Guest editorial by Alan Race
from Modern Believing Vol 51:3

Edinburgh 1910 to 2010: A Century of Being Changed

This volume of Modern Believing marks the centenary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference, which was held in the Assembly Hall of the United Free Church of Scotland, Edinburgh, on 14th - 23rd June. It does so by reflecting essentially on a number of themes - Christian missiology, ecumenical unity, tensions between mission and interreligious dialogue, theology of religions, and the Great Commission at the climax of the Gospel of Matthew - all themes which occupied the minds of those in attendance at Edinburgh. Each theme remains as controversial and contested now as it was then.

Editorial by Paul Badham, from Modern Believing Vol 51:2

Attitudes of Lay Anglicans to Current Controversies

Unlike the moral controversies which surrounded the 'permissive legislation' of the 1960's and 70's, discussions within Anglicanism on women Bishops and gay clergy has largely taken place at Episcopal or even Primatial level without input from lay experts or consultation with the laity. In particular the views of the ordinary person in the pew have not been sought out. This issue contains two articles which seek to redress this and to find out what Anglican laity think. The first article focuses on Britain. The second goes global.

by Paul Badham, from Modern Believing Vol 51:1

Liberal Theology in the Contemporary World

John Saxbee, in his introduction to the conference papers, argues that by the time of the MCU centenary in 1998 almost all the key liberal causes of the 20th Century had become mainstream in the life of the Christian Churches.Yet Liberalism remains a contentious issue and we have still to argue in its defence in contemporary religious dialogue. That is what we sought to do in this summer's conference on Liberal Theology and that is the concern of this issue of Modern Believing.

by Paul Badham
from Modern Believing Vol 50:4

Religion in America Today

This edition opens with a fascinating overview of the history of Christianity in the USA and a snapshot of the present condition of the Christian Churches there. The article was first presented at an Open Day  of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, so not surprisingly the emphasis is on  Emotion, Experience and Enthusiasm in American religion. Dr. Lynn Bridgers argues that the big divide in modern American religion is between churches whose focus in worship is to communicate a living experience, and those who stress a sacramental, doctrinal or Biblical foundation for faith.  The former are expanding rapidly; the latter are all in a state of decline. The documentation for all this is set out with great clarity.

by Adrian Thatcher
from Modern Believing Vol 54:3

I was delighted when Michael Lawler, professor emeritus of Catholic theology at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, and Todd Salzman, professor of Catholic theology and chair of the Department of Theology - also at Creighton - kindly responded to my invitation to contribute an essay to Modern Believing.

Michael and Todd are very well known theologians in the USA. The Catholic Press Association of the USA awarded their book, The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology1 first place for the best book in theology, in its 2009 book awards. What do you think was the response of the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops? Guess. Was it gratitude for writing such a profound and deeply Christian book? Or pride that such a competent, liberal, far-sighted set of proposals for renewing Catholic sexual teaching had been produced by two of their theologians? Or an enthusiastic response to the plea for dialogue? No, I'm dreaming. Not for the first time they received a 'severe censure'. The book was thought to contain 'serious error ... [that] cannot be considered authentic Catholic teaching'.