Theology: An Empirical Faith

The Right Rev. James A. Pike has long contended that what Christianity needs is fewer beliefs but more belief. In his previous ventures into pop theology, the resigned Episcopal Bishop of California has been mostly concerned with explaining why he regards such dogmas as the Trinity and the Virgin Birth as beliefs he can do without. Now, in a new book called If This Be Heresy (Harper & Row; $4.95), Pike tries to explain what he does accept and why, summing up his formula for faith in a neat little equation: "data + inference = modest faith-affirmation."

According to Pike, the...

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