by Paul Badham
to the MCU at Ely in February 2003

In terms of intellectual debate in all the major areas of Christian belief and ethical judgement, the positions which the MCU has classically defended are generally accepted by most thoughtful Christians.

The paradox is that this is not reflected in the general life of the Christian Churches, nor in the image of Christianity usually presented to the general public. This is most obviously shown by the bitter hostility of some evangelical groups to the appointment of Rowan Williams who is criticised for not upholding a pre-critical approach to scripture which in the academic community ceased to be held over a hundred and fifty years ago.

This is a tragedy in relation to the mission of the Church for it confirms in the minds of many outsiders the picture of Christianity as outmoded and reactionary. Whereas a truer perspective is that Liberal Theology has won almost all the key intellectual debates of the past century and the reasonable case for a liberal Christianity is today stronger than ever before. We ought to be seizing the high ground and yet somehow we cannot seem to make the impact we should be making.

Lets look at the reasonableness of key Christian beliefs. Consider the claim that God created the Universe out of nothing. In the history of thought this cosmological argument for the existence of God was refuted by Kant who argued that there was no reason to postulate a first cause because infinite regress was equally plausible. This no longer applies because there is now a consensus among scientists that the Universe had a beginning. This does not prove God created it but it is certainly very congruent with it. Likewise it is intriguing that many scientists talk of the incredible fine-tuning of the early Universe and associate this fining tuning with a so called "anthropic principle" namely that the unlikely way the Universe evolved would suit the supposition that it had been designed for the emergence of life and mind. As Keith Ward has commented "just when philosophers had thought the argument for design was gone for ever the physicist brings it back again"1

Although many scientists are happy to talk in terms of a mind behind the Universe they are often reluctant to identify themselves with Christianity. This is in part because they associate Christianity with belief in an intervening God. According to John Leslie "Our Universe does look ... very much as if created by God" but "not by the kind of God ... who interferes with nature's operation."2 However the idea of a God who created an autonomous Universe in which he does not intervene has always been the classic modernist position and this was allowed for in the 1938 commission on Doctrine in the Church of England. This recognised that many Christians "feel it to be more congruous with the wisdom and majesty of God that the regularities, such as men of science observe in nature and call Laws of Nature should serve his purpose without any need for exceptions on the physical plane".3 The report went on "it is important to notice that the motives leading to this view are not exclusively scientific, but that a religious interest also is involved".

I identify this religious interest with the problem of evil. If God can physically intervene within his Universe then God is responsible for all the suffering of the world which is occasioned by his failure to do so. By contrast if, as John Hick suggests in his classic work Evil and the God of Love, this world is viewed not as a spoilt paradise but as a place in which our personhood can be shaped by the challenges and responsibilities of living in a challenging environment then the problem of evil does not arise. If God is truly omnipotent he must be able to create an autonomous Universe. Take the analogy with contemporary computer design. Everyone agrees that the greater the skill of the computer designer the more independent will be the functioning of the computer. The ultimate goal of computer operators is to design a machine that can genuinely think for itself. I share Sir Roger Penrose's belief that this goal is unachievable,4 but no one would doubt that if it could be achieved it would be the ultimate accolade for a computer designer. So too with God and the Universe. As Richard Harries says in his new book, God outside the Box "God makes the Universe make itself." If God is truly omnipotent he must be able to create not only genuinely free human beings but also a genuinely autonomous Universe. Indeed I suggest he could not do one without the other. Hence I would argue that God's inability to intervene within the physical Universe should be added to the list of paradoxes of omnipotence alongside his inability to create square circles.

