Thinking Anglicans

Saturday opinions

Simon Barrow has written a detailed analysis of the recent Rowan Williams Dutch interview: Why Rowan Williams helps stem the drift to idiocracy.

Geoffrey Rowell reports on what he found in Nicaragua this summer: Searching for the Garden of Eden in a remote corner of Nicaragua.

There’s been a lot of criticism of the decision of the Washington Cathedral to host a talk by Mohammed Khatami the former president of Iran. What he actually said can be read here. Almost as interesting is the involvement of President Bush in granting his visa. The cathedral’s reasons for doing this are explained here. Bishop Chane’s concluding remarks are here.

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Cheryl CloughJohn HenryMartin ReynoldsPrior AelredKevin Montgomery Recent comment authors
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Cheryl Clough
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Simon Barrow’s article is excellent. My only word of caution is that expressing fears about how power politics could be being played is not the same as saying that people are playing power politics. For example, commenting that a Lambeth conference that does not invite a significant element of the church will then make resolutions that are skewed without their input. If that conference was then touted to have come up with a generally universal agreement over what it is meant by Anglicanism, that definition has already been refined prior to the meeting by the exclusion of alternative perspectives. That… Read more »

Kevin Montgomery
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Kevin Montgomery

To a certain extent, I agree with what Simon Barrow says. Archbishop Williams is correct about the inadequacy of “inclusion,” as it is so often used, and about the power of transformation in the Church. However, I still can’t but feel a certain amount of betrayal from him. The reason is that those same words he used about being welcomed and finding change have so often been used as code words to attack gay and lesbian people in the church. Used in those ways, they mean essentially this: “At best we see you as sick individuals who need God’s healing… Read more »

Prior Aelred
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The Barrow piece is very fine — not sure that his interpretation is accurate, but he certainly makes a plausible case. And I especially liked the comments on the blog linked by “Bishop Chane’s concluding remarks are here” — the commenter taking Bishop Chane to task for not inviting Archbishop Akinola to speak in the diocese only to be told that the archbishop actually had spoken in the diocese in 2004 & that the diocesan had urged everyone to attend. The Conservative mindset projects its understanding onto others & can’t really seem to accept the fact that Liberals honestly believe… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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I agree with Cheryl this is a first class piece of work from Simon Barrow. My only contention with the Dutch interview was Rowan’s claim that his views in “The Body’s Grace” had not garnered much support – when it is clear that since its publication there has been a sea change in the way we think about sexuality issues and that he was in the vanguard of that change. My concern remains that despite all Rowan’s best efforts to reframe this war into an intelligent debate “events on the ground” will cut him off. There are many vested interests… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

“No matter how hard Blessed Tom of Durham and American “Windsor Compliant” bishops want to spin the Windsor Report – remember paragraph 146 – this is not a closed matter, there is no definitive view, this is not a matter of “Divine Law” – the debate goes on! I can live with that.” Well said, Martin Reynolds. Sadly, reasserters are so fixated on ‘law’, the Bible being a ‘law book’ to them, that they interpret everything to be ‘divine law’, even the Windsor Report. As in Judaism, “the debate goes on.” When Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, didn’t the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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John Henry’s posting about Jacob wrestling with angel reminded me of the Jewish concept of tzaddik, and that there are times where God will allow souls to act as advocates for humanity or certain sections of humanity – Moses was a towering figure in this regard. http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article.asp?AID=325776 I was pondering this morning whether Jesus intended half of the human population to be theological slaves in perpetuity, and whether he really intended to overlook 2-5% (depending on who is writing) of the population? I console myself that at least if anyone were to use my works against me, they certainly will… Read more »