An examination of Christianity that features a pottery theme.
In this slim nonfiction work, Romero takes the millennia-old analogy comparing Christianity with pottery and expands on it through personal and faith-based avenues. The analogy extends all the way back to the book of Jeremiah. Throughout his own work, the author returns regularly to the concept of believers shaping and being shaped as their faith grows and develops. This idea feeds naturally into the comparison of God to a potter: an artist who has firmly in mind the lovely shape of a piece of work even though the finished product isn’t even remotely guessable from the raw materials. Romero naturally links this to the process of faith and salvation. “Only by faith and through the blood of Jesus can we grow into our full potential, into salvation,” he writes. “He builds His purpose into us to contain and demonstrate His image and talented glory.” In the course of his volume, the author shares black-and-white photographs of his own pottery in order to illustrate the various applications of his analogy: the raw clay, the work in progress, the broken piece that’s waiting to be lovingly restored. Along the way, the technical details of pottery are woven seamlessly with Romero’s observations about the nature of the Christian faith. “As the potter’s hands cannot work with the clay without water,” he writes at one point, “in the same manner, God cannot work on us directly without Jesus, the bearer of His grace and mercy.” The author wisely keeps his book’s page count low and manageable—this analogy can only be stretched so far, after all—and although his own personal explications of Christian salvation are standard fare, they’re very effectively enlivened by the metaphor structure he’s chosen. His Christian readers will find this latest elaboration on Jeremiah’s pottery metaphor calming and thought-provoking whether or not they’ve ever seen a potter’s wheel.
An uplifting reassurance that sound Christian faith can be patiently molded.