Belief that God does not physically intervene within the world in no way suggests that God doesn't care. Most liberal theologians believe that God shows his love is not by transforming the situation from without by miraculous intervention, but by transforming the situation from within by his presence. One vivid example of this comes from the life of one of our former Presidents Bishop Leonard Wilson. During the war he was trapped in Singapore and tortured mercilessly in a notorious concentration camp. Unfortunately for him he simply did not have the knowledge his captors sought to extract from him, but could say nothing that would convince them of this. In terms of physical intervention God did nothing yet the Bishop affirmed later that never in his life was he so conscious of God's sustaining and upholding love than when he felt God with him in prison.5

Let me take another example, my father died after a long and cruel battle against cancer. He was a priest and hearing that the local Church wished to pray for his recovery at Sunday worship he instructed that on no account were they to do so. He was sure that God had nothing to do with his cancer. Hence God should not be invoked for his recovery from it. This does not mean he thought God distant or lacking in compassion for he constantly affirmed that only God's love enabled him to cope with his illness.

It seems to me that among the public at large it is now very generally accepted that God is not responsible for what happens in the world but nevertheless that God does care immeasurably for us. When Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, or when the twin towers were struck on September 11th. no Christian leader saw either event as brought about by God, yet both events led to a mass outpouring of feeling in a succession of religious services. Indeed it is now the case that any widely reported tragedy will generate a demand for a religious service but that no commentator will hold God responsible for the tragedy.

In most areas of public life this is now accepted. When Margaret Thatcher asked for a Thanksgiving Service after the Falklands War the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal of Westminster and the Moderator of the Free Church Council agreed to participate only on the clear understanding that nothing in the service should suggest that God had anything to do with the Victory. Similarly during the disastrous outbreak of foot and mouth disease last year no one dreamt of suggesting that there should be a day of fasting and humiliation to persuade God to remove the Cattle Plague, as had happened a century earlier.

It is therefore paradoxical that in much ordinary Church life there has been a revival of belief that God intervenes physically in the lives of individuals. When I was in the parish ministry the eucharistic prayer for the sick was a prayer for confidence in God no matter what might happen: "Save and comfort those who suffer that they may hold to thee through good and ill and trust in thy unfailing love." It is disturbing that since 1980 it has replaced by a prayer for healing. The idea that God may intervene to bring healing has been further encouraged by the popularity of "Alpha Christianity" . This course does not have a section on the Christian hope for life after death but does encourage belief that prayers for healing and material success are likely to be efficacious. This seems to me a very worrying development in relation to the problem of evil because this structure of teaching inevitably means that when terminal illness finally does strike down the believer or the believer's spouse they may face a serious crisis of faith on top of all their other problems.

In place of the this-world only faith of Alpha Christianity, the Christian Gospel has from the beginning affirmed the reality of life after death. This was seen by all the leading Modernists as crucial to living faith. It is therefore interesting to see how this belief has been defended in twentieth century liberal theology. One of the most discussed ideas is the hypothesis put forward by Professor H.H.Price6 and John Hick that at death our consciousness would temporarily enter a mind-dependent world. This would provide an opportunity for life-review, self-revelation and self-assessment. It would also provide opportunity for "meeting" through telepathic contact with deceased relatives and friends and perhaps an enhanced awareness of the divine. After a period in this purely spiritual existence the person would be reborn into another embodied existence not on earth but in another space. Hick believes that a succession of such lives with intervals for reflection in between would provide the most suitable means for the human pilgrimage towards ultimate reality. Earlier in the century Archbishop William Temple had interpreted Jesus' saying "In my father's house are many mansions" as implying that there would be many staging posts in our journey towards God7 and St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century believed that "from one new beginning to the next the soul will make its way toward the transcendent".

When Hick sketched out this idea of consciousness leaving the body and temporarily entering a mind-dependent state to enable life-review and telepathic meeting he was engaged in pure speculation. Neither Hick nor I had at that point heard of Near-death experiences even though both of us had been researching beliefs about a future life for the previous decade. What is extra-ordinary however is the way in which reports from people resuscitated from apparent death provide empirical support for Hick's speculation. They consistently claim that when their hearts stopped beating and their lungs stopped breathing "they" went out of their bodies. They describe looking down and remembering the resuscitation procedures and they talk of life-review, telepathic meetings and enhanced religious awareness. Hence what was initially put forward as pure theory might in fact turn out to be the way things are. It will be fascinating to see whether or not further research strengthens or weakens this possibility!

