The Phenomenon of Christian Belief

by G.W.H. Lampe (ed.)

Dr. Lampe was Ely Professor of Divinity and Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, England.

Published by A. R. Mowbray & Co Ltd., London, 1970. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


(ENTIRE BOOK) Four English theologians describe how Christianity appears personally to them, not as neutral observers, but as committed believers. The results are clear statements about the nature of belief, the God of Jesus, the Christian God, and the nature of prayer.


  • Forward

    The object of these lectures is to try to make clear what Christian belief is — and is not.

  • Chapter 1: Believing by Peter Baelz

    The affirmations which the Christian makes about God arise out of relationships which have been constituted and reconstituted. History rather than nature or thought is the context in which such relation-making can occur. As other traditions engage each other, it will be discovered that the God of history will be none other than the One whom Christians call the Father of Jesus Christ.

  • Chapter 2 The God of Jesus by Mark Santer

    Having been overwhelmed by other nations, Israel had two choices: either acknowledge that their gods had done the overwhelming, and thus deny YHWH; or assert that YHWH himself had overwhelmed his own people, and thus deny the power of the gods of Babylon. And to deny their power was to deny their effective existence. It was, paradoxically, the experience of the absence of their God that drove Israel to the confession of his universal power and presence.

  • Chapter 3: The God of the Christians by G.W.H. Lampe

    Jesus, so far as we know, never addressed himself to the kind of question that asks who, or what, God is, or what we mean when we use the word ‘God’. The Gospels contain no attempt to explain that word. They do not seem to be interested in what is now our major theological problem. The Christians’ God is encountered in the active business of caring and concern, in the practical working out of obedience to God’s kingdom, with its immense social and individual implications, and in worship and prayer.

  • Chapter 4: Praying by John Drury

    It matters little, with praying, where one starts or how one starts, so long as it is one’s real self that is engaged. And the tradition is there to help and confirm us. What does matter is the presence which we can neither command nor explain, that ‘certain name’ on which we call.