Monday, February 28, 2011


A WANDERER'S WAY - Charles E. Raven, D.D., Canon of Liverpool and chaplain to the King.

A friend lent me this book published in 1928.  It is the story of the Reverend Raven's journey to the Anglican priesthood. More unusual is his very liberal theology (liberal even for a present day Anglican priest). He writes very clearly, that is to say not like a theologian. He recounts his unhappiness at boarding school,  his early indifference to and then rejection of religion. At Cambridge he ranged from paganism to neopaganism to materialism, but although he thought Christianity "bankrupt", he found its replacements even more so. How he finally became a Christian - albeit as he terms it "I was at home with the heretics and an anathema to the devout"  -- is a journey of twists and turns. He is an advocate for changes in the creed and forms of service of the church. He looks at God with the knowledge of a scientific age.  Here, he distinguishes between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the Twentieth Century:

               "He (the OT God) was a sultan, they His ministers sending out decrees from a supernatural realm to which man's intellect could not aspire nor his criteria of judgment apply. Nowadays we must start from the data furnished by science, history, and experience, observing the world, the records of mankind, and our own personal and corporate lives, testing and comparing the results, and forming hypotheses to cover and explain them. For us God is manifested always and everywhere, the fullness of the manifestation being determined by the quality of the medium in which it is given. We can learn something from the flower in a crannied wall, more from knowledge of our own physiology and psychology, more still from men of large heart, sound intellect and moral worth, most from Jesus, the full-grown Son of Man." . 

I found his book inspiring and am trying to find more of his writings, most of which are out of print. If you'd like to read it, I'm sure my friend will lend it to you.

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