Two new resources added to the website:
Ian Harris’s latest ODT article: Say goodbye to belief and welcome to faith
A liturgical resource Affirmation of Faith—Living as if we matter by liturgist Bronwyn Angela White
Books by both these writers will be on sale at the Common Ground 2018 Conference, 7-9 September, St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington – along with titles from St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society) including Ian’s “Creating God, Re-Creating Christ” (SATRS, 1999)
Check our updated list of Good Books you might enjoy reading and reviewing. Enjoy the covers collage at the end of the list, which includes some titles not listed.
You can also see the latest from Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, and pre-order:
Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century
by Sam Gould
Written to help struggling and doubting Christians develop an understanding of Christianity that avoids literalism, creeds, and doctrines – all factors which seem to be driving people away from the church – this book is well suited for individual or group study, complete with a study guide and sample lesson plans. It responds to the call for theological reform advocated by many contemporary clergy and religious leaders.
Are self-identified “Progressive Christians” guilty of exclusivity and conceit?
Rev Dr John Bodycomb writes, “There is now a much larger clearly observable ‘movement’, for it is as such that progressive Christianity is best understood. I have likened it to a flood moving slowly but relentlessly over the cultural landscape. It is pluriform and cannot be stereotyped, although its critics are apt to do so.”
He prefers “evolving christianity” to “progressive christianity”. Find out why in his article, “One Man’s Assessment of Progressive Christianity”.
Faith and belief in New Zealand: McCrindle Report May 2018
The latest research on faith and belief in New Zealand has just been released: commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation, undertaken by Australian research company McCrindle. It explores attitudes towards religion, spirituality and Christianity.
Mike’s blog about the report makes interesting reading – as does the report itself.
Mike Crudge lives in Auckland and is the Director of the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning, that provides ongoing professional development and support for church leaders throughout New Zealand. It is part of New Zealand’s Baptist theological college.
If a pivotal word such as “God” can carry so many meanings, the question arises: Is it useful any more? Some think the churches should look for another word that doesn’t mean so many different things to so many different people.
Read Ian Harris’s latest “Faith and Reason” article here
A cultural shift to save the culture – read the whole article here
I think it is true that in the church we have not focussed enough attention on establishing firmly our sense of identity; we are not completely clear about who we are. And that is particularly obvious among the young and disaffected.
In what way is the culture passed on? That is a complicated issue and far more complicated than I can deal with here and probably that I could ever manage. But one thing must be said immediately: Our society and the church has gone through, and is going through, irreversible and cataclysmic changes and there is no going back. But there are those within the many religious traditions who are standing up and asserting that the failure of religion puts humanity at risk, so we must at least think about how we connect with one another around the world and across the generations.
I also want to affirm, there is a way forward. There are churches and religious communities who have faced up to the challenges of modern biblical studies, theology and the realities of the world we live in, who go on to develop their own ways of giving full expression to the traditions and the culture from which they have sprung. Diana Butler Bass shows that in those communities renewal and vitality can spring up again and the next generation can be inspired and join in.
Religion has a role to play for the well-being of all people everywhere and it can do that when we are open to the experiences and traditions of others while being completely true to who we are and to the traditions that have formed us. Religion, when it is focussed on our common humanity, can speak hopefully to a world that is dangerously divided.
That is a bigger vision and will require much of us, but I think there are some small steps we can take towards it. So, in this short article I want to share some convictions and stories that might open up some possibilities for the future. Continue reading Cultural shift – article by Roger Wiig