Posts Tagged ‘Richard Holloway’

If, like all scripture, the New Testament is soaked in allegory and metaphor, we are entitled to question a number of propositions, including the atonement theory, and their dependence on an anthropomorphic view of “God”. (more…)

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More Christian reticence: it is only after writing my previous post on this site that I came across the following remarks which to my mind parallel, albeit in clearer language, what I am trying to say:

“On the other hand it cannot be said that the Church concerns itself very much to emphasise the radical character of Jesus’s ethical teachings.”  Humphrey Carpenter.  Jesus.  Oxford, 1980. p93

“What now passes for belief in God is a very reduced version of what it once was.” Don Cupitt. After God: the future of religion. London, 1998.  p82

“Most of Christian theology has already been lost, as we soon discover if we ask people to explain, for example, just how Christ’s death has made atonement for our sins, or the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism, or the doctrine of the Trinity.” Cupitt, ibid p81

Somewhere in his many admirable books, Richard Holloway draws a distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ belief;  perhaps that is what is needed to be referenced here.


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“Modern theology is not always easy reading.  It would be helpful if theologians tried to present it in an atttractive, accesible way to enable congregants to keep up with the latest discussions and the new insights of biblical scholarship, which rarely reaches [sic] the pews.”  Karen Armstrong.  The case for God.  London, 2009  p295.

My point exactly; though it is striking that her book does not even mention Marcus Borg, Richard Holloway or Richard Harries, to speak of but three.

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Thirty or forty years ago, I recall, there was much anguished talk in the Church of England about Christian unity – or lack of it – and the perceived need for determined ecumenicalism to tackle the problem with ‘solutions’; much more so than nowadays. Thank God. (more…)

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Religion explains.  That is its function.  All the great belief systems have their own responses – explanations for the perplexed – to humanity’s great eternal questions, developed and embellished over centuries of exposition. (more…)

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When two or three are having an argument, it helps if all of the participants at least agree on what they are talking about.  Alas and alack, this is not always possible; in marital rows, for example.  In debates about religion, the mismatch between the parties is well-nigh catastrophic. (more…)

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No sooner had I published my most recent posting, on bishops, I saw that John Hick has died.  His obituaries show in detail how he too had to endure his developing views falling foul of church authorities, in his case the United Reform church.  Like Richard Holloway he drifted away from the categorical belief systems to find a mooring in gentler waters.

I met John Hick at a seminar in 1965 and have read several of his books and articles since, always with admiration. He it was who pointed out that all the great religions share at least one moral directive: Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.

“God” may be this or that, or not exist at all as we understand the word ‘exist’, but our obligation is clear, and it is other-directed.  God in us, for God in others.

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