Debating liberal theology

Modern Church has been promoting liberal theology since its foundation at the end of the nineteenth century.

Today ‘liberal theology’ can mean a variety of different things. The type of liberalism Modern Church promotes is liberal method in seeking truth and responding to issues.
We reject the idea that religious believers should accept traditional dogmas without questioning them.

Our society develops new knowledge and ideas every day. We live in an age of rapid changes and fresh challenges.

Churches cannot ignore them. If religious leaders seek all the answers in their own past, they soon become out of touch, in a world of their own.

Christian teaching has always kept changing. Every age has produced church leaders who responded to the issues of the day with fresh insights.

Christians today need to discern where truth lies among the many ideas around us. We draw from the wisdom of Scripture and the insights of past generations, while adding to the tradition in our own turn.

The MCU was founded to continue this open approach to Christian believing. We think it is needed as much today as ever. 


What we mean by liberal theology is:

  • genuine faith is committed to the search for truth, wherever it comes from
  • it is possible to think and talk about God in ways that make sense in our time and culture
  • we never have absolute certainty.

Genuine faith is committed to the search for truth, wherever it comes from.

It works by:

  • open discussion: freedom to explore ideas, ask questions and change our minds without fear of disapproval
  • critical scholarship: keeping up to date with good research, examining the implications of new insights and discoveries, having the confidence to explore
  • willingness to change: so that what we believe now can be expressed in the things our churches do and say.

As such we expect it to engage with society, and avoid the inward-looking sectarianism that sometimes happens in churches.

Its style is:

  • public: talking the language of ordinary people, not the jargon of a religious club
  • relevant: engaging with what is going on in society, caring about current events and expecting our faith to make a difference
  • respectful: willing to learn from others, within and outside Christianity, since we accept that we don't have all the answers.

God invites us to do our believing in ways appropriate to the 21st Century.


For a wide range of resources on liberal theology click here.