God, who on Earth are You?
‘Radical Christianity’ explores the Christian mystery, critiques the Church, yet offers hope for the world.
The mysterious ‘Other’ that many of us sense and that Christianity - drawing on the life of Jesus - calls God, is the starting point of this book. But, the Christian Churches are no longer conveying the wonder of the Christian mystery, the challenging nature of Jesus’ message for the world but also God’s deep, merciful love for us and the invitation into a relationship with him through prayer or through other spiritual practices including pilgrimage.
Church teaching has become tired and routine. It should be fundamentally renewed and their institutional structures reformed for today’s world. The book’s final chapters consider how Christians should engage with the seemingly intractable problems - from environmental destruction to the inhuman exploitation of many people and the obscene levels of inequality - that characterize society today. An autobiographical thread runs through the text as the author, a committed Catholic Christian, draws on experiences and vignettes from his own life. The final conclusion is one of hope; God will not abandon us or his world, though we do not know how the future will unfold.
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This is a gem of a book, one of profound honesty in the search for the “Other”; it tracks the astonished discovery that a life given over to following the path of Christ can actually make sense. At every point it is helpfully challenging, unafraid to contemplate the difficulties of Christianity, and willing to demonstrate how Christian belief can make the world a better place. Human beings are now looking to learn how to give expression to our post-Covid thirst for hope and meaning; and this is the very book for them. ~ Nicholas King SJ, Assistant Catholic Chaplain at Oxford University, Private communication
As an Anglican medical scientist I was delighted to find myself in sympathy and agreement with most of the views of the author, a deeply Catholic, physics-trained economist. Stephen McCarthy presents a very intelligent and readable discussion of the many questions that beset and intrigue those of us who try to make coherent sense of the place of religious conviction in our present world, and how those convictions should guide our actions in the growing crises which affect us all ~ Dr John Morris, Emeritus Fellow in medicine of St Hugh’s College, Oxford , personal communication
Stephen McCarthy’s short book is timely. Most church congregations are in decline and people appear increasingly inclined to look elsewhere for meaning, and purpose, in life. I found the book perceptive and challenging. I commend it to anyone interested in living a truly fulfilled life or playing a part - however small - in making this a better world. ~ Rev’d Jackie Jones, Ordained C of E priest and Hospice Chaplain, Personal communication, with a willingness to see the endorsement published
Stephen has written an engaging book weaving together theological exploration with spiritual journeying and autobiographical reflection. His style is clear and jargon-free, and he has clearly ranged freely and widely in his reading and thinking, presenting a version of the Christian faith which reflects his vigorously progressive Catholicism. I love his emphasis on living with the mystery of God, and found his reflections on his own spiritual journey, especially the importance of pilgrimage, to resonate profoundly. This book will take its place within the genre of accessible Christian apologetic, and will play its part in engaging with those on the fringes of faith who will be attracted to a lively and attractive presentation of the Christian faith which begins with the wonder and mystery of God and his creation. In his own pilgrimage of faith and his vision of hope for humanity he is a 21st century Gerard Hughes. ~ The Venerable David Meara, Archdeacon Emeritus of London, Personal communication, but with a willingness to see the endorsement published.