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Events

Events

John Robinson's Honest to God was a publishing sensation 50 years ago, selling a million copies in 1963. The dominant theory of the book is the idea that having rejected the idea of 'God up there', modern secular people also needed to recognize that the idea of 'God out there' is also an outdated simplification of the nature of divinity. Rather, Christians should take their cue from the existentialist theology of Paul Tillich and consider God to be 'the ground of our being'. It was a controversial set of ideas at the time. In his last interview before his death, CS Lewis noted that, 'I prefer being honest, to being "honest to God."'

To mark the 50th anniversary of its publication, SCM Press has assembled a panel to discuss its influence and contemporary resonance. Mike Wooldridge (who will chair) is the BBC's World Affairs correspondent; Sam Wells is the vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields; Francis Spufford is a lecturer of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, London (and also the author of the recent Unapologetic); Mark Vernon is a writer and broadcaster (often of this magazine) and Sheila Watson is the archdeacon of Canterbury.

The even takes place pretty soon - April 29, 7:00pm at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ - but no tickets are required and admission is free.

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May, as most of you will doubtless be aware, contains Christian Aid Week and this year the charity will focus on how to 'Bite Back at Hunger'. 'Today around 870 million people are desperate for food. One in eight people will go to bed hungry tonight. This is a scandal' says the organisation, and as usual has a considerable range of resources to help fellow campaigners get involved, fundraise and spread the word about the charity's activities.

If you wanted to do something different to support the Week, it may not be too late to take part in their signature scheme.1.4 billion people live on less than £1 a day. Christian Aid is asking you to put yourself in their shoes by living off £1 for food and drink for five days (April 29-May 3). 'It will be tough but it can be a profound, rewarding experience and the money you raise from your challenge will help some of the world's poorest communities lift themselves out of poverty.'

You can sign up to take part at www.livebelowtheline.com/uk-christianaid. There's a supportive online community to engage with and more details about how to go about the challenge - and why.

For less able souls there are a host of other activities and resources to help you contribute, including worship sessions quizzes you can run at your own church. www.christianaid.org.uk.