Thinking Anglicans

Saturday newspapers

Artistic genius has nothing to do with faith – it’s down to God’s profligacy says Stephen Hough in The Times.

The Times also prints an extract from A Heart in My Head: A Biography of Richard Harries by John S. Peart-Binns under the title Inside track on the road to Anglican schism.

Alex Wright writes about images of God in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column.

In the Telegraph Christopher Howse writes about the history of the church in Leicester Square, in Delivered from the Prince of Wales.

This week’s Church Times column by Giles Fraser is What’s right with risk.

In the Tablet, Terry Prendergast writes about marriage, in The best chance to grow.

Over at Comment is free Theo Hobson wrote Mass Exodus in reply to last week’s column by David Self.

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Cheryl CloughmynsterpreostH. E. Baberdrdanfeematthew hunt Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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An answer to Theo Hobson goes something like this. Faiths that are built on an identity have to base them around some feature. You can have a faith of a people, like Judaism, or a faith of a geographical area, like Hinduism, or a faith of a path travelled, like Buddhism, or of a tribe (made into everyone) like Islam. Christianity in universalising a faith of a people that in the face of universalising needs written definition, and even if it is seen as a faith of a person (Christ) that person can die (crucifixion) and can relived dissolve into… Read more »

matthew hunt
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matthew hunt

Aside from the inane association of Caravaggio with evil… It’s nice to read an an artist’s view of the relationship between their art and faith. I find most of his denials unnecessary. I can’t think of ever coming across ideas that how much you pray or are ‘good’ have any bearing on creativity for a person with faith. Similarly, I really don’t feel thoughts about direct movement of the hand or mind by God are common thing for most believing artists. Personally, I feel it is a sort of partnership. Me the blind fool stumbling about in the dark woods,… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

The simple answer to the dilemma of inside church or outside is: Real World. If the church were thoroughly, nothing but its most erroneous ways and preachments – if individuals and small daily groups of us could actually forgo institutional and public life in a complexly organized culture; then surely we could at least reject the worst of church life, or even do without bothersome and fallible social institutions completely. We can find great folly and meanness in institutions of church life, yes, and probably also in every other example of all other social institutions. Look at the failings of… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

This rather reminds me of really old law and medicine, say. Until the empirical revolutions really got a good grip, and medicine had to keep up with change, because the arts of healing apart from the tested sciences of knowing are sheer folly and nothing but folkways and guesswork. If the old medicine as a range of institutions could be reformed – and keeping things changing for the better is rather a daily task, never absolutely finished because what we know, and know we know, changes weekly if not daily in some domains – sure we may have hope for… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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“Love is a verb”. Love is many faceted. It is loving to recognise that the world is unsafe and that your children need to be able to recognise and avoid excessive risk. But conversely it is loving to let them challenge themselves and discover that they can survive. A child raised without any risks becomes incapable of responding to ensure their survival when they are confronted with risks. Conversely, a child needs to be weaned into risks and not left out on the streets while they are still in nappies. God has a vision of love, it is a vision… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

There is nothing in Predergast’s discussion of skills and attitudes (by which he seems to actually mean, values or centers of value) in connection with growthful and successful marriages that cannot also apply to committed and communally supported same sex relationships. Ditto, for parenting. The skills and attitudes of effective parenting in support of a thriving child, within wide leeway parameters in various cultural contexts, remain much the same whether the parent is one single mom or dad, or two men or two women, or an opposite sex couple. The hidden, big contemporary shift is from authoritarian and patriarchal legacies,… Read more »

H. E. Baber
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Re the discussion of whether the “institutional church” is needed–it depends what you mean by the “institutional church.” If you mean an institution devoted to establishing and promulgating doctrine, and teaching faith and morals, of course not. We’re literate, we have bookstores, libraries and internet access, we can go to lectures, take courses and figure out these matters for ourselves. That’s just good old Protestantism: we can read the Bible, and these days, much, much more, and figure it out for ourselves. If you mean an institution to maintain buildings, conduct services, employ priests, musicians and support staff, advertise, and… Read more »

mynsterpreost
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mynsterpreost

Re: the institutional church: Terry Pratchett pointed out that the natural size of a coven is one.

A faith based on encountering The Other needs to find ways to ensure that its adherents also Encounter Others, hold collective memories and so on, simply to counter the centripetal tendencies of people.

Cheryl Clough
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Drdanfee I agree with most of your comments about raising children. I would caution that an excessive liberalism in raising a child can be fatal. A toddler does not need to experience or being run over to learn those lessons, it is reasonable for them to to trust their parents that they should stay away from sharps, heights, roads and chemicals. What happens with some parens, however, is that they do not have a weaning model of parenting that allows their children to develop their own risk assessment and decision making commensurate with their development. It is never comfortable, you… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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On the comments of what is the “institutional” church. The buildings and infrastructure are a legacy of what has been, it can be nice to leave them intact for sentimental reasons. What is important about a church (or any religious community) is how it affects its own members and they affect the broader community. Does the religious community bring people into a closer relationship with God? Does the community help people make wiser decisions? Does the community take responsibility for how they impact on the broader society? I also want to add: “Does the church keep Jesus accountable for honoring… Read more »