However it is inevitable that the credibility of any such notion will be tied up with making sense of the idea that dualism is possible. Most philosophers and theologians today reject soul-body dualism because of all that modern science has shown us about the intimate relationship that exists between all our thinking, feeling, and willing and some quite specific brain states. But there is no reason for them to do so since the same facts can all be equally well be explained by a doctrine of mind-brain interaction. John Hick takes as given everything that modern genetics and neurophysiology say about the origins of our individuality and hence reject the idea of a soul being inserted into a developing foetus. However the reality of human freedom and spirituality also has to be taken into account and in this context what matters is not origins but ends. Hence Hick believes that it remains possible to see the soul as a real but emergent property and in fact to take literally Keat's insight that this life is a "vale of soul-making". According to Hick "Distinctive human mentality and spirituality emerges in accordance with the divine purpose in complex bodily organisms. But once it has emerged it is the vehicle, according to Christian faith of a continuing creative activity only the beginnings of which have so far taken place."8

Similar positions are taken by both Richard Swinburne and Keith Ward. According to Swinburne dualism is 'inescapable' if we are really to explain human existence and experience.9 First he points out that "though the mental life of thought, sensation and purpose may be caused by physico-chemical events in the brain, it is quite different from those events." Second he draws attention to the fact that "conscious experiences are causally efficacious. Our thoughts and feelings are not just phenomena caused by goings-on in the brain; they cause other thoughts and feelings and they make a difference to the agent's behaviour." Third he suggests that 'though a human soul has a structure and character which is formed in part through the brain to which it is connected...[it]..acquires some independence of that brain."10 Keith Ward adopts the same position, "Of course the soul depends on the brain... but the soul need not always depend on the brain, any more than a man need always depend on the womb which supported his life before birth."11

On this hypothesis the soul is an emergent property that comes into existence in the course of life. Throughout life it interacts with the body but in principle it is separable from it and at death separation occurs. This hypothesis is supported by the latest research into near death experiences. Dr. Peter Fenwick, Consultant Neurophysiologist at the Radcliffe Infirmary claims that recent studies of near-death experiences in hospital contexts have shown that such experiences take place in the absence of any recordable brain activity.12

In my study of the Modernists I discovered that there was an absolutely blazing controversy in 1922 when several leading Modernists urged the Church of England to remove talk of 'resurrection of the flesh' from the Apostles' Creed. Today that belief has so completely vanished from contemporary Christianity that many Christians today simply have no idea that this is what the Apostles' Creed actually says in the Latin. The significance of this change has been obscured by the almost universal habit today of translating Resurrectionem Carnis as 'Resurrection of the Body' and then re-interpreting this to mean that after death people will be given new and quite different 'spiritual bodies' to serve as vehicles for their self-expression and development in heaven. And the only bond of union between present and future bodies is that they will be 'owned' successively by the same personality. This is the view adopted by the Church of England Doctrine Commission in 1938 and by the Roman Catholic Bishops of Holland in their 1965 Catechism.13 A similar view was expressed by the 1996 Anglican Commission on Doctrine which, despite vigorously defending the language of resurrection against the language of immortality, then went on to insist that the 'essence of humanity is certainly not the matter of the body, for that is continuously changing... What provides continuity and unity through that flux of change is not material but (in a vague but suggestive phrase) the vastly complex information-bearing pattern in which that material is organised. That pattern can surely be considered the carrier of memories and of personality'.14 What happens at death according to this theory is that 'Death dissolves the embodiment of that pattern, but the person whose that pattern is, is "remembered" by God, who in love holds that unique being in his care'. However there must at some point be a 'fuller realisation of God's purpose for us all'. This will come with 'the resurrection of the body.' But 'it is not to be supposed that the material of the resurrected body is the same as that of the old.' 15 Such language when linked to the new evidence for Near-death experiences suggests that life after death can be as realistic a hope in the 21st. century as it was in the first.

