(‘The Church of England’s fight to survive’, FT Weekend Magazine.)

Jeremy Paxman’s article about the future of the Church of England is both affectionate and exasperated. While he points out just how far from the thinking of the rest of the country the Church of England is in many social matters, he admires the ‘reasonableness’ with which the Church of England works at them. While he notes the many good works the Church of England can point to, he also reminds us that numbers (of people, resources) are dwindling. ‘I admire the Church’ he writes, ‘In many ways the story of England is the story of her Church, and there is something endearing about its endless anxieties.’

42.

Okay, that’s funny.

Why?

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

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.

There is a theological failure at the heart of the so-called ‘Nashville Statement’, issued this week by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, whose tagline is 'A coalition for Biblical sexuality'.

The God in which Christians believe changed and changed everything when that God became incarnate. No longer was God ‘out there’, but is with us.