has kept him willing to see the best? Every time he returns to Iraq, he may be saying goodbye to his family for the last time. What do they think? He suffers from MS. How does he remain cheerful despite his physical weakness, and its progression? What does he say to God, alone in his study, late at night? He has been caught up in momentous events. Can he see the hand of God? Looking ahead, can he be optimistic about the future? Where are his sources of spiritual energy? He solicits prayer: why?

30 review for Faith Under Fire: What the Middle East Conflict Has Taught Me about God

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Brown

    Such a slim book - I read the entire thing on a flight from Thessaloniki to Munich - but no less potent for its brevity! Canon Andrew White was long known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," having assumed pastoral care over St. George's Anglican Church there. Throughout the difficulties following Saddam's fall and the rise of sectarian violence in Iraq, he remained on as pastor, during which time this book was written. (Not until November 2014, after the proclamation of ISIS' so-called "caliphate," was Such a slim book - I read the entire thing on a flight from Thessaloniki to Munich - but no less potent for its brevity! Canon Andrew White was long known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," having assumed pastoral care over St. George's Anglican Church there. Throughout the difficulties following Saddam's fall and the rise of sectarian violence in Iraq, he remained on as pastor, during which time this book was written. (Not until November 2014, after the proclamation of ISIS' so-called "caliphate," was Canon Andrew ordered by the Archbishop of Canterbury to leave Baghdad for his own safety.) The stories he shares from his years of pastoring in Baghdad (while struggling with his own multiple sclerosis) are utterly captivating: for instance, one occasion when fourteen people came to him to be baptized, and within the week following their baptism, eleven of the fourteen had been martyred. Or the day he was kidnapped and woke up in a room full of severed limbs. But that was simply life for Canon Andrew, the life for which God providentially ordered his past experiences to equip him. My personal favorite chapter was one in which he reviews each clause of the Nicene Creed, sharing what they mean to him from his perspective as a pastor in Baghdad. His is very much a robust theology of the cross, of the realization that "in Jesus we have a God who has been in the line of fire ... But in this city where so many Christians have been killed, where I myself have experienced so much opposition and aggression, my faith seems more real than ever when I grasp that my Lord also lived 'under fire' and ultimately was killed. Yet death could not hold him; he broke its power, and this means that I know death cannot hold me either, and I genuinely do not need to fear it" (46-47). Thanks be to God!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Merv Budd

    Known as the Bishop of Baghdad, Andrew White gives us an insider’s perspective of life as a Christian in Iraq. It is an inspiring account of living out one’s faith under fire; the pain of suffering, persecution and bloody massacres, the joy of miraculous interventions and healings by God, and the personal and corporate faith development that living in such an environment produces. I found that the book started out slow but picked up in time to hold and carry my attention. Written with candid vul Known as the Bishop of Baghdad, Andrew White gives us an insider’s perspective of life as a Christian in Iraq. It is an inspiring account of living out one’s faith under fire; the pain of suffering, persecution and bloody massacres, the joy of miraculous interventions and healings by God, and the personal and corporate faith development that living in such an environment produces. I found that the book started out slow but picked up in time to hold and carry my attention. Written with candid vulnerability, it can’t help but pull at your heart strings. It’s not a hard or long read and well worth the effort if you want to get a balanced perspective of life in the Middle East. His pastoral heart comes through and you will find your faith built up through the pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lance Towers

    Some of our Christian brothers and sisters in Baghdad are suffering. In broad strokes, Faith Under Fire tells their story through the eyes of a courageous spiritual father. White's words are informative and warm, drawing the reader into what life is like for many modern-day disciples in the Middle East.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Very interesting nook, best read in small doses as there is a lot to digest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    A heart felt and painfully honest account of holding on to faith in the face of genuine and deadly hostility.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dudley Anderson

    Fantastic story of a fantastic man.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt A

    How many pastors do you know who have to preach with a bulletproof vest?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Penny Shales

    Andrew White is clearly an extraordinary person. This book describes his wonderful work at St. George's Baghdad. The style is concise and fairly unemotional as he refers to the daily horrors of life in Iraq. Over the last few years he has built up his church to become a centre for refugees of all faiths. He tells us quite matter of factly that he now has to raise $175000 a month just to keep his project going - but no one is turned away. He himself is a trained doctor as well as a priest who sti Andrew White is clearly an extraordinary person. This book describes his wonderful work at St. George's Baghdad. The style is concise and fairly unemotional as he refers to the daily horrors of life in Iraq. Over the last few years he has built up his church to become a centre for refugees of all faiths. He tells us quite matter of factly that he now has to raise $175000 a month just to keep his project going - but no one is turned away. He himself is a trained doctor as well as a priest who still keeps working in spite of suffering from severe MS. His tone is detached as he describes his life's work and it is only when you finish the book that you realise quite how exceptional he must be. Inspired by God (or so he thinks) he negotiates with leaders of all faiths in this troubled part of the world often at great personal risk. A humble man who sees himself as someone who just gets on with the job. This is a book that affects you more and more as you reflect on it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lillie

