A series of lectures starts in central London this week called “Faith Matters: The Fundamentals of Faith”. It tackles some of the big questions that come up for Christians, and for many others: How do conscience and authority relate? What is the meaning of prayer? Is the Bible inspired? How can we find true happiness? How do we understand the created world? What relevance does the Church’s social teaching have for contemporary society?
The first lecture is this Wednesday, 4th November, at 7pm, taking place at Vaughan House, 46 Francis St, London SW1P 1QN. See the poster here; and further information about the speakers and topics here. The overarching question, I think, is about whether Christ has any relevance for the contemporary world.
The title of the series is quite provocative: ‘Fundamentals of Faith’. At first glance, it makes me think of the word ‘fundamentalism’, with all its negative associations – a belief system that is unthinking, unreflective, arrogant, closed to the truths of history and science, of philosophy and psychology. But perhaps that is intentional. The purpose of each lecture is to show that Christians can explore the fundamentals of their faith without being fundamentalist. The root meaning of the word ‘fundamental’, of course, is something that acts as a foundation. Thinking deeply about the fundamentals of faith should actually make you less ‘fundamentalist’ and more reflective, more open, and yes – more faithful.
I’m giving the fourth talk on 25th November: ‘The Catholic moral vision: a guide to finding true happiness’. Do come along – and if you follow this blog, then come and say hello and introduce yourself.