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Jack and the Cross Roads


As well as getting a new kettle at Wallingford, I popped into the library. I had a few books to return and I relish the opportunity to pore over a less familiar trove of books. On the recent returns shelf, I saw a title by JG Ballard (Kingdom Come) and, as I’ve not read so much fiction recently, I reached out for this master of speculative writing. Somehow though, when my hand came back, it was holding a different book called Cross Roads, which I almost put back before I spotted that it was by Wm Paul Young, author of The Shack.

Young writes in the mould of CS Lewis and the other Inklings; thought-provoking Christian allegory is his stock in trade. As I expected I found it quite a gripping read and certainly up to the standard of his previous book. Like The Shack, it brings God into the story but in a way that, while ultimately encouraging, is likely to cause flurries of concern in many Christian circles.

The word they need to look up (perhaps after grace and charity) is that one mentioned above: allegory. The author isn’t saying “this is how you should expect to experience things”. Instead it is about communicating essentials that are easily overlooked when wrapped in more familiar garb. Allegory. If you don’t grasp that, you don’t know Jack…

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