Thinking Anglicans

the week's opinions

Theo Hobson has written Sowing the seeds of change on commentisfree.

Michael Bordeaux writes in The Times about The religious maelstrom of modern Russia.

Also Jonathan Sacks writes that Bonds of friendship will prevail over those who seek to divide us.

Richard Frith writes in the Guardian about the Mission to Seafarers.

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Göran Koch-SwahneCharlotteCheryl CloughNPPrior Aelred Recent comment authors
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Cheryl Clough
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There’s some nice articles here. One thing (that also relates to a pondering from Rowan Williams’ speech posted on TA on the 7th is a concern about fragmentation of structures). I wondered if some of the issue is the foreman being upset that the Tower of Babel threatens to be dismantled. I spent some time contemplating whether that was a bad thing, as I have contemplating the ramifications of living in a pluralistic world and cohabitating with secular structures. There is a niceness to clean edges, lines of authority, knowing from whom to seek help (or blame) when things go… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

Charlotte: This comment is aimed at you, as you seem to have some interest in engaging the primary issues; however, others may respond as well. Here goes . . . I find Theo Hobson’s article extremely interesting because he seems to assume that liberalism can NEVER go too far. Thus, whatever liberalism seeks MUST always be compatible with Christianity, Catholicism and Anglicanism. This is interesting to me as it mirrors my observations regarding the approach of liberals in general. So, is this a viable assumption? RW speaks of the AC being tripolar with liberal, anglo-catholic and “evangelical” poles. Taking only… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Nice try.

The Gospel is rooted in Mutuality, but Calvinism is rooted in crowd control, in power, in the Authority of the pastor (don’t ask him anything, because he hasn’t got any answers – he will only tell you that your wanting to know is not “faith”).

There’s my answer, for what it’s worth.

Steven
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Steven

Goran: Hmmm. I don’t think you answered any question I asked. Even then, I think you got it dead wrong. However, the question remains: Can one be too liberal to be an Anglican? The issue is whether liberalism, like the other poles of Anglicanism, has lines beyond which it becomes something inimical to the Catholic and Anglican faith. If a liberal can say yes–liberalism can exceed the bounds of the Anglican and Catholic faith, there is room for debate about where those lines should be drawn. And, there may even be some hope of saving the communion. If not, there… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Steven Anything can go too far. Humans have a tendency to think that if a little is good, then even more is better. On an individual level we see issues of extremism in, say, anorexia or marathon runners who waste away their body. On a spiritual level, people can become obsessed with purifying their bodies to the point they become hate their bodies, or with punishing the sinner or unworthy to the point organising Klu Klux Klan lynch mobs, or with bringing people into heaven “now” so they commit mass murder/suicide e.g. Jonestown. This is a recent Torah that explores… Read more »

NP
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NP

Goran says, “The Gospel is rooted in Mutuality” Do you mean “The Gospel” as described in the Bible or some ideas you have cobbled together which suit you? Cherly – from what you say, I think you would have told Jesus not to be so hard on the Pharisees when he called them “children of the devil” and you might have told him to be more inclusive when he said “nobody comes to the Father except by me” and you probably would have told him to relax and not go to the cross when he was struggling in Gethsemane because… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

Cheryl: Thank you for actually trying to answer the question. I note that most of your response goes far beyond the question, but that’s everyone’s perogative on a board of this type. However, other than saying generally that extremism is possible in any direction (and is to be avoided) and that (so far as I can tell) any type of sex between consenting adults is OK from a liberal perspective, I’m still not sure where you are drawing the liberal line, much less the Anglican/Catholic line. Based on the foregoing, my assumption is that you would say that forced sex… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Actually, Jesus might have given “hard love” to the Pharisees, but his sacrifice covered their sins as much as the man on the cross. God rebukes those that he loves, that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees so much proves how much he loved them. Love is giving people what they need, which is not always the same as what they want. Steven, on your wanting specific lines, I am not the person to give that to you. I represent no faction and have no entanglement in any of the political manouverings of any particular church. God happened to plant me in… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

Cheryl:

That was as neat and flowery a dodge as I’ve ever read, and I’ve seen some pretty fancy rhetorical footwork in my day. So, my quest remains unanswered . . . the quest for a single liberal that will (even if only for themselves personally) admit that there may be a line beyond which liberalism (without exceeding its own standards of “extremeness”) is no longer consonant with the standards of Christianity, Catholicism, and/or Anglicanism.

Steven

Prior Aelred
Guest

Steven —

Simon may well squelch me for being too off topic (& he has the right!) but it seems to me that you have framed the question inappropriately — “liberalism” is a methodology — as such it cannot be too “extreme” — it may be inappropriately applied, but that is the fault of the person applying it rather than of the methodology itself.

And to dredge up the famous quotation from John Stuart Mill, “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. I thought this too self evident to require comment.”

NP
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NP

Cheryl says, “Actually, Jesus might have given “hard love” to the Pharisees, but his sacrifice covered their sins as much as the man on the cross.” Really? Have a look, for just one example, at John 3:36 Jesus says “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” I still think you have made up your own “liberal” Jesus because he certainly did not agree with your statement – this is what is so sad about “liberalism”: it is not recognisable from the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Steven

There is a line at which liberalism is no longer consonant with the espoused standards of Christianity, Catholocism and/or Anglicanism. It is the same line as Jesus saw between the Pharisees and Judaism. Namely, when a priestly caste/faction becomes so enmeshed in preserving its theological authority and ingratiating itself with the powers that be that it becomes blind to its own hypocrisy and corruption. The line can be drawn when any branch (liberal, catholic, evangelical, or anglican) loses sight of the intent of the Book of Truth and becomes a husk deprived of the heart and consciousness of Jesus.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Dear Steven, Calvinism rejects the Sacraments of the Church, Calvinism rejects the Christology of the Church, Calvinism rejects the ecclesiology of the Church, indeed the Church as such. How about that for “consonant with the standards of Christianity, Catholicism, and/or Anglicanism”? Steven, if you truly want to ask a question, you need to be somewhat more specific, not to appear trying to “frame” some poor sodder ;=) Your “question” is false and misleading, only meant to let you throw your very much un-defined “consonant with standards of Christianity, Catholicism, and/or Anglicanism” at people. Sorry, but having the experiences I do… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Thanks Goran. It has been a joy to see you contribute to this site.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Having finally seen Steven’s comment and this discussion, I hope I am not too late to answer his question. It seems to me that Steven is making a fundamental error. It is one that, in my experience, any person attached to a radical movement can make. This would include persons who wrongly call themselves “liberal” as well as persons who wrongly call themselves “conservative.” I myself have most often seen this error committed by so-called vulgar Marxists who have absorbed a bit of postmodern thinking, but it is increasingly common among the radical right wing in the United States, whose… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I don’t care much for philosophy of any kind, but I have noticed the constant changing of the rules (and the dishonest translations)…

Borderliners.