Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Theology in a Taxi; Twitter @EveningChron FRANCIS WOOD Church Matters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Theology in a Taxi; Twitter @EveningChron FRANCIS WOOD Church Matters

Article excerpt

THE traffic lights stood at Red and my taxi driver suddenly asked, "Are you a Christian?" I suspected a trick but I answered "Yes" He went on, "Ah, but what sort? Born again, regular, Protestant, Catholic, convinced, lapsed or just nominal?" The lights turned to Green and it gave me a chance to think before replying.

I don't rule out any of those, I thought. I was baptized with water and the spirit so I must be "born again".

There have been times when I've lapsed and other times when I've been more regular than All-Bran. Also I'm pretty keen on the Bible with reservations about parts of it. But my faith isn't bound between the covers of a book. So you could call me a limited kind of Protestant.

As for the Church, I positively love it with all its saints and glory, failings and stupidity. I wouldn't know what to do without it. That must make me some kind of Catholic. As for being convinced about my faith, the older I get the less convinced I am about anything except Jesus Christ and what he did. My motto has always been Be Buoyant. So I suppose you might call me a nominal Christian and I enjoy it. There are other names for Christians - happy-clappy or Bible-punching. They come and go but not for long. The ones I avoid are the judgmental ones. They spend their time telling all the rest they've got it wrong. I just stick with the crowd hoping that God will take me just as I am. It'll be for him to judge.

"That'll be four pounds, sir," said the taxi man. I never noticed we'd arrived home and I gave him a bit extra for his stimulating conversation.

HERE COMES LENT Some people don't like Lent.

Christmas and Easter and Harvest are happy festivals and everyone turns up.

Lent is about abstinence and self control.

The real trouble is that Lent tests our faith and when it comes to religion, few people like to be tested. …

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