    I knew of Canon White's work as the "Vicar of Baghdad" but had never read any of his books. This was a powerful testimony of the presence of God in the midst of war and hate and evil. Canon White's commitment to the people of Iraq, not only his congregation but the wider community, Christian and Muslim alike, is moving. It is sad to know that since this book was published he has had to leave Iraq because even three dozen bodyguards can't keep him safe now, and his presence can create danger for I knew of Canon White's work as the "Vicar of Baghdad" but had never read any of his books. This was a powerful testimony of the presence of God in the midst of war and hate and evil. Canon White's commitment to the people of Iraq, not only his congregation but the wider community, Christian and Muslim alike, is moving. It is sad to know that since this book was published he has had to leave Iraq because even three dozen bodyguards can't keep him safe now, and his presence can create danger for other people. The faith of Iraqi Christians is incredible. Thirteen people were secretly baptized at one time, and within a week, eleven of them had been martyred for their faith. I am awed and inspired by the courage and faith of these people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carleton Raisbeck

    This book was recommended to me from the bookshelf by the vicar's wife at a church I attend. A church in (and of) England, not Baghdad, like where the Canon Andrew White was, and perhaps still is. Reading it made me think about the freedom to worship I have in the country in which I live. It's so easily taken for granted. Maybe our own freedom is something we must appreciate and defend lest we give our freedoms away and end up forced in a situation like that in which Rev White so bravely and volu This book was recommended to me from the bookshelf by the vicar's wife at a church I attend. A church in (and of) England, not Baghdad, like where the Canon Andrew White was, and perhaps still is. Reading it made me think about the freedom to worship I have in the country in which I live. It's so easily taken for granted. Maybe our own freedom is something we must appreciate and defend lest we give our freedoms away and end up forced in a situation like that in which Rev White so bravely and voluntary puts himself. I don't know if I'll ever end up in the same kind of danger as him, but learning about the struggles and unjust persecutions of his congregation and ones like it are sure to be helpful and inspiring when we face our own inevitable struggles. May God bless his ministry.

  11. 4 out of 5

    H.D. Anyone

    This is a true account of the work that the Vicar of Bagdad is doing in Iraq. He is there facing death every day, running a church and a hospital and feeding the hungry. I had the privilege of hearing Cannon White speak at a Triennial Retreat, and his story so deeply affected me that it has changed my life and clarified what I believe to be God's plan for my life. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to an important ministry going on in one of the most dangerous places on earth. A min This is a true account of the work that the Vicar of Bagdad is doing in Iraq. He is there facing death every day, running a church and a hospital and feeding the hungry. I had the privilege of hearing Cannon White speak at a Triennial Retreat, and his story so deeply affected me that it has changed my life and clarified what I believe to be God's plan for my life. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to an important ministry going on in one of the most dangerous places on earth. A ministry that is possible only because of God's omnipotence and love.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dan Archer

    Admittedly I skim read some portions of this book, as at times I did not quite understand some of what was being discussed, but I found the insight into the situation of the Christian communities in Iraq and other places interesting, and especially enjoyed how much encouragement is given to a commitment to understand the positions of other faiths. The comparison of Christianity and Islam, though brief, was clear and helpful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Absolutely riveting read about life as a chaplain in Baghdad, Iraq. The intensity of the faith of the congregation of St. George is such a challenge. At times, White's writing is a little scattered and seems incomplete, but it's understandable given the nature of his high stress, non-stop life. I admire so much the very practical, tangible ways that he and his congregation live out their commitment to Christ, even when it puts their lives at great risk.

  14. 4 out of 5

    James

    I am glad to have read this book. It is a bit like reading the book of Acts set in 21st century. Like Acts there is a lot to challenge your own commitment to God and a lot that is encouraging and a lot that you have to accept because it couldn't be untrue but it is not easy to believe. I think it is encouraging and I will add "the Vicar of Baghdad" to my prayers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    such pithy and poignant lessons to be learned from our brothers and sisters living daily under fire for their faith. perhaps the most lasting impression is "don't take care, take risks." a quick but profound read, will remain close to my heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jason Blean

    A very personal account of an extraordinary ministry. Gives real insight into what it means to be a persecuted church in the 21st Century. The harrowing stories and the inspiring faith of Andrew and his congregation will touch you. Well worth the read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andy Wolf

    inspiring

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    My hubby bought this book, and he passed it to me to read, it is a good book about the experiences of an Anglican priest in Baghdad. Worth reading it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    I thoroughly enjoyed this account of the English Rev White's calling to pastor a church in Baghdad. His frankness was refreshing and his stories held me captivated.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    Just heard Rev. White speak a powerful sermon at my church and I will be interested to read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jane Newey

    What a man of faith

  22. 4 out of 5

    'vincent

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kassie Ali

  25. 5 out of 5

    Oli May

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Baw

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karin Du Toit

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Nock

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyse

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Jampolsky

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