The most often debated areas of twentieth century liberal theology focus around the person and work of Christ. At the beginning of the 20th century most liberals endorsed the picture of the historical Jesus given by Adolf von Harnack in his extremely popular work What is Christianity?.16 This argued that the supernatural and miraculous elements in the Gospels can largely be dispensed with, but that careful historical research can provide a plausible picture of the original teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and this is what the essence of Christianity ought to be. Harnack's synthesis was superseded by almost sixty years of scholarship which tended to emphasise how little we can know for certain about the historical Jesus, but that this hardly mattered since what was important was not the Jesus of History but the Christ of Faith disclosed through the preaching of the Church. Hence not only was the quest of the historical Jesus seen as a blind alley, but also questions of how claims to divinity could be reconciled with the historical person came to be seen by two generations of scholars as irrelevant to faith.

However toward the end of the 20th. Century there has been a powerful reawakening of interest in the historical Jesus. E. P. Sanders, one of the most respected New Testament specialists today, has characterised the period 1910-1970 as a time when scholars tended to argue that we knew very little about the historical Jesus whereas 'in recent decades we have grown more confident.'17 Sanders's own position is that 'There are no substantial doubts about the general course of Jesus' life: when and where he lived, approximately when and where he died, and the sort of thing he did during his public activity.'18 His own study of The Historical Figure of Jesus gives the fullest and most detailed account of the emerging consensus, which is backed up both by the detail of his other works and by the comparably positive conclusions of other scholars such as James Dunn, N.T. Wright, and Leslie Houlden.19 This confidence does not extend to any rehabilitation of the miraculous and supernatural elements discarded by earlier Modernists and Liberal Protestants. Sanders comments on popular contemporary views of New Testament miracles that "none of this is accurate"20 and it is a commonplace that most scholarly works on the historical Jesus either ignore the supernatural elements altogether or discuss them simply as aspects of the thought-world of that time.21 However the historical figure of Jesus has re-emerged as a major focus of discussion for the rediscovery of authentic Christianity.

Similarly, over the past twenty years the meaning of the doctrine of the incarnation has been one of the most vigorously debated areas of Christian theology, just as it was at the height of Modernist controversy of 1921. Most of the principal proponents then as now wished to affirm that Jesus was truly divine while at the same time being like us in all respects save sin, and also a completely unified person. The point at issue has always been what the claim 'Jesus is God' actually means. Christians have always recognised that throughout the period of Jesus' life, God continued to be ever-present throughout the Universe upholding all things in being. Likewise Jesus as a human being never exhibited that unlimited power, boundless knowledge and total self-sufficiency (aseity) that is integral to Godhead. Instead he confessed to ignorance, suffered, died, and was buried. In what sense then is it possible to speak of God as being present in Christ?

In this context the Modernist proposals of 1921 seem to have a real contribution to make. They affirmed then what more modern scholarship has also confirmed that Jesus had no sense of being divine but that people did become aware of God through him. The Modernist solution was the concept of a 'degree Christology'. It is a fact of human religious experiencing that in the presence of holy people others become aware of God through them. The more holy the other is, the more likely it is that it will reveal God to us. Hastings Rashdall suggested that in Jesus this quality we partially sense in all human being was present to the nth degree.22 Understood this way it can truly be believed that God was really present in Christ and yet at the same time it also remains true that Jesus was fully human. This understanding of the incarnation is of particular importance in the inter-faith context. It places Jesus within the continuum of human religious experiencing, rather than being totally distinct and alien from the rest of humanity. It would make the divinity of Christ a concept which could, if understood in this sense, be potentially acceptable to Jews, Muslims and Hindus. For each of these religions believes that Prophets, or Gurus or other sanctified people can reveal something of God to other human beings. The problem with the classic account of the incarnation is that it is hard to see that God could be revealed in the language of a human life unless the awareness of God in that person's life was akin to that which we all are capable in principle of experiencing. A degree-christology solves that problem and makes an important contribution to twenty-first century discussion.

The place where liberal theology and popular Christianity are most at odds is in the doctrine of the atoning work of Christ. For most evangelical Churches this is the essence of faith. "There is a green hill far away" remains the most popular Good Friday hymn and it contains a very powerful message.

He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by His precious blood.

However although such hymns continue to be sung there is extreme embarrassment in almost all areas of the Church as to how such a doctrine could possibly be defended. The early Christians believed that the human nature of the dying Jesus had been like the bait placed on a fish-hook (St. Gregory of Nyssa) or in a mouse-trap (St. Augustine) in order to deceive the devil into swallowing Christ's divinity which could then destroy the devil's power. Later Christians thought that it was not the devil's power, but the wrath of God from which Jesus' death had saved us. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Luther and Calvin, the death of Jesus had been 'a sacrifice by which God was placated '. As long as one could think in such terms it would indeed be glorious to know that this propitiation had been achieved and God's wrath averted.23

However since the mid nineteenth century such sentiments have struck the majority of thoughtful Christians as problematic. Even Conservative Evangelicals generally reject the theology behind them. Archbishop George Carey, in his otherwise very conservative Canterbury Letters , explicitly denies that a ransom was paid to either the devil or to God. He describes such pictures as sterile, immoral, and out of character with what we know of God.24 Similarly staff members at some Evangelical theological colleges, who contributed to John Goldingay's collection of essays on the Atonement Today, were also unanimous in rejecting older views of the atonement either in terms of a ransom paid to the devil or as the Son appeasing or propitiating the wrath of God the Father.25 But without any realistic sense of a ransom being paid somewhere, what meaning is left in keeping the language of redemption? Carey has no answer to this except to say that traditional terminology about the atonement 'can't be put to definitive analysis'.26 David Ford agrees, 'There is something about the reality of salvation that resists an overview.'27 Stephen Sykes explores the same predicament accepting that although 'phrases and sentences' associated with the older atonement beliefs are 'the common coin of the Church's worship', explanations of such terms are 'not obvious'.

There is, however, one understanding of Jesus' death in contemporary theology which does seem meaningful, and which has become increasingly popular. This is that God was 'wholly present' in Jesus' suffering on the cross and that this illustrates the way in which God always shares in and is present in the darkest afflictions of humanity.28 This was the view held by all the leading Modernists who saw the death of Christ as a parable of the way God suffers with us. Today this understanding of the cross has been endorsed by the 1996 Church of England Doctrine Commission report on The Mystery of Salvation as the 'only ultimately satisfactory response to evil' and most contemporary Christians think this is what Christianity is all about.

Likewise almost all contemporary Christians join with the same report in rejecting the idea of an everlasting hell. At first sight this claim might seem difficult to reconcile with the fact that the latest Catholic Catechism teaches 'the sad and lamentable reality of eternal death also called hell'. However this assertion is at once qualified by the claim in the next section that 'it is also true that God desires all men to be saved' and 'for God all things are possible'. Consequently the Catechism concludes: 'At the end of time the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness... and God will be all in all.'29 A similar situation occurs in Archbishop Carey's Letters to the Future . He also speaks of hell but immediately follows this with talk of the wideness of God's mercy which will embrace all humanity, so that in the end God will be all in all.30

