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blessed is everyone with a vested interest in the status quo, Brian...
on 3 November 2015
This is Conservative Christianity, High Anglicanism as endorsed by the Daily Telegraph. It's interesting as far as it goes, but Nicky Gumbel's ideas don't extend much further than being jolly nice (and respectable of course) in our relations with others. Difficult enough, but it doesn't occur to him to ask whether those relations are right in the first place. For him, as for the Victorians, everything is basically fine if people would only behave a bit better. His comments about economics and wealth are facile at best; he is unabashed in referring to his affluent City of London parishioners, and even taking them as a standard of behaviour. My young son soon sussed out the problem with the dictum quoted from one financier, 'we should always act so as to be unashamed of any of our actions appearing on the front page of a newspaper': what if you're not ashamed of the bad things you do? Like causing a global economic crisis by your greed, for example? Or voting Tory?
There are difficult questions here, and some of Gumbel's answers are just a bit too glib. Woe to you when the world speaks well of you!