Thinking Anglicans

Goddard2Goddard

A new joint project of Fulcrum and Inclusive Church has just started. Titled Goddard2Goddard it has as a strapline Waiting for Goddards: Corresponding Theologies.

Who are we?

Andrew Goddard is Tutor in Christian Ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and Giles Goddard is Rector of St Peter’s Church, Walworth, South London. Giles is also Chair of Inclusive Church while Andrew is on the Leadership Team of Fulcrum and a scholar of the Anglican Communion Institute.

What are we doing?

We agreed just before Christmas to correspond with each other over the next few months on matters relating to the challenges facing the Anglican Communion and the Church of England and to publish our exchanges online. The correspondence will appear on both the Fulcrum and Inclusive Church sites although both of us are writing in a personal capacity. We do this knowing we initially come with different perspectives on many of the major presenting issues (the nature of Anglicanism, life in communion, the Windsor Report, Lambeth I.10 on sexual ethics etc) and eager to explore these together.

Why are we doing this?
The project is explained further both here and here.

The initial pair of letters can be read on either site:

Giles to Andrew 19 December

Andrew to Giles 13 January

Further letters will be posted both here and here.

The Fulcrum forum has a thread for discussion which you can read here.

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Göran Koch-SwahneO.P. Nicholsonpete hobsonFord ElmsChristopher Shell Recent comment authors
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Marshall Scott
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I’ve read both letters, and the discussion thread. I’m glad it’s happening. At the same time, I think the effect will be limited. This discussion might well benefit the Church of England. I fear it’s not enough to save the Communion. “Facts on the ground” in The Episcopal Church will, I fear, move entirely too far too fast for this discussion to prevent damage. Dar es Salaam will come too soon. Announcements of invitations to Lambeth will come too soon. Decisions will be made and breaches will occur. Now, there is something valuable if this benefits the Church of England.… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

First the signs of disunity among those intending schism; now an attempt to establish discussions across different traditions. Could almost make you believe in God, couldn’t it?

Josh Thomas
Guest

Andrew doesn’t seem to understand, in his pleas for the Windsor Report and “forbearance” as mentioned in the Quadrilateral, that what Americans and others are taking to the world is a grave moral question somewhat analogous to human slavery. The systematic oppression of a people is not an issue where compromise is appropriate or even possible. Where does one compromise or forbear or fudge on the genocide of Armenians? It cannot be done and ought not to be done. Consider the suicide rate of Gay American teenagers. Consider the lonely danger of Nigeria’s only Gay activist. Consider the execution and… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Would this Andrew Goddard be related to the obnoxious priest who turned up to harry Jeffrey John when he was meeting the Reading clergy some years back?

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Thanks Josh T, for speaking up. I have mixed feelings all around. I welcome the notion that people should talk carefully across their differences, instead of talking church war, arming for church war, and campaigning for church war. Checking your knives and guns at the confessional/conscience diversity doors is probably almost always a peace-making idea. I am happy that the two Goddards are able to carry through on this sort of conversation, although it must be obvious to the rest of us that we are not getting out of bed every new morning to see what they managed to find… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Giles Goddard first: The Book of Common Prayer was one of those occasions when a large number walked out – 2000 ministers and also lay people too. So whilst it wanted to find a “mean between two extremes”, it did not work from the outset. It excluded because it demanded assent and consent to everything in it. It is important, perhaps, to add Baxter to Hooker. Why do the Methodists and URC also show breadth? Partly because they are both results of mergers and have an inbuilt ecumenism that has softened traditions within. Anglicans, in contrast, have parties, and lost… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

The only alternative to dialogue/communication/debate is lack of dialogue/communication/debate – and it is obvious which is better, whereas it is not obvious why any honest person would decline the chance of d/c/d.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Christopher Shell —

I take it you are referring to the primates who refuse to meet with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcoipal Church.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Not to discourage conversation, discussion, or debate – I believe UK is seeing a conference soon across some of these divides, as well as USA having one announced for Colorado Springs (which in USA is a sort of ConsEvs ground zero for all the love bombing that ConsEvs in USA like to conduct against any and all non-straight folk: Have you tried to change your sexual orientation from straight to gay for God today?) -just to point out that in many places the lived facts on the ground are not all that related to the high topics and themes which… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Hi Prior Aelred- I am referring not just to them but to all who rely on preconceived positions and not ongoing debate. But (not knowing the ins and outs): -it is also the case that some organisations are liable to die the death of thousand qualifications; -others can get fed up of obhgoing dialogues where the issues have already been aired and there is nothing new being said; -others can point out that there are always going to be matters that need no dialogue – we will just disagree about what those matters are. If, for example, the Bishops consider… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

The problem is, I think, what you do at the end of all the debate, dialogue, conversation, if neither has changed their view

I think the reality of conversation is that each side hopes to convince the other.

If there is no meeting of minds, then whilst the conversation may have helped us understand where the other comes from and why – it doesn’t help us reach a conclusion

I feel I understand the opposing point of view well, but I just don’t agree with it.

Giles Goddard
Guest
Giles Goddard

If you’re not sure of the value of this initative it’s worth having a look at the discussion in the Fulcrum forum …. appears to be serious engagement going on there.

Comments noted.

Andrew’s and my next letters coming soon.

