Pamphlet 35: ‘Resolving Difference – in our ways of speaking about God or the ultimate reality’, Rex Ambler, 2016

This pamphlet is based on a talk given to a national conference organised by the Quaker Committee on Christian and Interfaith Relations in 2014. Rex sets out a problem: ‘we are disagreeing among ourselves about how to describe the ultimate mysteries of life … we want to resolve the differences, but we don’t know quite how’.

Rex sets out his solution to this problem, based on what he calls ‘the Quaker way’. He lists four ‘Quaker distinctives’: silence; personal, experimental and practical experience; speaking our truth on the basis of this experience; and discerning our truth together. Rex thus emphasises that the Quaker Way is one of process, a way of living, rather than a set of beliefs. We discern the truth to guide us on the Way through our meetings for worship and the other Quaker activities in which we are involved.

Rex is known for his practical approach, so in Appendix 2 of his book he explains how Quakers can organise a special ‘Meeting for Learning’ – ‘A practical proposal for dealing with different ways of speaking about God of the ultimate reality’. This will help those who read the pamphlet to carry its ideas forward into their local meeting.

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