The Armchair Theologian

The Liberal Quaker Problem with God

After many years of sharing tea and biscuits with fellow Quakers after meeting for Worship, I have had the misfortune of participating in roughly the same conversation at regular intervals. People ask me what I do to put bread on the table and I say ‘I’m a theologian’. They look at me quizzically and then ask, “A Christian theologian?”. I nod, and then (as if I have unlocked some post-Christian Pandora’s box) the Friend tells me how they cannot ‘believe in an old man in the sky’ and have ‘left all that behind’. I respond feebly that this is the God I have rejected as well, and more to the point, it is the God rejected by most of the Christian tradition throughout its history. But such Friends are far from convinced. Such conversations always unnerve me, despite their frequency. Is it possible that…

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