The book is out!

“The Creed in Slow Motion”, by Martin Kochanski (Hodder & Stoughton 2022), ISBN 9781399801546

Get it! And if you’ve already got it, get your friends to get it. It’s that good!!

How to get itCreed_in_Slow_Motion_hb_blue_S

UK and Europe

USA

Australia and New Zealand

Worldwide

About the book

“You shall love the Lord your God with… all your mind.” That is the commandment as stated in the Gospels. It is new: the Old Testament does not mention the mind. It is new and it is revolutionary.

We can all make sense of God: If we couldn’t, he wouldn’t be so cruel as to command us to do something that can’t be done.

We should each of us try doing it: this is not something to be left to the experts. It isn’t a question of “getting the right answer”. It is a question of getting close to God in every way we can. Including using the mind as an organ of love.

The Creed is the key. It tells the deep truths that make Christians Christians. It says what being a Christian is. If you disagree with everyone you meet in church and think the people who try to teach you things are all idiots, but believe what the Creed says, you are a Christian (though a turbulent one!). And if you call yourself a Christian but don’t believe in something the Creed says, then it is your duty to investigate. Don’t just sit there grumbling. Dig deep. Think what the Creed really means. Think what you really mean. You may be surprised!

Slow motion is the key. For people who recite the Creed in church, it is like a cavalry charge. One hesitation and you get out of step, and get trampled. There is no time to pause and think what any of it really means. What you really need to do is go go slowly, phrase by phrase, even word by word, alone or with someone you can argue with. The Creed in Slow Motion is the book for that encounter. It is not a textbook or a holy manual – it does not tell you what to believe, but in 40 short but deep chapters, phrase by phrase, it reflects, expounds and explores.

The Creed in Slow Motion assumes no knowledge of theology: being human is all you need. Full of wit and clarity, it draws examples from real-life stories, history and even science. It will help believers to understand what they are committing themselves to; and unbelievers to know what exactly they disbelieve, and why.

Read the introduction and a sample chapter.

Listen to a 1-minute taster of every chapter.

About the author

Martin Kochanski holds an MA in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford. For the last twenty-five years he has been creating, editing and expanding Universalis, a web site and set of apps which bring the prayers, psalms and readings of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Catholic Church into everyone’s reach. Across the world tens of thousands of people, from all denominations, use it daily.

Listen to him telling you about the book (2 minutes).

Read the enlightening interview at Melbourne Catholic.

Some reactions to the book

Here are some responses to the The Creed in Slow Motion from across the world, and (just as important) from across the whole spectrum of Christianity.

Australia: A fascinating interview with Christian Bergmann at Melbourne Catholic, a publication of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Australia, a Catholic religious educator: “I am really impressed. I will certainly be reading it more than once. I would like permission to use The Creed in Slow Motion as a teaching aid. I will also be encouraging those I to whom I speak to get the book.”

India: “The book I was waiting for. No exaggeration, such a soothing experience. The language is so simple… as if it is speaking to me directly. My prayer is that it should reach millions of people. Considering that I am teaching Systematic Theology in Seminary, this is very enlightening for me.”

USA, a Catholic religious educator: “Like a good meal, filling and delicious, to be savored as slowly consumed, and calling for second servings. Both inspiring and thought provoking. I am reading new chapters daily, but also re-reading others. It’s become part of my morning prayer routine. It would be very helpful for young people, say age 15 and up… I foresee it being a perennial rather than momentary book… any book worth reading is worth reading again, and again, and – The Creed in Slow Motion is such.”

USA, a Catholic priest: “I got the book today and made it part of my daily priestly prayer.”

USA, a lay Catholic: “I immediately sat down and read the introduction and the first chapter. I can tell I will not leave very long intervals between picking it up to continue reading. It is so chatty you could be sitting  beside me, and you are speaking the way I think, so I am not getting lost and having to go back all the time to understand you.  THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

USA, a Catholic musician: “What a gift The Creed is to our Catholic faith, and because of your book, I have a better understanding of it. I love the stories in-between the various sections…”

Estonia, a Lutheran pastor: “I heartily recommend the book to all intellectually-inclined seekers of truth everywhere. (Indeed, I have already ordered a few copies of it as presents to some friends that I think would benefit from them.) As someone who began to see some sense in the Christian faith while reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity as a teenager, I can appreciate the value such books can have in helping one along the road towards the Truth.”

