PCN Notes 7December Meeting

PCN Notes 7th December 2013

Information sharing
2 new books that people mentioned as worthwhile reading :
Good and Bad Religion by Peter Vardy
Lost Certainties by Brian WGJ Wilson

Also mentioned : Faith, Hope and Richard Dawkins

Gloucester Quakers are inviting Howard Grace, producer of the film ‘Beyond forgiving’ and a PCN member, to come and speak to them. Andy suggested that it might become a joint meeting with our PCN group.

The importance of Christmas, its story and how we tell it, with a focus on children!
Christmas is celebrated on different days of the year and in different ways according to local custom.
Christmas is sometimes belittled, by clergy especially, as being a festival for childish Christians who can’t face the harder realities of Easter. (see attached out-pouring by Maureen!)

Discussion of the Christmas stories centred on the difficulties presented by these facts :
• the stories were written long after Jesus’ death (let alone his birth)
• many church people cannot regard the stories as other than factually true
• we understand them as myths with a truth content
• children understand how stories work & respond to the underlying idea (e.g. Cinderella - the oppressed girl can be rescued from her oppression)
• all religions have meta-narratives built on mythical stories
• our adult society equates truth with factual truth

Children need to hear the Christmas stories (as in Open the Book). But we don’t know how to tell them in a way that doesn’t present them as facts and yet doesn’t antagonise more orthodox believers.
(see attached article by Adrian Alker from Church Times for some interesting suggestions).

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