Colin Morris Methodist minister and former head of religious broadcasting at the BBC
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
‘I’ve just re-read Some Day I’ll Find You, the searingly honest
autobiography of Harry Williams. He didn’t preach anything unless he’d proved
it in his own experience. The book reveals his desperate struggle with
depression, and the theme of death and resurrection runs through the book.
Williams felt that he had to die to superficial religion to get to the core
of things. He was a great teacher and preacher, but until he faced up to his
homosexuality he felt that he was living a lie. He entered Mirfield as a monk
in 1970, and the last third of the book is a brilliant analysis of life in an
enclosed order. The book is an uplifting but harrowing read.
I’ve also just re-read Eric James’s life of Bishop John Robinson. I think
that the questions that Robinson raised in Honest to God have never
been faced by the Church, which moved right theologically and politically and
left them hanging in mid-air. I was in Africa when I read Honest to God
, and I wrote to Robinson, who replied, beginning a correspondence that ended
when I returned.
The book is a portrait of real affection. I don’t think that Robinson ever
got the recognition he deserved, although he did get fame and celebrity. He was
a religious journalist of genius. Sometimes I think that much of our
contemporary theology is too obtuse, and read only by other theologians.
Robinson believed that the task of the Christian scholar was to make the gospel
easier to understand.
I think that in many ways the group of Anglican theologians based at
Cambridge — Williams, Robinson, Montefiore, and Lampe — really educated me
Harry Williams, Some Day I’ll Find You, and Eric James,
A Life of Bishop John A. T. Robinson, are both out of print.