UK, an Anglican priest: “A first-rate defence of the Christian faith which shows why the arguments about God and Christ really matter to all of us.”

UK, a Catholic school chaplain: “I have been listening with interest to the excerpts of your book… I am enjoying reading your reflections on the Creed. I used one of your thoughts in my homily on Trinity Sunday.”

UK, a learned Benedictine monk: “This is just the sort of thing that tired old monks need to rejuvenate their thinking.”

UK, a Catholic bookseller: “Delightfully written, highly insightful and inspiring. I love it!!”

Sierra Leone, a Pentecostal church member: “Honestly, buy it instantly. For a Christian it resonates very well. I don’t know how to describe this but you’ve captured the emotion and feelings into words.”

How to get it (USA)

“The Creed in Slow Motion”, by Martin Kochanski (Hodder & Stoughton 2022), ISBN 9781399801546Publication date: October 18, 2022 – but you can pre-order now.

Real bookshops

Always support your local bookshop if you can. If they don’t have the book in stock they’ll be happy to order it for you and it’ll probably only take a day or two. It is no trouble for them – and it may encourage them to stock the book as well!

  • If there isn’t a bookshop near you, Bookshop.org is a web site which donates a proportion of each purchase to local bookshops.
  • Barnes & Noble are in many locations across the USA.

Online

Amazon.com has the book in stock. 

Many other bookshops are offering the book as well. This Google search will help you find them.

The e-book

The e-book is available now and you do not have to wait until October 18.

Amazon Kindle

This is the US link for Apple Books. It may or may not work in other countries. If not, searching Apple Books for Kochanski Creed will find the book.

The ISBN of the e-book is 9781399801553, and this Google search will find it.

How to get it (Australia & New Zealand)

“The Creed in Slow Motion”, by Martin Kochanski (Hodder & Stoughton 2022), ISBN 9781399801546Publication date: 25 October 2022 – but you can pre-order now.

Real bookshops

Always support your local bookshop if you can. If they don’t have the book in stock they’ll be happy to order it for you and it’ll probably only take a day or two. It is no trouble for them – and it may encourage them to stock the book as well!

  • If there isn’t a bookshop near you, Bookshop.org is a web site which donates a proportion of each purchase to local bookshops.

Online

Amazon.com.au has the book in stock. 

Many other bookshops are offering the book as well. This Google search will help you find them.

If you are somewhere remote, The Book Depository will ship to all countries worldwide, free of charge.

The e-book

Amazon Kindle

Apple Books: Apple have no link which will find the book worldwide, but searching Apple Books for Kochanski Creed will find the book.

The ISBN of the e-book is 9781399801553, and this Google search will find it.

How to get it (worldwide)

“The Creed in Slow Motion”, by Martin Kochanski (Hodder & Stoughton 2022), ISBN 9781399801546

Online

This Google search will help you find a bookshop in your area.

The Book Depository will ship to all countries worldwide, free of charge.

The e-book

If you are within reach of an Amazon site, you can get the book for your Kindle (or Kindle app). Searching for their code B09MK56GPT is a good way of finding the book.

Apple Books: Apple have no link which will find the book worldwide, but searching Apple Books for Kochanski Creed will find the book for you.

The ISBN of the e-book is 9781399801553, and this Google search will find it.

How to get it (UK & Europe)

“The Creed in Slow Motion”, by Martin Kochanski (Hodder & Stoughton 2022), ISBN 9781399801546

Real bookshops

Always support your local bookshop if you can. If they don’t have the book in stock they’ll be happy to order it for you and it’ll probably only take a day or two. It is no trouble for them – and it may encourage them to stock the book as well!

  • If there isn’t a bookshop near you, Bookshop.org is a web site which donates a proportion of each purchase to local bookshops.

Online

Amazon.co.uk has the book in stock. The other Amazon sites across Europe also list it in their catalogues.

Many bookshops in other countries are offering the book as well. This Google search will help you find them.

If you are somewhere remote, The Book Depository will ship to all countries worldwide, free of charge.

The e-book

This is the UK link for the Amazon Kindle. In the other Amazon sites, searching for their code B09MK56GPT is a good way of finding the book.