The response of the Churches to the death of Princess Diana provides the clearest picture of what Christians today really believe about sin and salvation. From the perspective of traditional Christian teaching she was a married woman who had separated from her husband and was 'living in sin' with another man. But apart from two fundamentalist Sunday School teachers who attracted great press opprobrium, no Church leaders spoke of her as a sinner. Instead she became a contemporary Icon of the Virgin, Mother, and Martyr archetypes. She had been the virgin bride of the Prince of Wales, then the Mother of a future King and finally she had been martyred by the wicked press. At her funeral Archbishop Carey prayed for her Muslim lover Dodi al-Fayed 'in certain hope of resurrection to eternal life'. 31 This was in spite of the fact that Dodi al-Fayed manifestly embraced neither Christian belief nor Christian morality. As for Diana herself, Cardinal Hume made it clear that she was on route for heaven where 'God locks us for ever into that endless now of God's ecstatic love.'32 In 1937 Richard Niebuhr had famously characterised Liberal theology as teaching that: 'A God without wrath, brought men without sin, into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross'.33 Yet reflecting on what the Cardinal and Archbishop said in relation to Dodi and Diana it becomes clear that both completely reject Niebuhr' stance. From being a spokesperson for the main stream of Christian belief in the thirties Niebuhr's views seem utterly at odds with what is acceptable to say outside a fundamentalist evangelical ghetto today. What is more in tune with the main stream of Christian thinking is Pope John-Paul II's Encyclical on the Redeemer of Humanity in which he proclaimed that "every human person without any exception whatever has been redeemed by Christ because Christ is in a way united to the human person-every person without exception even if the individual may not realise this fact."34

Finally I want to say something about Christian ethics from the tradition of Liberal theology. Here I have to confess a sense of complete bafflement because the dominant Anglican tradition has always been to approach ethical questions from an empirical perspective. This tradition goes way back to Archbishop Tillotson in the 17th. century but the definitive presentation of this were the fifteen Sermons preached by Joseph Butler in the Rolls Chapel in 1726. Butler, who went on to become Bishop of Durham had been asked to preach to the lawyers and judges who attended the Rolls Chapel and he sought to spell out in his sermons the basis of a Christian moral judgement. His position is sometimes described as "consequentialist" in that he generally held that whether an action is right or wrong depends on what the consequences of the action are. In making this judgement one must weight up the facts of the human situation for "nothing can be more useful than to see things as they really are". Butler was one of the first to state clearly just why ethical problems cannot be settled by simple appeal to Biblical authority:

"The Epistles in the New Testament have all of them a particular reference to the condition and usages of the Christian world at the time they were written. Therefore as they cannot be thoroughly understood, unless that condition and those usages are known and attended to so further though they be known, yet if they be discontinued or changed exhortations, precepts and illustrations of things, which refer to such circumstances now ceased or altered, cannot at this time be urged in that manner , and with that force which they were to the primitive Christians".

Instead Butler argued that if one believes in a good Creator then the way to understand what leads to human well-being is to observe what kind of behaviour as a matter of fact leads to human fulfilment and happiness. Butler believed that if one genuinely sought to love one's neighbour and to follow the Golden Rule of always treating others as you would like them to treat you one will find the way to human happiness.

Butler's sermons were immensely influential within the Anglican tradition because for over a hundred and fifty years virtually all Anglican ordinands were required to study them. The copy of the Sermons I have is a twentieth century reprint of a volume edited by Gladstone in the nineteenth century. Butler's empiricism was at its most influential in the thinking of the Church of England Council for Moral Welfare which subsequently became the Board for Social Responsibility. In all their reports they took especial care to be thoroughly informed of the empirical facts and of the known consequences of the existing prohibitions. These Church reports had an enormous influence on the so-called "permissive legislation" of the 1960's which very closely their recommendations. Thus the Church's report on The problem of homosexuality of 1954 foreshadowed the decriminalisation of homosexual behaviour in 1967 . Likewise the report Abortion: an ethical discussion published in 1965 paved the way for the legislation of 1967, just as the report Putting Asunder of 1966 recommended a Divorce Law for contemporary society almost identical to that instantiated in the Divorce Reform Act of 1969.

