by Jean Mayland
from Signs of the Times No. 34 - Jul 2009

Last year I wrote in Signs of the Times about my journey on the Silk Route and my visit to Iran. This is a small PS to that.

On Saturday 13 June there was an excellent leader in The Times about women in Iran. It began

'Whoever wins Iran's election, an enduring image of this extraordinary exercise in democracy will linger; young women calling for freedom, head-scarves pushed back on their heads and green bands tied to arms held defiantly aloft ...'

by Jonathan Clatworthy
from Signs of the Times No. 34 - Jul 2009

After a good few years in which the public face of Christianity has distinguished itself by negativity - obsessive campaigns against some sin or other - there are signs that the mood is changing. Increasingly, people are looking for a more tolerant, and therefore liberal, spirituality.

This makes it all the more important for the positive case for liberalism to be heard. At least in the UK and perhaps further afield, the MCU can justly claim to be the leading voice for liberal theology. We have a good case for presenting it as a stronger, more mature and more confident approach to Christian believing.

by Tim Belben
from Signs of the Times  No. 34 - Jul 2009

Human notions of glory are mostly based on the cultural context of monarchy: a person is exalted in rank and dignity, therefore their possessions must be more 'magnificent' than any competitors'.

Indeed, our notions of magnificence are equally flawed: jewellery, fine clothing, wealth; humans unconsciously worship possessions and power. Lip-service is paid to the virtues - honesty, humility, truth, courage, and so on are admired (at least in print) but not considered glorious!

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 34 - Jul 2009

However we as liberal Christians understand the authority of Scripture, we cannot ignore it.

Adrian Thatcher's recently published book The Savage Text (Wiley-Blackwell 2008), previewed by his article in a recent edition of this newsletter, certainly takes Scripture extremely seriously as the revelatory story of the interaction between God and God's people at crucial and formative times in history. It also reminds us, however, just how many passages, stories and commandments must be viewed critically because of their 'savage' potential.