Stephen Hayes's Reviews > Include Me Out!: Confessions of an Ecclesiastical Coward

Include Me Out! by Colin M. Morris
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it was amazing
bookshelves: theology, religion, society, our-books
Read 3 times. Last read June 6, 1968.

Colin Morris was a Methodist minister in Zambia in the 1950s and 1960s. This book starts with a description of how a young Zambian dropped dead of starvation outside his front door on the same morning as he received a copy of the Methodist Recorder, dealing with a report on Anglican-Methodist unity talks. and the theological issues that still separated them.

He was struck by the contrast between armchair theologians in Europe engaging in theoretical theological debates and their failure to take seriously the plight of people like the man who dropped dead at his door. "Your theology, fancy or plain, is what you are when the talking stops and the action starts."

The book is filled with similar instances.

He castigates the academic theologians for tinkering with theological propositions in order to make them more "relevant", and urges them rather to put into practice the theology that they already have.

(Karl Barth writes) "'Jesus is immanent in the Church only because He transcends it'. In everyday speech this is like saying that something is wet only because it is dry, near only because it is far away, and relevant only because it is irrelevant...

... Ah, breathes the theologian. That is paradox and, therefore, profound.

... Ah, says the man in the pew, it's beyond me but I'll take the parson's word that it means something.

... So what? says the man in the street, it has nothing to do with the price of fish! -- a remark calculated to touch a theologian on the raw; say that he's unintelligible and he will take it as a compliment, but suggest that he is also irrelevant and he will sue you!

And fifty years after Colin Morris wrote these words, little has changed.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
June 6, 1968 – Started Reading
June 6, 1968 – Finished Reading
November 22, 2012 – Shelved
October 9, 2013 – Shelved as: theology
October 9, 2013 – Shelved as: religion
October 9, 2013 – Shelved as: society
October 9, 2013 – Shelved as: our-books

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