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17 February 2014 DVD series “Exploring Open Christianity” Episode 1: ‘Exploring doubt and faith’ with Val Webb.

The series comprises 5 interviews with ‘Progressive’ Christians, each consisting of 3 approx 10 min sessions.

Val outlines some of the steps of her personal faith journey, but started with doubts arising from a literal interpretation of the Biblical text.  She noted we only move forward by exploring and questioning and it is helpful to be able to do this in an environment that is accepting and non-judgemental.  She speculated that in general, clergy are reluctant to share progressive ideas as lay people are not capable of ‘doing’ theology.  In her view it is vital that we each do our own theologising.

The faith journey often starts with the heart (I love Jesus), then for Val moved to the head to de-construct and turnover, consider over time (compost) fresh ideas and concepts and test and challenge these.  Once comfortable with the new understandings, we can re-construct our faith journey which is reflected in how we live ie more heart. (Story of the road-rage driver!) Using our gifts is more important than what we believe.  God is within us and everywhere, so for Val to be fully human is to pray.  All images of God are metaphor and picked up from our environment.  As an example, feminist theology delivered a mortal blow to the patriarchal view of God in the 20th century.

Everyone (liberal and conservative) is very selective about what is regarded as truth in the Bible. Val urges us to develop our continuing stories of acts in our time and contexts.