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‘Ferocious religion’

19 September 2014


From the Revd Martin Jewitt
Sir, - It is refreshing to read Ann Morisy's honest admission, in the context of violent fanaticism, that we have our own examples of ferocity in the biblical canon (Comment, 5 September). But to avoid facing this in public worship can hardly be the best way of helping one another to deal with it.

As preaching is one of the most evident sources of inspiration for the extremist Islamism that we are witnessing, perhaps preaching may be one valuable forum to "unscramble the clichés" and gracefully "explore the context and purpose" of the difficult passages.

"Christ is the solution" may be reduced to a cliché, but Jesus, the one who graciously liberated his people and their scriptures, is himself the radical challenge to furious religion from the first to the 21st centuries. Our convictions about him and our commitment to him can indeed become indoctrinating, but he can also be offered with the grace, humility, and awareness of our own capacity to get things very wrong for which Ms Morisy rightly pleads.

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