Religion: The Bold, Bad Bishop

For 29 years the Rt. Rev. Ernest William Barnes, bishop of Birmingham, has been the Church of England's foremost champion of religious heterodoxy. A mathematician in his youth, he has spent most of his life in holy orders, trying, as he put it, to make the beliefs of the Christian religion "come to terms with science and scholarship." For Bishop Barnes, this involved repudiating the virgin birth of Christ ("a crude, semipagan story"), the existence of Adam and Eve, and such biblical accounts as Jonah and the whale and Noah's ark. He does not...

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