On reading Professor McGrath

by Alastair Llewellyn-Smith

‘We must be prepared to be surprised at those whom we meet in the kingdom of God.’*

They made him smile at first, those hope-laced words
which appear to dent predestination,
intoxicant as gaudy hummingbirds
in hovered flight. McGrath’s bold suggestion
hints salvation might be for one and all,
not the preserve of a self-selecting
handful, who’ve hi-jacked theological
interpretations for their reasoning
on who gets in, who’s kept outside the tent.
But he shuddered on his second reading –
mendacious Boris, that blond President,
his neighbours in the heavenly steading?
              Until he realised that the true surprise
              Is theirs – he’s there, despite his sins and lies!


*Alister McGrath, FRSA, is Andreos Idreas Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford.