Wednesday, April 25, 2007

' this wonderful stranger also lies dead...'

Just read The Inclusive God. Reclaiming Theology for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare and Hugh Rayment-Pickard, as my Easter read. This is one of those books that made me want to punch the air and cheer, out of delight that someone has managed to crystallise and express an approach to Christianity that makes sense, in a coherent and engaging way. 'Inclusive' here means not excluding anyone on the basis of 'mere cultural prejudices'; not as a patronising invitation to outsiders to be assimilated into a power-centre but more as a breaking open to new languages and voices. Here we find an unapologetic inclusivity as passion, central to faith rather than a modern add-on that can be abandoned 'once we have an acceptable quota of lesbian archbishops and braille hymnbooks'.
The book explains itself thus: 'The Church should be inclusive because God is inclusive...We do not believe in 'answers' to life's questions which filter out all the struggles, doubts and unknowing which are at the heart of human experience...The only justification for building an inclusive church is that this is what reality demands of us.'

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