DON CUPITT

 

Is it possible for people, and even for a whole society, to lose faith in God? ... [If] it happens, [it is] not primarily because something they used to think existed does not after all exist, but because the available language about God has been allowed to become too narrow, stale and spiritually obsolete ... the work of creative religious personalities is continually to enrich, to enlarge and sometimes to purge the available stock of religious symbols and idioms ... (The Sea of Faith, 1984)


DENNIS NINEHAM

 

... people of different periods and cultures differ very widely; in some cases so widely that accounts of the nature and relations of God, men and the world put forward in one culture may be unacceptable, as they stand, in a different culture ... a situation of this sort has arisen ... at about the end of the eighteenth century a cultural revolution of such proportions broke out that it separates our age sharply from all ages that went before (The Use and Abuse of the Bible, 1976)


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  Radical Faith
Exploring some fundamentals
of faith in a changed world
 

This website is not scholarly but what might be termed "theological journalism", aiming to increase in a small way the understanding of interested Christians about matters theological. More

 
THOUGHT MAP The themes of this site need some background to make sense. These essays are about some of the thinkers of the last three centuries. They applied new knowledge and perspectives to ancient Christian issues and doctrines - and often came up with answers different to those of their predecessors.
AN HISTORICAL JESUS Christians have always asserted that their faith rests on a real person. In turn, historians examine the records for "what really happened", aiming at the highest possible degree of probability. These essays address Jesus in the light of historical studies over the last three centuries.
RICHARD HOLLOWAY  is a former Anglican Primate of Scotland, UK. He has become a controversial public figure for having taken a radical stance. He defines himself as an "after religionist" who can no longer stomach a Church which puts itself before flesh and blood people. A number of his lectures and sermons are recorded here.
PLAIN GUIDE  Much theological language can be difficult to grasp. It says important things in complicated ways, using a scholarly jargon. The jargon is not necessary. The essays in this section try to get at the essence of some issues which concern Christians today - but without over-elaboration and using reasonably plain language.
ROOTS Few today know much about the roots of the great tree called Christianity which grew from a humble seedling in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire two millennia ago. Academic study of origins is mostly left to scholars who are generally not concerned with the the person in the pew.
 
Bits and Pieces
There have been huge changes in the way many people interpret the world. The past three centuries have seen a radical restructuring of human knowledge in ways our forebears could not have envisaged. Moreover, the 21st century is likely to see a quickening of an already fast pace of change. Yet these changes are seldom adequately dealt with by the varied institutions usually termed the "Church". Here in Bits and Pieces a few short essays have been assembled which, each its own way, have re-examined the way ahead for Christians who are asking questions.
 
In the West, traditional expressions of the Christian faith are being challenged as never before. Beyond the Fringe presents links which reflect the current debate between religious Christians, Christians who can't assent to orthodoxy, and those for whom the secular approach makes more sense.

 

Head-to-Head

In these brief DEBATES a Christian steeped in the traditions of the Lutheran Church discusses issues with an Anglican who is skeptical about the Church's claims. They debate in a spirit in which each attempts to understand the other across a wide divide of experience and tradition.
 
 
Theories
 and ...isms

The way Christians express and think about their faith has changed greatly over the past three centuries. Many of the intense controversies which have embroiled the Church during that time can't easily be understood without reference to certain schools of thought.

The Idea 
of  the 
Supernatural

If anything divides the modern mind from the ancient it is the idea of the supernatural. The vast majority of our ancestors accepted the reality of the supernatural as a fact of nature, as was traffic between the two. Here one contributor proposes that we can stand with one foot in each camp. Another argues that accepting the supernatural implies a collapse of modern knowledge.

Sermons From 
the Margins

These short sermons reflect the thought of Anthony Freeman. In 1994 he was removed from his ministry for views expressed in his book "God in us". Since then he has remained in what he terms a "semi-detached" role in the Church of England.

Faith In Search 
of Understanding
 
selects six major Christian themes which were presented by Anthony in lectures given to a paying group, some of whom were questioning aspects of traditional Church teaching.

Why bother ...? 
Tony Windross  takes a look at Christian roots. Each short piece started life as an experimental
leaflet to be left in his parish church in the UK. They were aimed at parishioners and visitors who might be questioning the roots of their faith. The leaflets did not get universal approval. 

Questions  Certain questions crop up again and again when people think about the Christian faith. Here two contributors present their points of view in response to some of those questions. Each writes independently of the other and each comes to the questions from a very different perspective.

The Sands 
of Jerusalem

These short passages formed the basis of a number of addresses broadcast by the BBC for the northeast of England. They are the work of Paul Walker, an Anglican priest who now works as a chaplain for the National Health Service mainly serving those with mental health problems. Some listeners were less-than-pleased with his approach and he is no longer on the broadcasting roster.