THINKING ANGLICANS

Jefferts Schori and theology

Updated
Jim Naughton posted recently in response to the unwarranted criticism by some conservatives of what the new American primate had said about the relationship between Christianity and other faiths. His post was excitingly titled Orthodox soteriology. Jim’s links lead to several relevant articles about the doctrine of salvation.

The NPR interview in question took place on 18 October and is 21 minutes long. It covered a lot of other ground as well, and can be found here.

Update
Fr Jake also has an article containing links to put this matter into a wider context of mainstream Christian theology. See Seeking the Way to God.

Update
Fr Jones has added his views: Will Only A Few Be Saved?

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Dave WilliamsCheryl CloughDaveWGöran Koch-SwahneJ. C. Fisher Recent comment authors
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Dave Williams
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It would be correct to say that Christ as the only way to salvation is normative for Evangelical Christians. It would also be true perhaps to say that there are people who call themselves Christians who do not consider it normative. Naughton however is factually wrong when he says that it is not normative outside of Evangelical Christianity. He should try that one with a whole range of Christian traditions, with what the Bible says, not in some obscure difficult to understand passages but in clear well known very blunt ones! It is of note that he limits himself to… Read more »

Jake
Guest

The catechism of the Catholic Church is nonsense?

Dave, you feel qualified to judge our new PB based on a couple of interviews given to the secular press. On what basis have you appointed yourself as judge?

What I want to know is how God is revealed to those who reject Christ because of the example offered by arrogant, self-righteous Christians.

DGus
Guest
DGus

Article XVIII of the Thirty-Nine Articles states:

“They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.”

Can there be any doubt that Bishop Schori falls under this anathema?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Scholari” ? To whom do you refer? Charitably, this is a typo for Bishop Jeffrets Schori – otherwise, a cheap slur. I hope the former, guilty as I often am of typing errors.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

God does heart bypasses and finds souls around the blockages. There are a plethora of souls who acknowledge and respect Jesus but hold “churches” in complete contempt. Good on them. The other issue also is not just insisting that souls acknowledge Jesus, but then accussing them of not acknowledging Jesus enough. So Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and others can acknowledge Jesus and Jesus’ unique role, but continue their meditations because they find peace and communion within their own traditions. The evangelicals denounce them as “ungodly”. Not because they do not acknowledge Jesus, but because they tithe to a different organisational structure.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“It would be correct to say that Christ as the only way to salvation is normative for Evangelical Christians. It would also be true perhaps to say that there are people who call themselves Christians who do not consider it normative.”

The churches of the East and West don’t, because they pre-date this very late variety of soteriology by some 1500 years.

Which means that the Church doesn’t.

Which means that Calvinists and Pietists (= Evangelicals) – who do – are sect, not Church.

Dave Williams
Guest

Cheryl, Evangelicals do not accuse Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims of tithing to a different organisational structure. Let’s face it we are hardly precious about organisational structures, that’s one charge you can’t bring against us! Rather they agree with the Muslim when he says that he does not believe what we believe about Christ. When he says that Jesus is one of his prophets he is specifically saying that he is not the way to God, that he did not provide atonement, that sins are not forgiven by him that he did not rise from the dead. It is insulting to… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Article XVIII of the Thirty-Nine Articles states:…blah blah blah….”Posted by: DGus on Wednesday, 8 November 2006 at 12:51am GMT

All of which suggests to me that our British cousins should chuck the Articles into the “Historical Documents of the Church” section of the PB like we Americans have!

Pluralist
Guest

It is important not to regard people of other faiths as anonymous Christians, because it does label them in a way that they do not accept and often knowingly. Many a Buddhist or Muslim has been a Christian, and they understand very well the claims and constructions of Christianity. Some of them have participated in perhaps one kind of Christianity only, once loved and come to rejection, but others have been well versed across the board. Sociologically it is known that (in general) it is the already religious who convert to religions. The argument that they don’t know Christianity conjours… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Was it Verna Dozier, or someone earlier, who said that most people find it easier to worship Christ than to follow him?

St. Bede said that since Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, that anyone who follows the truth follows Christ. But of course he wrote before the invention of the evangelical mind trick became a substitute for Christianity.

binky, webelf
Guest

http://www.anglican.tk/?p=812 – THE LIBERAL REBUTTAL: Jefferts Schori and theology; Orthodox soteriology, whereby we denizens of “the Usual Suspects” Ghetto learn that actually, the subtly brilliant theologian and former Theological School Dean is parsing Recent Roman Catholic comments by theological giants like Cardinal Ratzinger (Catechism), John Paul the Great, and Hans Urs Von Balthasar.. a.k’a. “Yeah, what he said!” Oddly enough, having read JP2, chunks of the catechism, and more than a smattering of Von Balthasar we here at CaNN are obviously not up to the task of subtling out Schori’s deep ‘n’ sophisticated analysis, ‘cause– like– we TOTALLY missed it.… Read more »

laurence
Guest
laurence

I was blessed by the PB’s messsage.

