GOD IN THE BATH: Relaxing in the everywhere presence of God (O Books 2006)
This book has its roots in a very traditional understanding of God. In theological jargon, its about Gods omnipresence; God being everywhere. Because God is everywhere, we are, wherever we are, in God. It shouldn’t, therefore, be difficult to believe in God. We don’t have to struggle to get our head around impossible questions. We are already in God; so belief isn’t like taking an exam, its like taking a bath. We need to learn to relax and let ourselves be revived in Gods presence. But looking more closely at what we find ourselves to be in, (including life, luck, love and person) the implications for our understanding of God are shocking and revolutionary. Here is a radical orthodoxy to give confidence to those who have given up on the fundamentalist expressions of faith that dominate the church today. Liberals are true to the heart of orthodox Christian doctrine on God. They are here encouraged to find their voice, demonstrate the deep roots of their faith, and above all, enjoy it.
AGENDA FOR FAITH (Sea of Faith Publications, 1997) Available free from Sea of Faith Network website here
God, self, history and book are bound in an intricate relationship in which each one mirrors the other. No single concept can be challenged without altering the others. Mark C. Taylor, Erring
When people come to faith, they talk about their lives changing, about becoming new people, re-born and re-created. For them, there is a not only a new vision but a new world. As they read their scriptures and join in worship, so they begin to see themselves differently. As their lives take on new perspectives, so their hopes for themselves and the world change.Yet faith can change too.
Growing up, growing old, learning and living, challenge our understanding of ourselves and our world. And as the wheel of fortune turns so the intricate, kaleidoscopic, binding relationship of faith creates a new pattern of life. Everything changes. There is a new world, a new beginning.
This has been my experience and I’ve tried, in this book, to explore the changing pattern of my faith. Some people have accused me of losing my faith. But if I had lost my faith, I would have stopped worshipping and resigned my ministry in the church. Other people have accused me of making up a new faith. Whatever it is, it isn’t Christian, they say. But I still live, move and have my being in the Christian church.
SERMONS FROM SUFFOLK (Little Ark publications, 2016) available from me here.
When I was about to retire a friend offered to print and bind a collection of my sermons I jumped at the chance. It was also a chance to raise some money for our village churches. Not only do I admire her bookbinding skills, she has been a valued friend and colleague. It would be a wonderful memento of my ministry in Suffolk. Accepting the offer was easy, choosing the sermons proved a more difficult task.
A sermon is a commentary on the Sunday readings, a thought for the day or a commentary on current events. Some of the sermons seemed a little too topical. Some required a little more thought and most seemed to have been written in a hurry. However apart from removing the most embarrassing mistakes, I have left them as they were preached.
HARMONY IN WORSHIP: Building supportive relationships between clergy, musicians and congregations (Kevin Mayhew 2016)
Here is an excellent resource for all those interested in the part music can play in worship. At its very best music can enhance so many aspects of worship – from joyous praise to quiet contemplation. When all is in harmony, all is well, but relationships play an important part and sometimes are ‘off key’. Not only does the book offer suggestions and questions to stimulate those responsible for worship but it also suggests ways to help ensure ministers, organists and worship leaders all sing from the same song sheet.
Contents include chapters on hymns, choirs, organists, the changing face of music in church and instruments. The authors, a well-respected organist and a recently retired clergyman with a music degree, have produced a valuable book to provoke discussion and encourage the part music plays in worship.
Dear Miss Candler: Letters to Mary by Frank Mitchell (transcribed Stephen Mitchell, Little Ark Publications 2017) available from me here.
The letters are to my mother from my father and were written at four periods in his life – from his time as a student at Cambridge, while teaching at Macon in France during his time at a preparatory school in Brighton and finally during the war.
Written between 1935 and 1943, and including the very first letter he wrote to my mother, they give us an interesting perspective on life just before and during the Second World War besides revealing a lot about my parents’ relationship.
GOD AND REALITY: Essays on Christian Non-Realism edited by Colin Crowder (Mowbray 1997 – chapter 4 All in the mind?)
Christian ‘non-realism’, associated with the work of Don Cupitt, and members of the Sea of Faith network, constitutes a radical re-interpretation of Christian faith and action. This book brings together leading non-realist writers and some of the most influential critics of their work. Exploring non-realism from a variety of perspectives, God and Reality is not only an introduction to the contemporary debate, but also a significant contribution to its future development as a constructive theological dialogue.
Contributors: Jeff Astley, Don Cupitt, Anthony Freeman, Daphne Hampson, David Hart, Fergus Kerr, Stephen Mitchell, George Pattison, Peter Selby, Graham Shaw, Denys Turner, Graham Ward.