Increasingly people are declaring themselves spiritual while rejecting traditional Christian faith, Richard Harries notes. That's because many critics believe Christianity is irreformably hierarchical and irredeemably patriarchal. Harries, the Anglican bishop of Oxford, responds to those critics, looks at the difficult paradoxes of the Christian faith (e.g., that a loving God allows suffering and hell), and reflects on the many strange practices of church life (e.g., how "Christians eat God" at the Eucharist).
Harries makes a case for interfaith dialogue while acknowledging "the scandal of particularity, the clear choice presented by Jesus himself." He also explores what a contemporary spirituality might look like—finding who we are in the light of God in Jesus, living in community with other believers, and building one another up in the service of God.
Copyright © 2003 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
God Outside the Box: Why Spiritual People Object to Christianity is available at Amazon.com and other retailers.
Harries is a regular contributor to The Guardian (see especially this column for a similar argument to that made in God Outside the Box) and the BBC. His BBC "Thought of the Day" commentaries and other statements and bits of information are available at the Diocese of Oxford web site.
Touchstone responded to Harries' concerns about the language of the Eucharist.
The Telegraph earlier reported on some of the ruckus God Outside the Box caused on the other side of the pond.1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Church on the Ropes
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.