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)
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)
Faith Exploring some fundamentals
faith in a changed world
is not scholarly but aims to
increase in a small way the understanding of interested Christians about
theology and related matters.
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 which differed from ancient
Christian issues and doctrines - and often came up with answers
different to those of their predecessors.
HISTORICAL JESUS Christians have always asserted that
their faith rests on a real person. In turn, historians examine the
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.
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.
ROOTSFew 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
person in the pew.
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 in its
own way, have re-examined the way ahead for Christians who are asking
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.
In these brief
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
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.
If anything divides the modern mind from the ancient it is the
doctrines of the supernatural and revelation. In these essays two
Christians approach the divide from differing perspectives. On one
hand it may be that ancient doctrines are no longer useful. On the
other, faith underpins a vibrant and power-filled life and is the true
rock upon which Christians base their beliefs.
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
Faith In Search
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.
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
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.