Page 9, 12th March 1976

12th March 1976
Page 9
Page 9, 12th March 1976 — A believer in doubts and questionings
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A believer in doubts and questionings

by DAVID CRAIG

The Forgotten Dream: 1974 Hampton Lectures by Peter Bach (Mowhrays £4.50)

To confirm and establish the Christian Faith and to confute all heretics and schismatics ...so reads the last will and testament of John Bampton, the founder of the annual Bampton Lectures.

They have included the contributions of such worthy proponents of the Christian Faith as Dean Inge, Hastings Rasdall, R. H. Lightfoot, and more recently Eric Mascall and Austin Ferrer. The Forgotten Dream by Peter Bath is the published edition of the 1974 Ramptons and proves to he in the great tradition of its precursors.

Hurrah! Here is someone who realises that doubts and questionings are neither heretical nor schismatic! At last someone acknowledges that the Christian Faith cannot remain uninfluenced by the tensions that are tearing the world apart through scientific and technological developments.

hile belief and doubt are equal and sincere reactions to credal formulae. they are not mutually exclusive reactions and both can he contained within the one person. It is for those many of us who find ourselves in this position that Peter Bad. writes.

The half-believer is he who is not able to "distinguish between sure-. ness in religion and tentativeness; in theology, between a basic selfauthenticating intuition and its subsequent arguable interpretations. nor can he draw a line of demarcation between intellectual difficulties and existential doubt."

Through the eight lectures, Peter Baela reconstructs the contemporary scene. questions fruitfully the difficult and normally unquestioned theological tenets from the standpoint of the half-believer. It is a clearly written and sympathetic exposition of Christian !Stith fdr a literate and aware world.

To me it is one of the few books that deals with a real religion and a real God. So much of what is published provides us with the idea of religion and the idea of a God behind which it is all too easy for nest of us to take refuge. This is a book for all who a4k questions and want to come to terms with the wholeness of man in the conflicting forces of religious and secular development.




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