Finding a voice

Editorial by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

A rather short editorial this time!  Not because I have nothing to say (regular readers know me better than that), but because so many others in Modern Church have so much to say. This is as it should be.

Carla Grosch-Miller, in her workshop at last July’s Annual Conference on re-imagining the Psalms (see Mary Roe’s book review below), spoke of the importance of ‘finding our voice’ as Christians, and not being simply constrained by the voices of others (such as the Psalmists and their translators), however much those other voices may provide a springboard for our own meditations.

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Pick your way through the marshes

by Graham Hellier
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

Michael Wright gives us an attractive account of Quaker liberalism (Directions for Liberal Theology, Signs of the Times July 2014) but he separates things that are better kept together.

The first of these is belief and practice. Belief does not always mean orthodoxy; it need not be dogmatic in the modern pejorative sense, and it need not be imposed by any authority. Setting belief over against practice simply will not do.  Examine any practice and you will find certain beliefs underlying it.

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Speaking about God in a parish of many faiths: part 3

by Guy Elsmore
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

Part 3 of 3: Pluralism

• Part 1: Christian Exclusivism

• Part 2: Christian Inclusivism 

In the Parish of St Luke in the City, Liverpool, I regularly meet followers of other faiths. Life together brings opportunities and invitations to work alongside one another.

How should I relate to people of other faiths? Should I be trying to convert them to Christianity? Should I refuse or welcome acts of worship which involve other faiths? How should the Churches in the St Luke’s Team relate in mission to multi-faith neighbourhoods?

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Christianity and other faiths: a brief afterthought

by John Goodchild
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

If we believe God is a dangerous character from whose wrath we have to be saved by a special relationship with Jesus, then contact with other faiths will be problematic.

If we believe God wills the greatest fullness of life for all whatever the cost to himself and that Jesus grew into this God’s embodiment thanks to the correction of the Syro-Phoenecian woman, it will be easier to rejoice in finding this God in others – though we will want to reject as fallible human constructions tribal religions employing violence such as we find in parts of Judaism and Islam, and sadly some versions of Christianity.

God and Mammon

by Tim Belben
from Signs of the Times No. 56 - Jan 2015

It is easy for most of us to dismiss the dominical prohibition - regarding the impossibility of trying to serve God and mammon - as if applying only to extreme examples of mammon (banking, for instance), but the impossibility of service to both, or the un-wisdom of attempting it, applies, I think, more to states of mind.

If your mind is filled with some pending or recent acquisition, nor investment, or a new car, kitchen - or a planned holiday, for instance (or even a new potato peeler or a new kitchen mixer),  it is very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve that space of mind (and space is needed for peace: the space, or do I mean peace?) necessary for contemplative prayer.  To be able to fill the mind with the infinite takes all the space (or peace) possible.

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