by Richard Orton
for the NW region day conference, Nov 2006

My subject is religious behaviour.

During my ministry I have repeatedly gone back to a book published in 1978 called The Dynamics of Religion by Bruce Reed. There are two things to consider, the Pattern and the Rationale. The first is the pattern of behaviour; the things which religious people do, the worship, the ritual, the use of sacred texts, and so on. The rationale is provided by the dogmatic faith; the story which is told to explain the behaviour. It's the story in the Bible which provides the rationale for Christian religious behaviour.

by David Taylor
for the NW region day conference, Nov 2006

Consider the following passage from Exodus:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians, clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians." (Exodus xiv.21-25)

A miracle? If you examine the passage carefully, we can't be totally sure.

by Anthony Crockett
for the NW region day conference, Nov 2006

Some of you will know that at the beginning of the year, I was embroiled in an argument on the Fulcrum website with the Revd Dr Andrew Goddard of Wycliffe Hall, about the current debate regarding the rights of homosexual people.

This was in the light of two statements of the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales on the subject. I was delighted when, as part of his contribution to the conversation, Dr Goddard published on the website his very erudite article Semper Reformanda in a Changing World: Calvin, Usury and Evangelical Moral Theology.

by Chris Rayner
for the NW region day conference, Nov 2006

When I chose this topic for today's conference we had not been subjected to the controversial debate about the wearing of veils, crosses and other religious indications of faith.

Also, the hype regarding 'The Da Vinci Code' was only just beginning. All this has been left out of the talk and I shall be focusing on symbolism (and metaphor) in the Christian faith, how people outside the Church see Christianity through them, and I hope to initiate a discussion on whether there is a need for change. I have found it very difficult to distinguish between symbolism and metaphor and so shall speak on 'Christian symbol and metaphor: do they need changing?'

by Watson Fuller
for the NW region day conference, Nov 2006

The aim of this talk is to prompt discussion on how we can free ourselves from Christian doctrine that has become an obstacle to belief while still celebrating our rich heritage of Christian faith and practice.

Consequences of historic evangelism

The claim "Christianity is for everyone" has echoed down the centuries, finding expression in the belief that the Christian revelation can illuminate lives - individually and collectively - in every human situation. Some of the greatest achievements during the last two millennia bear testament to the validity of this belief. However any belief system operating on so broad a canvas is inevitably interpreted and applied differently in different times and places with not all outcomes being so welcome and with some strange and often unattractive bedfellows answering the call.