It is utterly bewildering that forty to fifty years later so many Christians are opposing abortion, homosexuality and remarriage in Church in almost total ignorance of the carefully considered judgment of their own Church's experts in theological ethics. The point Butler made in 1726 about the inappropriateness of determining behaviour today on the basis of Biblical statements which reflect a wholly different historical context is even more significant two and three quarters of a century later. In practice the use of the Bible by those who oppose homosexuality today is utterly subjective in its selection of texts. Thankfully not even the most ardent homophobe actually wants the biblical law imposed today since that does not discuss the question of whether practising homosexuals should be allowed to become priests but simply declares that they should be put to death. What the biblical law says of priesthood is that no one with a defect in his sight may approach the altar of God which presumably rules out all of us who wear glasses. And if homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord so too is eating shell fish.35

What liberal Christians must do is to argue that the Bible does indeed have great authority for Christians but to understand that authority one needs to place it in its own appropriate historical context noting how of necessity it reflects the understanding and knowledge of the people of its own time. To apply biblical teaching to present day situations what is important is to focus on its principles as summed up by Jesus in the golden law and to ask oneself what is the most loving response to take towards our fellow human beings as they seek to find fulfilment in their lives.


Notes

  1. Keith Ward, Religion and Creation Clarendon 1996 p.296.
  2. John Leslie, Universe Routledge pp. 2,22.
  3. Doctrine in the Church of England 1938 SPCK 1962 p.51.
  4. Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind OUP 1989 passim.
  5. R.McKay, Confessor for the Faith Hodder 1972 p.32.
  6. H.H. Price, "Survival and the Idea of 'Another world'" in J.R.Smythies Brain and Mind Routledge 1965 p.1.
  7. William Temple, Readings in St. John's Gospel Macmillan 1962 pp 216-221.
  8. John Hick, Biology and the Soul CUP 1972 p.25.
  9. Richard Swinburne, Is there a God? OUP 1996 p.77.
  10. Richard Swinburne, The Evolution of the Soul Clarendon 1986 1-2.
  11. Keith Ward, The Battle for the Soul Hodder 1985 149-50.
  12. His paper will be published by the Alistair Hardy Centre. Meanwhile look up Sam Parnia on the web.
  13. Doctrine in the Church of England pp209.  The Bishops of the Netherlands A New Catechism London, Burns and Oates, 1967 pp 479, 474, 473.
  14. The Doctrine Commission of the Church of England, The Mystery of Salvation, London, Church House Publishing, 1996 pp. 10-11.
  15. The Mystery of Salvation, pp. 191-2.
  16. Adolf Von Harnack, What is Christianity? (1901), London: Benn 1958.
  17. E.P.Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, Harmondsworth: Penguin 1993, p. 10.
  18. Sanders, Historical Figure, p.xiii.
  19. James Dunn, The Evidence for Jesus, London SCM 1984;   N.T.Wright, The New Testament and the People of God London : SPCK 1992;   J.L.Houlden, Jesus, A Question of Identity, London: SPCK, 1992.
  20. Sanders, Historical Figure, p. 134.
  21. For example books explicitely about the historical Jesus ignore the birth narratives entirely. Cf E. Fuchs Studies of the Historical Jesus, London: SCM, 1964;   J. Robinson The New Quest of the Historical Jesus, London: SCM, 1966;   E. Käsemann, Essays on New Testament Themes, London: SCM, 1964.
  22. Hastings Rashdall, Philosophy of Religion (1901), Reprinted, Westport: Greenwood Press, 1970, pp. 180-81.
  23. Hastings Rashdall, The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology, London: Macmillan, 1925, pp. 305, 333, 375, 411.
  24. George Carey, Canterbury Letters, London: Kingsway, 1998, p. 165.
  25. John Goldingay (ed.), Atonement Today, London: SPCK, 1995.
  26. Carey, Canterbury Letters, p.165.
  27. David Ford, Self and Salvation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 4.
  28. Carey, Canterbury Letters, p.167.
  29. Catechism of the Catholic Church, London: Chapman, 1994 pp. 240-241.
  30. Carey, Canterbury Letters, pp. 220-233.
  31. The Sunday Times September 7th 1967, and also the BBC CD of the Funeral.
  32. The Sunday Times September 7th 1967.
  33. H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America, Chicage: Willet Clarke and Co. 1973, p. 173.
  34. Redemptor Hominis ch. 14.
  35. Leviticus 20.12, 21.20, 18.22, 11.11.

Revd Prof Paul Badham is Emeritus Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David (Lampeter Campus) and a Modern Church Vice-president.