The Modernists claim that core beliefs like faith in God, hope for life after death and respect for the teaching of the historical Jesus, could be freed from outmoded supernatural ideas like six-day creation, virgin birth, substitution atonement and Hell. They argue that for Christianity to survive it must be brought into line with the best of modern thought. Paul Badham supports this viewpoint. He argues that modern physics and philosophy can be used to support belief in God and that near-death experiences have revived belief in the immortality of the soul. He believes that contemporary New Testament scholarship helps us know more about the historical Jesus, but requires a fresh look at what Christians mean when they call him divine. Modernism makes a very useful contribution to the dialogue between Christianity and other faiths by giving priority to religious experiencing and thereby encouraging a pluralist understanding of divine reality.
Paul Badham is Professor Emeritus of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
Preface What is Modernism? Why Modernism was, and is, necessary Modernism in Relation to Neo-Orthodoxy Modernism in Relation to Radical and Non-realist Theologies Modem Science and the Arguments for God's Existence Modem Confidence in the Historical Jesus Modem ways of Understanding the Divinity of Christ The Modernist Understanding of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Modernist and Contemporary Views of Life after Death Modem Religious Experiencing The Contribution of Modernism to the Contemporary Understanding of World Religion