Triunity as friendship

by F. Gerald Downing
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Although to my mind Adrian Thatcher had the better of the argument with John Goodchild (on God as Trinity, Signs of the Times April 2018), I suggest both would gain from a wider reading of the agreed sources, rather than relying on the theologians’ common focus of abstract metaphysics.

A much more promising and perhaps more engaging field would be ancient talk of ‘friendship’, both in the New Testament scriptures and in the ‘Fathers’ - the Cappadocians in particular.

Read more ...

Sceptical Christianity: Exploring credible belief

Report on the South West Regional Day Conference, Saturday 12th May 2018, by Jonathan Draper
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Twenty members (and friends) of Modern Church met in Bath on Saturday 12th May to hear Bob Reiss talk about his book Sceptical Christianity (reviewed in Signs of the Times January 2017), and to discuss with him and each other a wide range of issues to do with articulating a credible faith today.

Bob took us through a bit of his own story, relating his theological development from Crusaders in the early days to being influenced by John Robinson and the interesting and creative theologians he encountered in Cambridge.

Read more ...

Review - Why progressives need God: An ethical defence of monotheism by Jonathan Clatworthy

by Duncan Dormor
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Does progress have a future?

In a world dominated by such powerful demi-gods as Trump, Putin, Jinping Xi, Kim Jong-Un, Duterte, Erdogan (reminiscent of the Graeco-Roman pantheon but with less gender balance), is belief in the unity of humanity, human rights, equality or freedom sustainable? Or are we condemned to slide into a chaotic world where nativism and emotivist rhetoric dominate and ‘might’ simply ‘is right’? Is hope for a better world misplaced and naïve?

Read more ...

Review - Sacred signposts: Words, water and other acts of resistance by Benjamin Dueholm

by Tim Macquiban
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

In this book, Benjamin Dueholm, a Lutheran pastor from the USA, talks about sacred practices in a secular world, what they do and why they matter.

He takes as his framework what Martin Luther called the ‘holy possessions’, starting naturally with the holy words of the sacred scriptures to be found in the Bible, and going on in successive chapters to talk about water (baptism), and meal (communion), confession and forgiveness, prayer, praise and worship, and last but by no means least, the cross and suffering.

Read more ...

In memory of Alex Elsmore 1995-2018

by Anthony Woollard
from Signs of the Times No. 70 - Jul 2018

Our prayers go out to Guy Elsmore, our former General Secretary, and his family at the tragic loss of their son, a student at the University of Bristol.

For them, our prayer and hope that ‘grace is everywhere’ will have a special meaning at this time. Chair of Modern Church Alan Race sent Guy a message on behalf of us all:

‘Anyone who has been in ministry will know how devastating for any family this can be. Our prayers for everyone concerned have the advantage of going beyond words which are always inadequate in the face of such experiences. Please be assured of them as part of the threads of love that binds us all together.’