Since its formation at Methodist Conference 2007, The Liberal Society has been sharing matters of concern amongst its 80 members. Contact is maintained by group emails and is confidential to the group. People have expressed appreciation of a medium that allows for the airing of matters concerning their faith and the sharing of resources to assist on their journey. The Society is not wishing to be divisive within the church but does recognise that there are many people who have been struggling with questions regarding their faith and a wish that social justice issues might be addressed more effectively. We recognise that many Methodists are familiar with the various traditions in our church and have some sympathies in various directions. For that reason, we are not concerned with drawing hard and fast lines of distinction. Rather we wish to re-awaken that vital Methodist combination of a 'warmed heart' with a strong social conscience. From our discussions it is clear that there can be no narrow definition of what it is to be Methodist and we will therefore be looking for a future church that is more diverse in its structures and leadership and which accepts a wide variety of theology, honouring the past but also recognising modern thought.
We invite others to join us, whether Methodist or not. For further information or to have your name added to the email list, email Eric Laurenson.
Articles of Interest
The Liberal Theological Tradition
The liberal theological tradition within the larger Christian tradition is at least six centuries old. While its roots reach as far back as Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, liberal theology really came into its own during the eighteenth century...... by Jim Stuart
Following the loving example.
We commit to following the loving example of Jesus. We read it, say it, and pray it. What do we mean by it? Faith statements mean different things to different people. What does this one mean for you? ...... by Rosalie Sugrue
The complete service provided by the Theology Discovery Group at the Durham Street Methodist Church on 27th April 2008. The lectionary lesson from Acts 17 fitted in with the overall theme of experiencing the God within but all the rest of the litany was arranged by the Theology Group together with the assistance of other Durham Street members.
Christ as Myth
The writings of Ian Harris in his "Honest to God" series are read avidly by Christians from the liberal tradition. With Ian's permission we reprint an article from the Otago Daily Times which explores the Myth of Christ, and very usefully suggests that it is more liberating and enlightening for the modern Christian to hold to the mythology of the risen Christ, as distinct from the more traditional teaching that Christ is the model for Christian behaviour.
An Emerging Jesus for an Emerging Christianity
Jhn Thornley's Jan 21 sermon with his permission. In it John tackles the issue of our contemporary perception of Jesus. As a former Vice President of the Methodist Church of NZ, and one who has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to articulate the the struggle to define Jesus coherently, we felt this sermon warranted wider circulation. John introduced his sermon with reference to two key texts in his preparation for the sermon: Marcus Borg's latest title Jesus (HarperCollins 2006) and Tom Wright's Luke for Everyone (SPCK 2001).