This is the UK link for Apple Books. It may work in other countries. If not, searching Apple Books for Kochanski Creed will find the book.

The ISBN of the e-book is 9781399801553, and this Google search will find it.

Irish Catholic interview

If you are rich enough, you can read an interview with Martin Kochanski, the author of The Creed in Slow Motion, on the Irish Catholic website. The Irish Catholic deserves your support, especially as it is still, defiantly and successfully, a physical newspaper and has not retreated into the clouds of the Web.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, here are the author’s thoughts on the theme.

Continue reading “Irish Catholic interview”

The Parable of the Cube

This is an extract from the book, showing the relevance of mathematics to the argument.

It is a perennial problem with theology that I say one thing and you say another and… what do we do next? The things we say can’t both be true, so what is it to be? Compromise, anathema or despair? Here is a down-to-earth, practical example from mathematics to show how sometimes two eyes can be better than one. It is best done with a friend, but if you are on your own then you only need to use a little imagination.

  • On the table in front of us there is an object.
  • You pick it up and hold it up to the light and you say, ‘It has four sides.’
  • I pick it up in my turn. I hold it up to the light and I say, ‘It has six sides.’

Where do we go from here? How many sides does the object really have? You say four, I say six, so which of us is wrong? Who wins and who loses?

If you leave the maths out of it and think about disagreements in general, you will know the kinds of answers that people give at this point. Some will say we ought to be respectful of diversity and I am being needlessly confrontational in talking about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ at all. Politicians might encourage us to split the difference and agree that the object has five sides. A broad-minded churchman of a certain kind might tell us that in a very real sense four and six are the same thing.

You and I both listen politely to these answers, but none of them makes sense. We may not agree on everything, but we do definitely agree that four is not six, six is not four, and neither of them equals five. We may have got hold of opposite ends of the stick, but at least we know that it is a stick, and the same stick, and that sticks matter. These easy ways out are not ways out at all: on that, we most definitely agree.

There is another way of dealing with this disagreement without sinking into meaninglessness. It is not a way out, but a way through. It will enlighten us both.

In my initial statement of the story I carefully withheld one vital fact. Here is the story again, with that fact put back in.

  • On the table in front of us there is a cube.
  • Pick up the cube and hold it up to the light with its face towards you. Squint at it with one eye shut, and you will see a square silhouette against the light. That makes it four sides.
  • Now hold the same cube at a different angle, this time with one corner pointing directly towards you. When you squint again, you will see a hexagon: six sides.

We are both right, and we have both won. That is not because we have given in to ‘four equals six’ or ‘they both equal five’ or whatever other nonsense the spectators have been urging on us. We have won not because we both see exactly the same but because our observations, though different, are observations of the same thing. It is a thing that cannot be summed up in one single silhouetted view. A cube, which is a three-dimensional object, makes one shape if you project it one way onto two dimensions and another shape if you project it another way.

Mathematically, this enlightenment has come from discovering that there is a geometry beyond the two dimensions of silhouettes and shadows. The ‘four’ and ‘six’ of our individual experiences are only shadows of the true cubical reality, which is a solid object, not a bare outline. It is a solid object with six faces, eight corners and twelve edges.

The moral of the story is not just mathematical. What it has just told us is this: No eye has ever seen a cube and no eye ever will. That is not a paradox, but the strict and precise truth. The eye cannot see the cube in itself, the cube in its full glory of cubicality. All the eye can see is shadows, not realities.

Given those shadows, our minds can put together what two eyes have seen, to give us knowledge of something the eye alone cannot see. Or, to put it another way, the eye without the brain is as blind as the brain without the eye. Or to put it another way still: we see the world best, in its solidity, in its reality, when the left eye and the right eye see it in different ways.

As with mathematics, so too with theology and with the Creed. If in this book I show you something from a direction that you don’t expect, I am not saying that the direction you are seeing it from is wrong, and I am not claiming for my own point of view anything more than the status of a shadow. All I claim is that my shadow is a truthful one. I am saying that if we can somehow perceive the truth from two directions at once, we have a chance of perceiving it better. ‘Four sides’ and ‘six sides’ are both equally wrong, but they both equally lead us towards the truth.