( I don’t understand this elf. ).

I could anticipate that the PB will go on giving her own leadings of God and not those of prelates past or present — or elves however cynical….

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dave Your posting partly addressed my concerns (although I don’t agree with you). I have heard Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus acknowledge Jesus, his life, his crucifixion, his purpose with God. E.g. the Dalai Lama only last year commented that the biblical God is a jealous God and that there is no need to convert to Buddhism as the bible has the same teachings. Mind you, there is wisdom in learning some emotional self-control and humility from the Buddhists, something profoundly missing in many Abrahamic faith movements. I have witnessed these people acknowledge these things and then to their faces have… Read more »

Ruth
Guest
Ruth

I know there are many commenters on this site with impressive theological training. I am not one of them. Nevertheless, I would like to add my thoughts. I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Him. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that restricts Christ to saving only those who profess His name during their sojourn here on earth. Scripture tell us that Christ is looking for those who worship in spirit and in truth. I suppose we could argue forever about what precisely that means,… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I’m with Ruth.

Dave Williams
Guest

Cheryl, Luke is one of my favourite books of the Bible both for the way it shows the prophet role of Jesus and the way that it brings out his passion for the poor and the vulnerable. There is also a strong emphasis on the role of women. I’m afraid your Muslim friends sold you a dummy though Luke 24 v 25-26 doesn’t say that there were more prophets to follow after Jesus. Indeed the driving point there is that Moses and the Prophets (i.e. Our Old Testament) point towards him, the Christ. He is not only a prophet but… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

Ruth, Important points and I believe that is the key distinction here. The starting point is that Christ is the only way to God. Now how exactly does that work out 1. You say it brilliantly, we don’t have to get our theology exactly right and indeed we wont get our theology exactly right. Indeed if that was the basis for Christian belief it would be our own effort, not Gods 2. There is the issue about those who have not yet heard the gospel and who therefore haven’t had a chance to believe. There are a number of thoughts… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Dave, we’ve been on opposite sides of the fence on so much, but in this I am in total agreement. With regard to point #2, Mother Julian of Norwich asked just that question in one of her visions. The only answer she got was the famous “All will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.” That seems to me to be what you’re saying in point 2b, and I agree unreservedly.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Don’t see your comment here? Please note the rule limiting comments to 400 words. This was first explained on 23 July see
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/001838.html

mynsterpreost
Guest
mynsterpreost

“a. God doesn’t actually HAVE to save anyone, everyone he does save is through his mercy not what we deserve”

But I suspect that if he refuses to save anyone then he forfeits his position as God.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dave No Muslim has sold me a dummy. I can be dumb in my own right and don’t need to ascribe my stupidity to others. Christians are meant to be peace makers, we are meant to be finding ways to build bridges. Jesus says in Luke 24:25-26 that more prophets are to come. One of the problems I have had is that the solo scripturalists do not recognise any prophets since Jesus. The Anglican Communion has no mechanisms for assessing whether someone is a prophet and no etiquette on how to deal with someone if they are a prophet. Thus… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

Cheryl, Please read the verses you are referring to they simply don’t refer to any other prophets. Luke 24:25-26 says “And he said to them, “Oh foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not neccessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory.” Then note v 27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself.” It would be great to discuss the Biblical gift of prophecy as it applies to God’s Church but first of… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

mynsterpreost

No God doesn’t forfeit his position as God. That’s you deciding what God must and mustn’t do! He doesn’t have to save anyone. Remember the fate of the devil and the fallen angels is not redemption!