Colin Coward
Guest

In my experience, debate, dialogue and conversation always change something. The change tends to be more creative when people are sitting in the room together. Then it is difficult to ignore the emotional effect one person has on another. I have sat in the same room with both Goddards on many occasions, though only recently with both at the same time. I and they have been changed by our conversations. This dialogue can only be a good thing. I hope both end up at a different place from where they started. The dialogue will be helped if there are also… Read more »

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Hi Mike- Supposing that you understand the opposing point-of-view well (and I have no doubt that you may understand *one* of the opposing points-of-view), I would beg you not to speak as though there is only *one* opposing point-of-view. The views based on the bible and on statistics are quite distinct from each other, however much they may lead to similar conclusions. It all reminds me of the ‘Jerry Springer’ fiasco. The BBC decided to ignore all complaints because they assumed they were all saying the same thing, to which thing they had an answer. It beats me how one… Read more »

Robert L
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Robert L

Matt wrote: “And if this does benefit the Church of England? We have not yet really discussed the centrality of the Church of England per se in all this discussion of the state of the Communion. If the Church of England can hold together as an institution including Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, and Progressives, it might become a tool for bridging in a generation the breaches we see now.” Indeed. This is the main reason to continue to support Establishment in my view. With Canterbury’s dual role within the C of E and as an instrument of unity, the Establishment keeps the… Read more »

Craig Nelson
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My personal view is that this dialogue is a truly wonderful thing and could result in someting very vreative. Yes, it’s too small, too late and so on. But creative things have to start out from somewhere. It would have been good if the entire Anglican Communion exemplified this approach, but alas it doesn’t – well not yet. And there are other people doing (maybe on a smaller scale) similar things – whether the Evangelical Alliance or Faithworks. So it’s a really good thing and of course you can only have a dialogue if you agree on some basic things… Read more »

laurence
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laurence

I too believe in sharing and discussion –but forgive me if I’m a little jaundiced (or is it jaded ?), as I have been trying to engage the C of E in discussion since my teens — and that’s over 40 years ,still counting ! Goddard and Goddard -fine, as far as it goes…… But this ‘discussion’ needs and needed to be happening among bishops and other policy makes. So it’s all a bit too little too late for many of us. In the context of Josh’s posting here, Josh’s witness is incontrovertible. (see below) : ‘Andrew doesn’t seem to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

>deploring discrimination and persecution on the ground of sexual orientation (can’t remember the exact phrasing of that<

Except when it comes to finding children parents, apparently.

Prior Aelred
Guest

FWIW, I heartily concur with laurence on the significance of Josh Thomas’s post (of course the Bench of Bishops in the Lords unanimously voted against Wilberforce’s bill to abolish the slave trade, so there is precedent).

pete hobson
Guest
pete hobson

So now the issue is comparable to the Turkish Armenian massacres, is it? just a tad of overstatement there, perhaps, in terms of a debate within the CofE? Or even on a wider scale – however horrendous behaviour towards gay people is in some parts of the world/Anglican communion, I have yet to hear of situations that can be equated to genocide. Of course, if you approach the matter with that (or similar – as per Josh’s posting stating it’s an equivalence to slavery) mindset, then you will have little or no time for mere dialogue. And, of course, if… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“however horrendous behaviour towards gay people is in some parts of the world/Anglican communion, I have yet to hear of situations that can be equated to genocide.”

Though not for want of wanting, but there is no visible genos to cide…

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I understand both points of view, Christopher, including both the ability to realise when unrelated statistics are being misused, and the different theological perspectives surrounding the issue.

Those who promote the former have no understanding of how to interpret and apply research, and the linmitations of quantitative research with an unknown population. The latter, I have considered the different perspectives and come to a conclusion.

There is nothing the conservatives could say which would convince me that there opinion is anything other than anti-gay.

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Mike-
Your position rem,aions a non-position. Like atheism and post-evangelicalism, it is defined by what it is not.

What’s the point of saying that the stats are all wrong?
(1) Do you know better than the researchers who spent years on their research?
(2) Why is there a suspicious correlkation between those you say are wrong and those you would wish to be wrong?
-what is the point, unless you tell us what the correct stats should be?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I have yet to hear of situations that can be equated to genocide” No, indeed. But we have a situation in Nigeria where even those who are supportive of gay people may face 5 years imprisonment. This surely reveals a deep seated fear and hatred. Combine that with the fact that in some Muslim countries, gay people are hanged, stoned to death, and, in one horrendous incident in Afghanistan, a boy, on suspicion of being gay, was taken from his classroom, beheaded, and his fellow students forced to play soccer with his head. Extreme and far away? Maybe, but closer… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“researchers who spent years on their research”
And who would these be, Christopher?

pete hobson
Guest
pete hobson

You’re right, of course, Ford. Not only are the situations you describe truly awful, but even the less murderous violent language you allude to closer to home is indefensible. And I can understand why it all makes you “twitchy”. But I’m not defending it, am I? Nor is it helpful to lump, for example, me with such actions or attitudes, in suggesting that “you” can kill “us” and get away with it. Is it come to this that the world is reduced to “us” and “them”? That feels a long way from the sort of dialogue that the two Goddards… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

So “dialogue” is denial and de-valuing now, is it?

I say it is entirely your own decision what and whom you defend. No one can “lump” you but yourself.

This sort of thing is what gives fiascos a bad name.

O.P. Nicholson
Guest
O.P. Nicholson

“Prior Aelred” asserts that the Bench of Bishops in the House of Lords voted unanimously against Wilberforce’s bill abolishing the Slave Trade. He is clearly unaware that Beilby Porteus, Bishop of London (1787-1809) and a leading figure in the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel (SPG) was campaigning against slavery for nearly thirty years from the 1780s until his death two years after the passage of Wilberforce’s Bill. Why slander the dead ?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The picture was the same over here, 40 years later. The Clergy was against, the 3 other Estates for Abolishment.

In the end a sum (insufficient) was set aside to buy the slaves from their “masters”. The price was set by the Slave Auctionist of Gustavia at Saint Barthélemy himself.