Thinking Anglicans

opinions to mull

Christopher Ohlson writes the Face to Faith column in the Guardian on the subject of sidelining old hymns.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph’s Sacred Mysteries column about horse-biers in Welsh churches.

Roderick Strange writes in The Times that It’s time to repent our failure to love and seek forgiveness.

Two articles from the Christian Century (hat tip AKMA):
Taking the plunge by James Alison
Pastors writing badly by Lillian Daniel

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times: What am I blind to now?

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Cheryl CloughErika BakerPluralistAnniekieran crichton Recent comment authors
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kieran crichton
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kieran crichton

Thankyou for the article by Christopher Howse. There’s something about Wales that evokes a deep sense of calm when seen through the eyes of poets like R.S. Thomas. Christopher Ohlson makes a good point about hymnody. As a church musician I would say that the most common feedback I get from my work is from people who claim they couldn’t sing the hymns. I should point out that this is a parish where the New English Hymnal reigns supreme! As the parish director of music I am charged with the responsibility of choosing the hymns for use in worship. My… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Roderick Strange’s article reminded me of a comment by Ruidh(?) a few weeks ago that his wife will not allow him to take communion until he is reconciled with her after a fight, even though he feels just fine. I also found myself thinking about a modern disasters and how respond to those: – Do we provide genuine help and compassion, or the minimum for a propoganda spin to convince others we are nice people? The 2004 Tsunami exposed states were praising themselves for their initial paltry contributions; while it was the masses who got on with demonstrating how much… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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I liked Giles Fraser’s article and agree with his sentiments. James Alison’s article led to an “ah ha” moment. No wonder biblical hermeneutics is so off the rails (something I’d worked out a couple of years ago). Before we go to study the bible, we learn to think like philosophical Greeks for three years. We then go and study the bible through that filter. What is lost is the internalisation of the biblical imagery and the biblical “key words” that pop up throughout the bible. If people want to think hermeneutically, then they need to internalise the biblical imagery and… Read more »

Annie
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Annie

The article by Howse was charming! I just wished he had pictures of it:
Langelynin

Pluralist
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Monsignor Roderick Strange in TimesOnline recalls that Jesus was saying that the people caught up in incidents were no greater sinners than the rest, but unless you repent you could have a disaster too. This was, of course, Jesus’s world view that accident, coincidence, illness and death were related to sin, and this outlook is the origin of the later view continued by the modern day evangelical that Jesus being sinless did not have to die but did die so that we do not have to (yet we do die, so the not dying is now some sort of spiritual… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Cheryl, I liked James Alison’s article very much, and I also like your reflections on it. However, he doesn’t say that he studied Greek philosophers for 3 years, he says he studied “philosophy” and I would expect that to cover the whole canon right up to modern philosophers.

Cheryl Clough
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Erika My frustration that theological colleges have taught people to think from a non-Hebrew bible perspective and then to study the bible. Your point is valid in that philosophy is more than Greek. But the concerns about filters on thinking is also valid. It has been pleasing to see some faiths recognising the need to re-explore biblical hermeunetics. A part of that is understanding that the bible creates an internalised imagery that is counter-intuitive to other philosophy streams. Not being aware of the risk of filtering has led to blindness in recognising some of the biblical symbolism. They didn’t know… Read more »