Thinking Anglicans

Honest to God at 50

Honest to God, by Bishop John Robinson, was first published in 1963, and has been in print ever since, selling over a million copies. To celebrate this anniversary, the publisher SCM Press is sponsoring a commemorative evening in April at St Martin-in-the-Fields and has assembled a panel to discuss its influence and contemporary resonance.

Free event — everyone welcome
Monday 29 April, 7:00pm
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ

The panel includes popular authors Francis Spufford and Mark Vernon, Archdeacon of Canterbury Sheila Watson, and vicar of St Martin’s the Revd Dr Sam Wells. It will be chaired by BBC World Affairs Correspondent Mike Wooldridge.

More details at

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11 years ago

As I became more theologically educated, the book that was, in part, my entry ticket to Christianity, and then clues as to why I wasn’t ‘in’, has been differently understood. At a glance it is a Jesucentric questioner of God, and bringing God down into the existential questions and secular sense. Later, it became a way into John Robinson’s thinking, who wanted a Jesucentric faith and said it was the Church’s challenge to show how it is done in the modern day, whereas actually it was Robinson’s own difficulty. The question one kept asking about Robinson was ‘why’? Why that… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

As a theology student and part-time prison chaplain while at St. John’s College, Auckland, New Zealand; I had the privilege of escorting Bishop John Robinson into the prison for a para-liturgy with the inmates. His very simple sermon on that occasion impressed the prisoners (and me) – with its palpable message of the love of God. I have never forgotten his pastoral concern for the marginalised of our society – nor the effect on those who heard him. Bishop John also had a profound love for Christ in the Eucharist, which marked him out, for me, as a right man… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
11 years ago

I remember the Baptist headmaster of my grammar school denouncing the Bishop and his book at assembly. That made such an impression on me that I have always though that Robinson was one of the great theologians of our time.

A Christopher Scott
A Christopher Scott
10 years ago

I read ‘Honest to God’ when it first appeared and it has influenced my faith ever since though qualified by the same author’s “But that I can’t believe” published in 1967 as a reply to many of the criticisms made of his original book. In my view the second one is better than the first and it would be good to see it equally celebrated in 2017!

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