How did you decide to focus on baptism, the Bible, the Eucharist, and prayer as the four essential elements of the Christian life to write about?
Dr. Williams: Simply by looking at what Christians actually do to announce that they’re Christians, throughout the ages and throughout the world. It would be hard to recognize as Christian a body that had none of these practices. And all are mandated by Jesus in different ways: he tells his friends to evangelize and baptize, to search the Scriptures, to break bread in his memory, so as to receive his life into theirs, and to pray.
The Bible is a collection of books written over centuries. How do they all fit together in a cohesive message?
Dr. Williams: The cohesion comes through the fact that it is the set of texts read and accepted in a cohesive community””the community of those whose lives are being shaped by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Christ is the center of Scripture for the Christian and provides the perspective in which diversity can be held in the right kind of tension. And the church both gives Scripture its unity be treading it in the Spirit of Christ and receives its unity from Scripture as the book which provides a universal common language.