Alex Freeman
Guest
Alex Freeman

Cheryl (Re: 8 November 2006 at 5:46pm GMT), as I said to a close Muslim friend at the weekend. If I said Allah was a great man, and a good teacher, then I wouldn’t be acknowledging him as God. Just because you acknowledge Jesus as a good man, prophet etc, you still don’t acknowledge him as God. So if He is God, then you will not have responded to him correctly. He agreed with me, and he believes in wheel theory (ie: all religions lead to heaven) and saw why I didn’t believe in wheel theory. The question why do… Read more »

Bob
Guest
Bob

God in a Box… A lot of these disputes arise because of our understandings are incomplete. When I teach my Sunday school kids (10 year olds) about the 2nd Commandment we focus on the attributes of God, as best we can. God is holy, merciful, compassionate, long-suffering, slow to anger, almighty etc. The focus of the lesson is that unless the God you worship is ALL of the things scripture says than you are to some degree worshipping an idol. What I find so critical in my understanding of Christology is that Christ as prophet, priest and king makes possible… Read more »

Tim
Guest

Dave W writes: “That is the Evangelical’s issue with the non Christian that they do not recognise Christ for who he is.” Personally, and more precisely, I wonder if, tarred with a very broad brush, evangelicals’ real issue is the failure to seek good in others and their views, rather claiming the monopoly on correct understandings of “who Jesus is”. To be fair, I wonder why good members of such congregations actually attend… Dave W also writes: “Luke 24 v 25-26 doesn’t say that there were more prophets to follow after Jesus.” Really? One thing’s for sure, it categorically *doesn’t*… Read more »

DaveW
Guest
DaveW

Well one might rightly ask ‘what is her religion’ if there was no mention of the cross, the resurection, the gospel, faith, belief the supernatural the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or sin. As to her interview, …We who follow Jesus are those who believe Him because if we hold on to His teaching we will know the truth. (John 8:32) We who ‘understand him as our vehicle to the divine’ are believers. Non believers are those who don’t know Him as the way the truth and the life to come to the Father God. We don’t assume that God… Read more »

Ruth
Guest
Ruth

Much has been said since my last post, but I’d like to respond to Dave Williams’ response to my post. Dave: I agree with everything you’ve laid out. I think there may be one place where we part paths – more or a rhetorical point than a theological one. I don’t think what I said is inconsistent with what PB Katherine said in the interview. She did not include my first sentence – a clear declaration that Christ is the only way – but said that others may find God through other traditions. I think that could be the same… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

Ruth, Valid points. Context is a difficult thing. Without further information we are limited to saying is that statement as it stands an adequate and helpful statement, rather than because of that one statement that person is wrong… I assume that more of her theology will enter the public domain and those of us at a distance will get a better picture, More important for us is to learn the lessons about what we say because we often only have a brief time to say something. My personal recommendation is that it is best to stay with the message of… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

For the record there is another person posting who is labelled DaveW.

That is not the same person as me!

Dave Williams
Guest

Tim, I’m not sure why you have suddenly decided that I’ve not accounted for who wrote the passage concerned, the tone or the audience. How will that suddenly get these verses to say something different? Cheryl’s point was that Mulsims say there must be another prophet -i.e. Mohammed because these verses say another prophet is coming. My response was that they don’t say that and couldn’t be made to say that by any stretch of the imagination. If Cheryl had said, these verses tell us that we should all worship a bottle of vinegar and I’d said no they don’t,… Read more »

Tim
Guest

Oops, apologies if I’ve inadvertently confused DaveW/Dave Williams.

DaveW writes: “A Christian is someone who believes in and follows Christ, Jefferts is confusing salvation as a definition of being Christian.”

If salvation is through Christ alone, what’s the problem?

Has anyone considered that salvation may only be possible through Christ but that it has wider-reaching potential to those who might be completely ignorant of the crucifixion?

Dave Williams
Guest

Hi Tim, That was sort of the point I was getting at in my response to Ruth in that there are three groups we have to deal with 1. People who hear and respond to the Gospel 2. People who hear and refuse it 3. People who have not heard You might want to check out Clark Pinnock as someone who emphasises an inclusive aspect here. Indeed he includes within his definition of group 2, those who haven’t heard an adequate presentation (because us mean nast Evangelicals put them off) from a conservative point of view there are those who… Read more »

Ruth
Guest
Ruth

Tim wrote: “Has anyone considered that salvation may only be possible through Christ but that it has wider-reaching potential to those who might be completely ignorant of the crucifixion?”

Tim, I think that’s the point Dave Williams and I have been discussing. You might also want to take a look at Jim Naughton’s blog (www.dailyepiscopalian.com), under his posting “Recapturing the Mystical Dimension” (also apparently posted on Fr. Jake’s blog), for more on this topic.

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

“No God doesn’t forfeit his position as God. That’s you deciding what God must and mustn’t do! He doesn’t have to save anyone.” Dave Williams, I wonder if you ever sometimes consider *what* “God” is, not just who God is? “God” is just a sound. A word, in English. No more, or less, meaningful, than any other word. Inasmuch as we fill this sound w/ meaning—or, more precisely, as *I* fill this sound w/ meaning—it’s as a word which means “The One Who Saves”. The whole notion of a non-saving “God” is just plain oxymoronic. In other words, there could… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

I’ve posted a short series of mini articles on this topic at http://davewilliams-random-thoughts.blogspot.com/ which is my personal blog.

