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Religious Reality   By: (1884-1960)

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Student of Christ Church, Oxford; Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lichfield; Priest In Charge of St. John The Evangelist, Wilton Road, S.W.; Formerly Tutor of Keble College and Late Chaplain to the Forces.








This is a book which is wanted. Thoughtful men, in every class, are not afraid of theology, i.e. of a reasoned account of their religion, but they want a theology which can be stated without conventions and technicalities; they do not at all care for a religion which pretends to do away with all mystery, but they are glad to be assured of the essential reasonableness of the Christian Faith; they do not expect a ready made solution of the problem of evil, but they wish to see it honestly faced; above all, they want to know how Christian truth bears on the real problems of life; the best of them are not at all afraid of a religion which makes big demands on them, but they know well enough the difficulty of responding to those claims, and their greatest need of all is to find and to use that life and power, coming from a living Person, without which our best aspirations must fail and our highest ideals remain unrealized.

These needs seem to me to be satisfactorily and happily met in the following pages. My friend and chaplain, Mr. Rawlinson, has had good means of knowing what men are and what they want. He has had to do with the undergraduate, with officers and men in the Army, and with the ordinary civilian in parish life. He has been able to see the nature and needs of our British manhood at different angles, and he is the sort of man with whom men are not afraid to talk. He has had good opportunity of diagnosing the situation, and this book shows his skill in dealing with it.

I do not find myself in agreement with everything in these pages, but when I am conscious of difference of view, I am no less grateful for the stimulus to thought. I am specially thankful that the writer has been so courageous in tackling the most difficult subjects.

I know that the author's one desire is to help men to be more real in their religion. I share his hope, and I believe that this book will do much to accomplish it.


This book has grown out of the writer's experience in preparing men and officers in military hospitals for Confirmation. It represents, in a considerably expanded but as it is hoped still simple form, the kind of things which he would have wished to say to them, and to others with whom he was brought into contact, if he had had more time and opportunity than was usually afforded him. It seemed necessary to write the book, because there did not appear to be in existence any reasonably short book on similar lines which covered the ground of Christian faith and practice as a whole, and which approached the subject from the point of view which seems to the writer to be the most real.

The writer is consciously indebted in the first chapter to the discussion of our Lord's teaching and character in Dr. T. B. Glover's fascinating book, The Jesus of History . It is possible that there are other and unconscious obligations which have been overlooked. Here and there acknowledgment is made in footnotes, and an occasional phrase, "lifted" from some other writer, has been placed in inverted commas.

In Chapter VIII. of Part I. the author has echoed the thought, and to a certain extent the wording, of parts of his own essay on "The Principle of Authority" in Foundations .

For help in the correction of the proofs, and for criticisms and suggestions which have led to numerous modifications and improvements in matters of detail, the thanks of the writer are due to various friends, and more particularly to his brother, Lieutenant A. C. Rawlinson, of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars; to the Rev. Austin Thompson, Vicar of S. Peter's, Eaton Square; and to the Rev... Continue reading book >>

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