Christian Alternative is looking for a genuinely liberal and provocative approach to faith, ethics and institutional religion. We want to understand why, despite the Enlightenment and secularization, Christian writers and preachers often cling to pre-modern theological ideas. Why is talk of radical orthodoxy usually more orthodox than radical?
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What people around the world believe about God will determine our future.
Religion is an essential part of our humanity. We all follow some form of religion, in the original meaning of the word. But organized religion establishes definitions, boundaries and hierarchies which the founders would be amazed by. This is perhaps more true of Christianity than most other religions, due to the short life of Jesus, his sudden death, the lack of any contemporary records. His teaching about the kingdom of God is great; it could see us through our time on earth. But his followers watered it down and soon lost it altogether. It became a kingdom in heaven for the few, rather than one here and now for everyone.
The Church, or Churches, that resulted became increasingly irrelevant, even a hindrance, to seeing it realized. Many will always find security and truth in the traditions that developed, and good for them. But for those who can't, for those who have given up on religion or never thought it worth considering, the original teachings are worth another look. If we could recover them and live by them, we could change ourselves and the world for the better. We could bring God up to date.
Serious and humorous biography of an English priest that will fascinate many, many more people than actually go to church
In this colourful memoir, from 1950’s childhood to the COVID crisis, Brian Mountford describes his life as a priest, which has spanned a period of immense social change and seen the secularisation of Britain to the point where 52% of the population say they have ‘no religion’. Opening with a vibrant account of London in the Sixties, he moves to Cambridge college life in the Seventies, Suburbia in the Eighties, and thirty years as Vicar of the ‘most visited parish church in England’, the University Church, Oxford. Rich in humour and anecdote, he unpacks his liberal theological ideas on the way, addressing questions such as God, the meaning of life, sexual ethics, and the relationship between doubt and faith. A central idea is that the abandonment of organised religion has not eradicated spiritual questioning and, following Philip Larkin’s poem Church Going, from which the book takes its title, people of all ages are forever ‘surprising/A hunger in (themselves) to be more serious.’
Both the story and the essay content will fascinate many, many more people than actually go to church.
As lawmakers continue to use religion and religious ethics as a guide, questions of life after death are not only eternal, but urgent.
Death, Where Is Your Sting? is about both the process of dying and the question of what, if anything, happens after death. Robert Reiss knows the answers to his questions have eluded philosophers and theologians past, but he gives a compelling argument as to why we should continue to ask the question in light of new evidence from neuroscience and new interpretations of the New Testament. Paying close attention to the contested issue of assisted dying, Reiss shows that questions of life after death are not only eternal, but urgent, as lawmakers continue to use religion and religious ethics as a guide.
Wrestling with God makes your faith stronger.
Many Christian leaders today promote rigid doctrine that says, “Never doubt. Never question.” This insistence has been demonstrably disastrous for the church because the first step in any faith formation is to wonder. Nathan Aaseng revives the gift of wonder in seeking a fuller, more awesome experience of God. It welcomes unsettling questions, that are too often dismissed with pat answers.
In a sacramental ecology, divine grace is to be found in the evolutionary emergence of life.
The ‘Epic of Evolution’ is the scientific story that reveals that we live in an approximately 14 billion year old universe on a planet that is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that we are a part of the ongoing process of life that has existed on Earth for roughly 4 billion years. Nature's Sacrament focuses on the religious and ecological significance of the evolutionary epic in an effort to seamlessly connect the ecological value attributed as a part of an understanding of the evolutionary connectedness of life on Earth, with the Divine grace understood to be present in Christian sacramental worship.
David C. McDuffie is a faculty member in the Religious Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where his primary teaching schedule includes courses in World Religions, Religion in America, Christian History, Religion and Environment, and Religion and Politics. Broadly, his research and teaching interests involve the subject area of Religion and Culture, which includes but is not limited to the relationships between religion and politics, science, and health care. This is his first book.
Soulfully exploring loss and loneliness as raw materials from which our inner lives can blossom.
Written in the true spirit of the wounded healer, The Winds of Homecoming draws from and is enriched by the poetry and writings of Rainer Maria Rilke. These fifty short meditative reflections offer you hope and inspiration to embrace your loss and loneliness, transforming what is limiting and restrictive into something freeing and infinitely expansive. Through his writing, Christopher Goodchild walks alongside us, not in his role as spiritual guide, but as a fellow-traveller, writing from a deeply human place of vulnerability. He does not just tell us how to sit in the contemplative fire and be transformed, he shows us. He shows us by the life he has lived, and continues to live. Christopher’s latest book, written with his characteristic lyricism and tender-hearted, compassionate observations on the human condition, is enhanced by four evocative woodcuts by Kent Ambler. Allow the Winds of Homecoming to guide you home.
What’s different? Christian Alternative is looking for a genuinely liberal and provocative approach to faith, ethics and institutional religion. We want to understand why, despite the Enlightenment and secularization, Christian writers and preachers often cling to pre-modern theological ideas. Why is talk of radical orthodoxy usually more orthodox than radical?
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