No Fixed Address. Faith as Journey

No Fixed Address. Faith as Journey

John Bodycomb
Spectrum, $29.95

John Bodycomb, ordained in the Congregational Church 54 years ago, is a true non-conformist.

No Fixed Address is the story of one adventurous life lived in ministry within two “old” or “mainstream” churches and how these “great edifices” have “collapsed”, with a suggestion or two that all may not be lost.

The book, which was launched at the Common Dreams2 Conference for Progressives in Melbourne in April last year, is divided into five sections, each with several chapters, a conclusion and some questions for further thought and discussion.

Section titles are inviting: (i) Born to dissent, (ii) The falling edifice, (iii) The new age of discovery, (iv) God, humanity and cosmos, and (v) The new mystics.

And the subjects within each section include: the historical Jesus, G-O-D, resistance to change, formational theology, and pluralism

The Conclusion: “examines the practicalities of all this [the issues raised in the five sections] — getting through to the pew and to the ‘church alumni’ and what might be some implications for leadership (either clergy or lay) in churches.”

And then this important sentence: “There is little hope of anything good eventuating from this disturbing of the waters without the right kind of leadership.”

This is an honest book about one life, one “journey”, lived within the Church. It will upset some. It will also give others hope. It is addressed to those who are asking questions — big questions.

Above all, I reckon this is a book which should be read by Uniting Church ministers and lay leaders. Indeed, by all ministers who have only been out of theological college for the last ten to15 years. And especially those “new chums” who reckon their theology is more current than the theology of the past 40 to 50 years.

This Kenyan Prayer, which can be found near the front of the book, has much wisdom within it: “From the cowardice that dare not face new truths, From the laziness that is contented with half truth, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, Good Lord, deliver me.”

Rex A. E. Hunt

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