ME: in Times Lit Supp

Challenging Christianity

published December 3 2021
Tom Wright (Letters, November 19) says that Christianity is a “movement [that] still poses a challenge … which neither eighteenth-century rationalism nor [Theo] Hobson’s unthreatening romanticism can easily meet”. Perhaps, but I do not rely on eighteenth-century rationalism, rather my own, and any challenge Christianity might pose I should be more than happy to meet. In fact, it seems to me that most Christians want the comfort of a simple faith, rather than a challenge. I accept that there might be a small number of Christian theologians who feel challenged, but this is rarely more than the philosophical luxury of being challenged by other theologians. Of more concern is Tom Wright’s statement that early Christianity “was an unprecedented combination of Jewish renewal movement … and cross-cultural, counter-imperial social organization”. Is this how the early Christians thought or is it a case of applying modern concepts to a historical situation? And was it unprecedented? Could there not have been other similar movements? Perhaps the People’s Front of Judea, or the Judean People’s Front, or even the Judean Popular Front.

F. W. Nunneley
Beckley, East Sussex

Just in case anybody reads this and is wondering about the references to Judea, it's from the Life of Brian and you might try this clip: