Simon Carr: Tony's Godly guidance must be bolder

I think the tent isn't going to be big enough for Hinduism

Share
Related Topics

Memo to Tony: Ignore the carping from critics, you're on to something real. Let me be your brain for five minutes. Here's a Third Way growth system for faith projects, with special reference to Christianity and Islam.

Functional goal of your Faith Foundation: integration of world religions. Strategic pathway: create inclusive faith message, sell in by outreach, institutional development to lock in integrationist gains. Tony, what you are saying is precisely in the mainstream of the Christian tradition:

One: The first strategic rebranding was implemented immediately after the crucifixion. St Paul was the first moderniser. He took the aspirations of the disciples and fashioned a totally new, Big Tent message to take a purely Jewish Christian brand global.

The entrenched attitudes of the traditionalists had to go, obviously. Food rituals – out. Dress code – out. Racial preference – out. Doctrinal requirements – minimal. Everlasting life was the promise; the New Jesus was the way. Paul made the message inclusive. He went for what worked. We've been here before.

Two: "I am the way, the truth and the life" looks like the bottom line for Christianity in a doctrinal sense. It's a sticking point. But we mustn't get hung up on the literal sense of those words. For instance, it depends what the meaning of the word "I" is (let alone "way", "truth", "life", "the" and "and" are). Because it's already been adapted. The Nicean Council (325 CE) dramatically refashioned this message and drew in big new buy-in from throughout the Roman empire. Suddenly it was not just one God but three. The polytheists went ape for it. All credit to the bishops. But we've moved on. Values have changed. Aspirations have changed. The Trinity as a leadership team is no longer intrinsic to the brand.

We need to hammer out a new message for the times, because (this is the kicker) I believe the Trinity could be the Clause Four of Christianity. Because – a Trinity? Why a Trinity? If three, why not four? God the Father, God the Son, God the Mohammed, God the Holy Ghost. It's the same tradition; an extension not a fracture. It's evolution not revolution. We are stronger together than we are alone.

Proposal: We go back to Nicea in 2025 for the 1700th anniversary of the Nicean Council. It'll be like the Olympics but spiritual. Also, we need theological infrastructure. We'll need to keep a grip on the number of God-figures in the leadership portfolio. Realistically, I think the tent isn't going to be big enough for Hinduism.

Three: The project needs institutional expression to carry the inspiration (St Paul again, he was right). We need a supra-faith organization to be the custodian of the values and aspirations. If we're looking for parallels, you are M. Monnet and your Faith Foundation is the Coal and Steel Agreement. If we can get buy-in from the Vatican and Mecca, we can set up a purely voluntary, mutually beneficial bilateral with no integrationist agenda.

On no account must the participants know this is a political project for a super-faith. The personnel are the key to it? Can we get Alastair? Would he do God? Peter? Gordon will soon be free too won't he? He'd be up for it. The world will never need saving again if you pull this off.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
New SNP MP Mhairi Black distinguished herself in Westminster straight away when she made herself a chip butty in the canteen  

The SNP adventure arrives in Westminister - but how long before these new MPs go native?

Katy Guest
The Public Accounts Committee found widespread concern among civil servants that they would be victimised if they spoke out about wrongdoing  

Nikileaks explained: The sad thing about the Nicola Sturgeon saga is that it makes leaks less likely

Jane Merrick
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?