In Modern Believing Apr 2009 • previous editionnext edition

SavageText

The Savage Text: The Use and Abuse of the Bible

Adrian Thatcher

Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Pp. x, 218. Pb.

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Reviewed by Paul Badham, University of Wales, Lampeter

Publisher's description:  Misuse of the Bible has made hatred holy. In this provocative book,  Adrian Thatcher argues that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible. Fascinating reading for anyone concerned about the future of Christianity.

  • A provocative book claiming that debates on sexuality currently raging through the churches  are the latest outbreak in a long line of savage interpretations of the Bible
  • Argues that the Bible has been abused to convert the 'good news' which it brings to the world,  into one which has been used to discriminate against many groups, including children, women, Jews,  people of color, slaves, heretics, and homosexuals
  • Asks how Christians have been able to conduct, in public and on a global scale, an argument  that has exposed so much prejudice, fear and hatred
  • Offers an alternative, faithful and peaceable reading of the Bible, drawing on numerous examples throughout
  • Breaks new ground in debates about sexual ethics and biblical interpretation
Article by Adrian Thatcher in Signs of the Times No. 31 - Oct 2008

TempleTitheTax

Temples, Tithes and Taxes: The Temple and the Economic Life of Ancient Israel

Marty E. Stevens

Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2006. Pp. xi, 209. Pb.

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Reviewed by Edmund Newell, Christ Church, Oxford


LiberalDivided

Liberal Faith in a Divided Church

Jonathan Clatworthy

Winchester: O Books, 2008. Pp. 264. Pb.

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Reviewed by Paul Badham, University of Wales, Lampeter

Publisher's description: The battle lines are drawn in what some believe will be the final showdown between liberals and conservatives in the Anglican Church. If the two sides can't agree, the cracks which began to show over the ordination of women may well become an unbridgeable chasm and the church  will split. The catalyst is the row over the consecration of a gay bishop in America, but Jonathan Clatworthy argues that it goes deeper than that, to the very roots of Anglicanism itself. Different theories developed at different stages to produce the mix of ideas we have today.

'For a long time, liberals in the Church of England have been exposed to jibes that they offer a watered-down version of Christianity and have trimmed their sails according to the prevailing winds of secularism. Now there are signs of a fight-back. Jonathan Clatworthy's book is one manifestation of this. Clearly written, with a firm grounding in the historical and intellectual background of contemporary debates, and plenty of common sense, he argues for the properly theological truth of liberalism. This work will encourage many to move from the defensive to speak out all the more strongly for the rightness  as well as the humaneness of a liberal approach." George Pattison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford


IdentityAnglicanism

The Identity of Anglicanism: Essentials of Anglican Ecclesiology

Paul Avis

London: T&T Clark, 2007. Pp. 216.

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Reviewed by Simon Oliver, University of Wales, Lampeter


ParticipationMeditation

Participation and Mediation: A Practical Theology for the Liquid Church

Pete Ward

London: SCM, 2008. Pp. viii, 192. Pb.

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Reviewed by Rob Warner, University of Wales, Lampeter