Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honest to God, by John Robinson

 Honest to God

I've just finnished Honest to God, by John Robinson. It's been on my wish list for a while for a couple of reasons.
-A number have said that 'such and such, lost their faith because they read 'honest to God'. I hate critiquing anything with out reading the material first.
-It was one of the most influential Christian books of the last 50 years
-One of my quests this year is the exploration of liberal theology. 'Honest to God' seems to be a good start.

Some things which I immediate felt a kindred to::

"The only way I can put it is to say that over the years a number of things have unaccountably "Rung a bell"; various unco-ordiated aspects of one's reading and experience have come to 'add up'. The inarticlate conviction forms within one that certain things are true or important. One may not grasped them fully or understand why that if one is to retain one's integrity one must come to terms with them. For if their priority is sensed and they are not attnded to, then sutly other convictions begin to lose their power: one continues to trot these convictions out, one says one believes in them (and one does), but somehow they seem emptier. One is aware that insights that carry their own authentication, however subjective, are not being allowed to modify them. "

Another quote which I had felt and writen about before was about how a liberal theology may help some come to faith or at least stem the tide of those in the Church loosing their faith and communtiy::

"More over, however inadequate the Liberal theology may now appear to us, it undoubtedly helped many to hold on to their faith at a time when otherwise they might have thrown it up completely."
Then goes onto quote Bonhoeffer::

"How can Christ become the Lord even of those with no Religion"

Robinson quotes two well known liberal theologians, Tillich, Bultman and the third Bonhoeffer was a suprise. Yet when I think about it I'm not surprised. Bonhoeffers writing was sketchy outlines of books. Nothing official from Bonhoeffer.  Yet his courage and desperate situation he was always going to be a favorite to quote by anyone.

Ultimately Robinson lays himself honest saying that he does not believe in supernaturalism,  much of the content written in the bible. Ultimately for him the bible has to be looked at as myth. Yet that does not mean to Robinsion that it cannot inform and guide us.

One thing which I thought often through this book was what would Robinson think of today Pentecostal movement. The fastest growing denomination in the world. Compared to the liberal churches which are shrinking at an absolutely alarming rate...