Specks and Planks: Stories of hope, humility and humanity is a great book. Someone introduced me to the book before Lent to use as a Bible study. Yet, I found reading it to myself far better than having it read to me. Each chapter is only four pages, so if you do not like one of the chapters, you know there will be another one along very shortly that you may like. I am happy to say that I enjoyed every single one. It was a joy from chapter one to chapter thirty-four.
It is the sort of book that has to be savoured and not read quickly, just like superior cheese or fine wine. It benefits from being read intentionally but at a nice, slow pace so that you can pick up all the nuances. Jeff Lucas sprinkles it with humour making it so enjoyable, I did not want it to end. I enjoyed the writing quality and how Lucas made me question my thinking by gently offering alternative viewpoints. He is very Christ-centric and suggests a solution to world peace, which involves the world collaborating on a giant jigsaw. It is Lucas’s sideways looks and creative thinking that makes the book an absolute gem.
There are some powerful stories (for instance, chapter 32), but there are many light-hearted ones that meant I finished the book quite quickly, despite attempting to take my time. Jeff Lucas’s theology is similar to my own. He sees Jesus in much the same way as I, offering continual love and being continually available. Whilst on occasions it may seem that he is hidden, Jesus is always there for you.
Specks and Planks is very up to date. Jeff Lucas wrote it during the outset of Covid-19 and offers comfort as well as intelligent insights into the New Testament. I looked forward to my spare hours when I could sit down and read, and I would happily reread the book. The book is suitable for any Christian who enjoys a cup of tea and a good book in the morning or afternoon. Although there are moments of profound thinking, it is generally a gentle read. To benefit from the text, you need to read it slowly because it gives you lots to think about. You will find yourself making time to read it and relax.
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon