Reasonable pathways through the problems of Christian beliefs and ethics
O-Books 2012 ISBN 978 1 78099 079 8 £9.99 210pp
What is the meaning of Adam and Eve today? Is freedom divisible, so we can pick and choose when we want it? How much of God was embodied in Jesus? Can all of Christ’s miracles be explained away today? In sixty such questions former school chaplain John Morris engages attractively with a sceptical approach to Christian revelation. This revision of his best selling 2005 edition has new material including sections on the pros and cons of atheism, the relationship of morality to religion, same sex attraction and evolution.
An impressive range of commendations include praise from BBC’s John Humphrys for a book that ‘doesn’t try to pretend…theology’s a science’. Morris is mindful indeed of the intellectual challenges and perplexities Christianity presents. As a good apologist he starts with searching questions and gives ‘yes, but’ type answers that are broadly in harmony with the faith of the church through the ages. There is an underlying sympathy for those who can’t believe articles of Christian Faith just on authority but need to see a reason.
The book contains some striking images: DNA for our spiritual growth with Christ towards God and neighbour, the resurrection likened to a big tree from which we can lop off less credible branches whilst not damaging the vital reality, Michelangelo as image of God’s ongoing creativity and the Big Bang in reverse for how life converged towards intelligence.
The writer woos sceptical readers with a reserve about divine intervention that sounds at times like a scriptural defence of God helping those who help themselves. The book covers creed and ethics but has less to say about the church, sacraments and Christian discipleship. It is absolutely clear about the divinity and work of Christ which is surely the root cause of the unalterable newness of the Christian creed.
The Revd Dr John Twisleton St Giles, Horsted Keynes 12th June 2012