The imagination is sometimes regarded as a bogus gift of God. We extol it in children yet suspect it in adults. Here the case is made for it being an essential element for a lively faith and satisfying life. More outrageous perhaps is the claim that you can’t understand the Bible without it.

John Bell is a hymn-writer, Church of Scotland minister and member of the Iona Community. He broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, and lectures at theological colleges worldwide. His most recent book is Ten Things They Never Told Me About Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide To a Larger Christ.

John Bell