Old message for new age

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In 1963, New Testament scholar and Church of England bishop John Robinson published Honest to God, a small book which precipitated a storm of controversy in the church. Many older members of the church today still remember its impact.

Robinson was motivated by a perceived mismatch between traditional expressions of Christian faith and the ways of thinking and being in the modern secular world. His book proposed a ‘reluctant revolution’ which would re-express the heart of Christianity in modern secular and existentialist terms.

Minister at North Melbourne Uniting Church, Rev Dr Craig Thompson, said Honest to God had an important role in the development of what is referred to today as ‘progressive’ Christianity.

Dr Thompson is part of a group of UC ministers organising a conference – ‘From honest to God’ – to mark the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication.

“Speakers will explore from both critical and sympathetic perspectives Robinson’s motivation, his impact, and whether in fact he achieved what he set out to do – to re-express Christian faith adequately for a new age,” Mr Thompson said.

“The intention of the conference is to encourage further dialogue and reflection among both lay people and clergy on what it means to believe in the modern world.”

For more information about the November conference visit: www.fhtg.info.

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