In any event, the webiste has some interesting articles, including this one from Keith Ward called (perhaps optimistically) “Why the Future Belongs to Liberal Faith.” Ward’s is talking specifically about holding the Christian faith in a liberal way, and he identifies seven marks of a liberal faith:
Now, I substantially agree with all these points, so why would I be uncomfortable describing myself as a theological liberal? I think it’s because, while I affirm the need for critical discussion, acceptance of diversity and dissent, and the possibility of revising traditional theological beliefs, I still think there is a core of orthodox Christian belief that retains, if not unchallengable authority, then at least a strong presumption in its favor.
I don’t think Ward would necessarily disagree with this if his other writings are anything to judge by. But I think his article is nicely balanced by this passage from one by Mark Chapman at the same site:
I want to begin with the bold claim that a certain amount of woolly liberalism is necessary for the functioning of a healthy Christianity. This is something that needs to be re-asserted in the contemporary church, particularly when there are so many who would like to confine Christianity solely to its more dogmatic and sectarian forms. And I would contend that the reason for this is extraordinarily simple and uncontentious: whatever else religion might be it is a human practice open to all the distortions of human sin which means it simply demands to be scrutinised and criticised. That is something that would be understood by the Hebrew prophets and virtually every reformer since. For the greater glory of God there is thus a responsibility to open up our practices and beliefs to critical scrutiny. This, I think, is where a dose of liberalism becomes necessary for all Christians. Liberalism is consequently far more an attitude of mind than a church party, and it can even look prophetic.
Now, I would not want to belong to anything called a liberal party in the church. My religion is really quite traditional Anglo-Catholic, but my disposition and attitude is liberal. It doesn’t take much to reveal the ironies, hypocrisies and idolatries of Anglo-Catholicism. But at the same time the continued vitality of religion requires that it be practised, cherished and loved and approached with reverence and awe.
The “liberal” and “conservative” dispositions, then, can be seen as complementary, and even necessary for one another’s health. A merely corrosive and critical liberalism will lack “reverence and awe.” But an uncritical conservatism will confuse religion with God, and ironically fail to revere the very God religion aims to worship.