Faith Under Fire

Faith Under Fire: What the Middle East Conflict Has Taught me About God (Paperback) by Canon Andrew White.

An extraordinary book from an extraordinary man
Review by Al Gibson

“Don’t take care, take risks!” This is not the kind of advice you would expect from an everyday minister of the Gospel, but then Canon Andrew White is no ordinary Anglican priest! He is one of the most extraordinary people you could meet.

Well known as ‘the Vicar of Baghdad’ he has seen over 1,200 of his congregation tragically killed to date in war-torn Iraq, and his rationale for such advice is simply this, “Risks save lives.”

The very fact that he is in Iraq, where he leads St Georges, the last remaining Anglican Church in the country, is a huge risk. But that’s why his biography is entitled ‘Faith Under Fire’.

Canon Andrew White and Al Gibson in Plymouth after signing a copy of 'Faith Under Fire'
Canon Andrew White and Al Gibson in Plymouth after signing a copy of ‘Faith Under Fire’

It is here that Canon White ministers to a congregation of beleaguered Christians and indeed, Muslims, who he feeds faithfully each week as well as taking care of their medical and education needs. This is the fulness of the Gospel at work, reaching out with both spiritual and physical nourishment. This story is definitely my kind of book.

“Don’t take care, take risks! Risks save lives. – Andrew White”

I love real life accounts of people who put their lives on the line for God. Men and women who overcome all the enemy puts in their way, triumphing over impossible situations by faith. ‘Faith Under Fire’ is a perfect title for this book and it fits right within this description. And, in the case of Canon Andrew White, he is also highly favoured by God as a peacemaker. The leader of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East he is constantly bringing opposing sides together, which is risky business in itself!

I was fascinated by ‘Faith Under Fire’ which not only captures some of the challenges Andrew White has faced, but reveals the extent of God’s grace in his life that he remains, positive, good-natured and overflowing with humour despite his personal health hurdles with multiple sclerosis. This causes him to tire very quickly and affects his speech, but it cannot touch his writing, which is invigorating. You will laugh, you will cry and you will be touched to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk or two for God.

Canon White recently spoke on GOD TV about creating a Highway of Peace and God’s Blessing across the Middle East.
Read my blog post on the GOD TV website.

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