42.

Okay, that’s funny.

Why?

It’s funny because it works grammatically, but it’s obviously an inadequate answer. We laugh because we know nobody has got an adequate answer.

The ‘nones’ (those who when responding to surveys tick ‘none’ in the box marked ‘religion’ but who might possibly tick C of E if pressed) need look no further for a home.

Bishop David Jenkins, that prophet of our time, once was heard to declare that God was not interested in the Church. God was all about the Kingdom. It follows that if and when we stumble upon the Kingdom in the context of the Church, we do not need to look very much further to find God. The problem lies in defining the Kingdom, if such a thing is definable. You could say the same thing about the Church. It is not easy to describe what the Church is, still less what it ought to be, if it is to be true to its Kingdom calling.

This is the last of a series of four reflections on progress. The first was about the ancient idea that a supreme god maintains the universe with a long-term design.

The second and third were about the ideas of progress most common today, and what happens to it when it becomes a self-contained objective independent of God.

This final reflection looks more closely at a God-based theory of progress.