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Questioning God  

Review by Dr Duncan MacLaren KCSG


Englishman Timothy Radcliffe is the much-loved and respected former Master of the Dominican Order and Łukasz Popko is a Polish Dominican friar and teaches Old Testament at the École Biblique, the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem. The book is called Questioning God because the authors chose eighteen Biblical conversations to shed light on what they mean for humanity. They turned out to be centred on questions, starting with Genesis where God asks Adam ‘Where are you?’. The authors write that “Questions, more than commandments, ignite a personal encounter” and their hope is, in grappling with these questions from Scripture using Łukasz’s scholarly translations which follow more closely the original Greek or Hebrew, not to solve intellectual riddles but to use them to open us up to a deeper relationship with God and Jesus and to “educate us in the art of friendship, which often leads into the happy silence of companionship”.  

The exchange took place during the Covid pandemic and so Timothy and Łukasz usually exchanged emails since they couldn’t meet up. Their words illustrate the deep respect they have for one another, even when they disagree over an interpretation, a result of the deep friendship they share within the Order.

I particularly enjoyed the questions from the Old Testament which illustrate that these ancient sacred texts are so much more than a collection of law, history, prophecy and myth. Filtered through the fine minds of two Dominicans, the texts reveal more about our very early struggle to be truly human - a task which we continue to this day.

Just to give readers a taster, the two friars discuss the translation by Łukasz of Genesis 18:1-16 where Abraham meets three strangers who turn out to be the Triune God and ask where his wife, Sarah, is to tell her that she will bear a son in a year’s time. Timothy Radcliffe then tells us that they chose this text because it shows us “the blessings of welcoming strangers” - a very contemporary topic. Timothy, in addition of reminding us of Matthew 25:35, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me”, mentions how St John Chrysostom (c. 347-407), an Early Church Father and Archbishop of Constantinople, tells us that every parish should have its xenon, a place of welcome for the stranger. Given the many millions of people on the move in our world today for humanitarian, persecutory or economic reasons, we are being asked in Scripture, as well as by our Pope, where our xenon is and what we are doing for the strangers. Timothy concludes, “So we should reach out to the stranger with the best of our words, the richest of our poetry, the most beautuful music, for the stranger brings blessings beyond our imagining”.

This marvellous book of conversations could be used as an entry into discernment by parishes or groups or even indidivuals to know whether we in our lives and actions are following the way of God and Jesus - or are we kidding ourselves? Highly recommended.


Dr Duncan MacLaren has been a member of the Glasgow Lay Dominicans for four decades and was a member of the International Dominican Justice and Peace Commission. He often took Timothy Radcliffe out for pizza when they both lived in Rome and had many interesting conversations about God and humanity overlooking the Tiber.

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Archbishop John Wilson

The Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, has said that he hopes his new book will “encourage us to become contemplatives of the Second Vatican Council” and “reflect prayerfully on the key constitutions that are timeless and beautiful”...The book aims to make the four constitutions of Vatican II accessible to those with no specialist theological knowledge...Archbishop John Wilson said “the context of Vatican II has not ended” and that there are “treasures still in the process of unearthing”. He said that in a time when the Church needs to be equipped for evangelisation, in the run-up to the 2025 Pilgrims of Hope Year of Jubilee, the book is a timely resource.


Sophia Rayzan


Tom Wright presents a collection of short passages that have been organised to encourage readers to reflect more deeply on what God's kingdom coming on earth as in heaven might look like, through the lens of Easter. Why Easter? Because Jesus's resurrection is the starting point for every day, week, month, and year

of Christian living.

Using "signposts" such as beauty, power, justice, truth, love, this book invites the reader to a new experience of time, within that of the Liturgical seasons. The signposts point in new and deeper ways to the reality of God's new world, the Easter reality, and the consequent renewal of human life.




“Where and how do you find peace in your daily life?”

In this book well known individuals including TV presenter Miriam O’Callaghan, ex-rugby player Johnny Sexton, actor Tommy Tiernan, and women’s health advocate Vicky Phelan among many others, give us a glimpse of the space they create to find that so desired inner peace. Each individual has something different to offer. The material here is diverse and wide-ranging. All the contributions are a testament to an inner life that needs to be sustained, especially in times of crisis. Sr Stan gathered these writings to help people understand what others do and how they bring peace into their lives every day and thus encourage all those longing for it.



If any book beautifully captures the words of Scriptures in Jeremiah 1:5 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you', it is this one.

In a simple child-friendly language, Frank Fraser demonstrates the importance and place of each person in the universe. It equally emphasises God's love for each one of his children. Fraser couples his very relevant message with stunning illustrations! It is definitely a lovely gift book!



This book retells traditional and modern stories from different parts of the world. The values explored include establishing good relationships, treating others well, perseverance, responding to bullying, team-working, and many other society and Christian values. It includes interactive elements which work alongside the stories to encourage children to think, engage, and make connections with their lives.

The book also includes optional links to Bible references and pause moments to think about situations and others with God.

It is a perfect gift book for a child! As the child explores the setting, characters, and situation in these stories, thinking about how they would react in the same situation, he or she develops empathy and respect for others. 


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