It also means (frustratingly) that we aren’t able to reflect the results of the election in this edition, since we don’t know whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband is Prime Minister, who coalesced with who, or whether the whole of Scotland now looks pale yellow. Who knows…maybe Russell Brand was swept to power in an unexpected revolutionary uprising, and Ricky Gervais is now leader of the opposition?
Speculation aside, this month we bring you some responses to the article by Cameron that we recently featured in the magazine and online. Cameron outlined his vision for how his party would work alongside the Church, but his comments comparing the meaning of Easter to Conservative values of ‘the importance of change, responsibility and doing the right thing for the good of our children’ unleashed a barrage of criticism.
Editorials were penned in national newspapers, bloggers made their feelings clear, and critics from both the left and right of the political and theological spectrum took issue with the article. Some also questioned our judgement in publishing it.
I stand by our decision to publish the piece. All of the major party leaders were given space to express their views in the months running up to the election. Publishing does not equate, in any of their cases, to endorsing particular views, and we didn’t feel it was our job to correct the PM on his theology (knowing discerning readers would do that themselves anyway).
While this magazine stands firm upon the core convictions of the Christian faith, we’ve always created space for a variety of views to be debated around secondary issues. There’s plenty you may potentially disagree with in this edition. For example, Jonty Langley’s defence of the value of horror movies (Culture), or RT Kendall’s open letter to the UK Church which contains encouragement but also admonition for those who ‘water down’ the gospel. Perhaps most controversially, our resident theologian David Instone-Brewer (who is never afraid of putting the proverbial cat among the New Testament pigeons) suggests a new scientific and biblical approach to when life begins.
Your feedback is always welcome, as well as your ideas for the topics we cover and people we talk to in the future.
PS We welcome Sam Hailes to the team this month, our recently appointed news and features journalist (and honorary custodian of the team’s ‘snack drawer’. Donations welcome).