Beliefnet
The Reverend Robert Willoughby used to be a Methodist minister; then hepreached in a Unitarian church; now he has resigned from the churchaltogether. He does not believe that Jesus was literally the son of God, or that he rose from the dead. He believes in "the worth of the Bible, asI believe in beauty, great art, music, and literature."

But Willoughby still considers himself a Christian, and he wants otherChristians to accept gays and lesbians, to fully integrate women intoleadership positions, and to "embrace the creative role of controversy" inchurch affairs. He describes Jesus as "history's greatest revolutionary,"argues that the church should take a greater role in political life, andalso offers a defense of the United Nations. Clearly aimed at theologicaland social conservatives, Willoughby's book raises some troublingquestions about how much religious teachings should change to reflect achanging society. Yet at the same time, readers may wonder why, if he'srejected the basics of the Christian creed, Willoughby bothers with thechurch at all. Maybe he should just go out and engage in secular activism?

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