Self-described champion of heretics, the Anglican Dean of Perth, Dr John Shepherd, has spoken out against core Christian beliefs, including the meaning of Jesus’ death and his bodily resurrection.
Dr Shepherd, who runs a study group at the Cathedral called ‘Heretics Anonymous’, made the comments in an article in The West Australian newspaper on Easter Saturday.
Dr Shepherd wrote that it was not necessary to believe the Gospel accounts of Jesus appearing to his disciples, that Jesus was physically and literally raised to heaven, or that he will come again ‘in the form in which he has already been present on earth’.
He also said that there is no need to believe “there will be a final judgment where the righteous will be accepted into a so-called heaven, and sinners condemned to everlasting damnation.”
When asked to comment by a journalist from The West Australian, Bishop Glenn Davies said the comments represented ‘an extreme form of liberal Christianity that has been endemic in the churches for the last 200 years’.
“Christians who appeal to the Bible as their authority will recognise that liberal Christianity is a negative force and one which is too prone to be influenced by the culture of this age,” Bishop Davies told the newspaper.
“We [evangelicals] have a much better story to tell than Dr Shepherd does, not least because it is true.”