Friday, 23 December 2016

Doing Good

The think tank Theos has marked its tenth anniversary with a new report called Doing Good: a future for Christianity in the 21st century, a title that echoes its first report in 2006, Doing God.

A press release from Theos can be read here. In the foreword, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the RC Archbishop of Westminster write:

Nick Spencer charts a view of the future for Christianity in the UK, drawing on the wealth of data and evidence that Theos has accumulated in its years of research.

That view is one in which service is central, but it is service-as-witness, service that is firmly rooted in, shaped by and unashamed of its faith in Jesus Christ.

The report’s idea of “Christian social liturgy” expresses how Christians can combine their fidelity to the two greatest commandments — loving God and loving neighbour — in a way that is simultaneously distinctive and inclusive.”

The report can be downloaded as a pdf from the Theos website, and an article by Nick Spencer here.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Friday, 23 December 2016 at 7:26pm GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

I find this depressing. This report seems to define "doing good" as "making more 'Christians'". I think that's putting the cart before the horse.

Doing Good is its OWN reward. If doing good is defined by "doing God", I think that misses the point on *both*.

Christ has come, Alleluia! If one's life expresses THAT Truth---that LOVE WINS---then the rest is up to God. More "Christians", fewer "Christians", no "Christians": God is working God's purpose out, regardless.

A blessed Christmas to all @ TA!

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 26 December 2016 at 10:08am GMT

I agree JCF and said so a few days ago in a post that seems to have been eaten by the internet.

People should "do good" in order to "do good", not in order to market a religion.

Doing good is its own end.

We love people because love is just the right thing to do.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 at 12:33am GMT

JCF doesn't need to be depressed as the report says the opposite of what they think it does.

The report addresses the issue of proselytism on p57 & 58 and how it is specifically censured in the Sermon on the Mount and similarly in Matt 6:1-4, 1 Cor. 13:3, 1 Peter 4:10 and in church teaching. It also refers to empirical evidence that - for example - "FBOs did not ‘force’ religion onto homeless people, and very rarely demanded particular behavioural changes.”

On this subject the report concludes that "social liturgy should aim to do what it is there to do – help, heal, counsel, feed, clothe, etc. – and to be open about the theological reason behind it. If that intrigues and engages people who then proceed to ask questions and enquire about Christianity – good: that is the right moment to respond intelligently and sensitively to any questions asked. If, conversely, it does not intrigue and engage people, who move on without ever wondering about Christianity – good: a genuine human need has still been served and a public good achieved."

Posted by: UinP on Monday, 2 January 2017 at 10:44am GMT
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