Dave Williams
Guest

Hi, Sorry but the test of whether or not your Biblical isn’t whether you or I say you are or aren’t in some name calling exercise. The proof is in the eating. It is interesting that you have decided to limit God by saying he must save -within the context of eternal life I assume as that’s the context we are discussing. But that God chooses to reveal himself as a saving God doesn’t mean that he is compelled to. That is what he has chosen to do and what we know about him. There is nothing that says he… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Let’s see – who should we listen to on this subject of pluralism?

Goran and KJS……or the words of St Peter, St Paul, JC himself….?

This is not a trick question

DaveW
Guest
DaveW

I think what NP has written is the key here.
The NT refers to what we describe as pluralism, we can discuss what we think about pluralism or we can go to the revelation from God in the Bible.

For me the NT is what they saw and heard, not what we think they think they saw and heard…. hence it is primarily revelation from God not primarily man’s theology.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dave later wrote “Cheryl’s point was that Muslims say…” I do wish you wouldn’t tell me that I am telling you what Muslims say. I have been scrupulous to not quote Muslims because it is so easy to misinterpret their faith. I put forth my positings for Christians, Muslims and others to contemplate. Often there is an element that they can find agreement and then move forward in a co-operative manner. Those successful posits help in reconciliation. If my posits are unpalatable or offensive because they come from me, they can be dismissed as the rantings of an insane woman… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dave W quoted Jesus’ words in Luke 24:25-26 “And he said to them, “Oh foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not neccessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory.” Two points, the tense of this sentence was written from a point in time, that implicitly infers that all the prophets have not yet spoken, and thus there are more to come. Anyone who tries to claim that they are the “last” prophet gets laughed at by God as history continues to unfold and God reaffirms… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

“Sorry but the test of whether or not your Biblical isn’t whether you or I say you are or aren’t in some name calling exercise. The proof is in the eating.”

Well, Dave Williams, while I fervently try to “inwardly digest” Scripture, I confess I haven’t actually added it to my diet! 😉

Dave Williams
Guest

Cheryl, Sorry for putting the thoughts of muslims into your mouth. But my purpose there was not to imply that you were speaking infallibly for muslims rather that we were dealing with a different concept of prophet from the likes of Agabus and Phillip’s daughters I’m not sure why Christ’s words here could imply anything other than that he was showing them what the prophets who had spoken had said. We cannot imply from this anything more than that Christ was saying that Scripture pointed to himself and he fulfilled it. In terms of are there going to be other… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

We seem to experience the habitual mixis of subjects here…

Either it is God who – however – reveals something…

… or it is Nersen and Dave who interprets something.

Or maybe both ;=)

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Dave I found myself thinking about this dialogue (in a good natured way) today. I think there is a problem with word usage. People refer to the “last” prophet, which infers there will be no more prophets. Yet if space, time and humanity continue, then the need for prophets continue. Rather than looking for the penultimate prophet or the “last” prophet. Maybe instead we should refer to the latest or most recent prophet. That language acknowledges in itself that there are more to come. It brings scripture and God back to life in that it acknowledges the needs for course… Read more »

Dave Williams
Guest

JC Fisher wrote

Well, Dave Williams, while I fervently try to “inwardly digest” Scripture, I confess I haven’t actually added it to my diet! 😉

I din’t realise how apt the expression was but eating of God’s word is thoroughly Biblical!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

There is now a discussion of exclusivist versus inclusivist soteriology also on Stand Firm and Titusonenine.

Surely something is happening ;=)

Dave Williams
Guest

Cheryl,

Prophecy – such a huge topic I’m definitely going to run the risk of being restricted by the words limit here!!!! If you find your way to my blog I’m sure we can start to direct a specific discussion on this? If you need to fill out with longer answers and you then want to give a link to your own site let me know.

Dave

Dave Williams
Guest

Goran,

Do you have links for those sites?

Dave

DaveW
Guest
DaveW

Dear Cheryl Clough, I think you are confusing me with Dave Williams. I didn’t refer to Luke 24:25-26 but I would like to respond to some of your comments in this section. You wrote “Two points, the tense of this sentence was written from a point in time, that implicitly infers that all the prophets have not yet spoken, and thus there are more to come. Anyone who tries to claim that they are the “last” prophet gets laughed at by God as history continues to unfold and God reaffirms God’s commitment to both heaven AND earth.” I would like… Read more »