Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is God Still an Englishman?

Cole Moreton's lovely book illustrated left is an ambitious treatise. Wondering why he has lost the faith he had as a young, charismatic evangelical he reviews the events of recent Christian history and English history to ask how people have altered. Set in the context of the tragic, early death from cancer of a close friend he asks himself if his change is typical of the nation?

He discusses, amongst many things, the death of a Princess, the life and death of Jade Goody, the millennium, 9/11, the Toronto blessing and women priests.

Anne Atkins' review in the Daily Express was that it was beautifully written but tragically flawed. Well that would have made me want to read it even if I hadn't stumbled across it by another route. There's no flaw.

For me it raised the question of how to be a contemporary priest. If, as Moreton says, people no longer want to be told things, how should I help people to make progress in faith matters? And should I mind what sort of progress they make? Is all faith progress good progress? Can we all find new soul within the established church?

I wondered where Moreton was going with all this but stuck with it - the ride was very enjoyable - and was deposited in two wonderful final chapters.

If you want to think further before purchasing then there is a blog associated with the book here. Much on which to ponder.


Andy said...

Ordered. Thanks!

Richard Owen said...

Even if I were to accept the premise (which I don't) that people don't want to be told things, you already know the answer to the question about how to behave.

You taught me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for reading the book, and being nice about it. I think a lot of people might agree about Atkins and we ought to have that quote on the paperback. In all that you do, say, think and write, more power to your elbow. Ta. Cole Moreton