Signs of the times
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Date: 24 May, 2004
Steve Tomkins reviews Peter Graystone's book Signs of the Times. Peter is the author of surefish's daily readings
Icons. Once they were lovingly crafted religious
artwork, designed to teach spiritual truths and open a window into
heaven for worshippers who point and click their prayers on the
The idea of Peter Graystone's book is to line
up 12 things that are iconic in the sense that they are everywhere
these days and so tell us something about the world we live in if
we ask them nicely.
As one of the writers of Third Way's 'Icon of the Month' column, both the concept and cast are strikingly familiar, but we won't hold that against them.
Each chapter is full of information and stories about its icon, followed by spiritual reflections for Christians about what we can learn from each icon. It's aimed at young people and does a great job of getting them to take a critical look at their world and its values. The facts are fascinating and the writing is funny.
Some of Graystone's conclusions made me want
to argue too. He is excited, as a Christian, by the popularity of
tattoos because a tattoo is for life, showing that commitment is
not so out of fashion after all.
Such disagreements do not much matter though,
because the point of the book is to get readers to look twice at
their world, and think twice too.
Still, as your starter for ten, it's entertaining,
Signs of the Times: The Secret Lives of Twelve Everyday Icons, by Peter Graystone, Canterbury Press, pp192